Christie taking a hit in the polls?
January 13th, 2014
04:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Christie taking a hit in the polls?

(CNN) - Most Americans haven't changed their opinion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in recent days, according to a new national poll.

But Christie's approval and favorable ratings among Garden State residents has dropped, according to another new survey, which also indicates that most in the state don't consider their tough-talking Republican governor a "bully."

The two polls were conducted after Christie apologized at a news conference last Thursday for the closure of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge for four days in September that caused massive traffic jams on the New Jersey side of the nation's busiest bridge.

The events entangled Christie, who's considering a bid for the White House in 2016, in the biggest political controversy of his career.

Christie fired the two senior aides who appear to be connected to the access lane closures, but he denied any knowledge of the apparent actions by some of his top aides, saying "I knew nothing about this," adding that he has "nothing to hide."

Documents released so far in the investigation suggest the Christie aides orchestrated the traffic tie-ups in an alleged case of political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, who declined to endorse the governor as he ran for re-election last year.

Christie's numbers in New Jersey take a hit

According to the Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll, Christie's approval/disapproval rating among New Jerseyans now stands at 59%-32%, down from 65%-25% last month. This is the first time since Superstorm Sandy struck the state in late October 2012 that the governor's approval rating has dipped below 60% in Monmouth polling. The survey indicates GOP support, at 89%, remains strong, but Christie's approval among independents has dropped from 73% in December to 62% now and his approval among Democrats has dropped from 47% in December to 38% now.

While Christie's job approval rating remains quite positive, personal views of the governor have become mixed. Forty-four percent of New Jersey residents have a favorable view of him, down from 70% a year ago. Twenty-eight percent have an unfavorable view of Christie, up from 19% last year, and 28% have no opinion, up from 11% a year ago.

"There is now a gap between the public's view of Christie's job performance and his personal behavior. There has been a shift from largely positive opinion of the man to a situation where some New Jerseyans are not quite sure what to think of him," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Is Christie a bully?

By a 47%-42% margin, Garden Staters see Christie as someone who's more concerned with his own political future than with the state. In Monmouth polls taken over the past year, more residents said that Christie put New Jersey first rather than his own political ambitions.

At last Thursday's news conference, Christie declared that "I am not a bully," in response to questions about his brash and in-your-face style of politics. The new poll indicates most New Jersey residents agree with their governor. Sixty-five percent say they wouldn't describe Christie as a bully, with 32% labeling him a bully.

The Monmouth University survey indicates that Garden State residents are paying attention. Fifty-three percent say they've read or heard a lot about the controversy, with another three in ten saying they've heard a little about it. Just 17% say they've heard or read nothing about the story.

Most Americans say their opinion of Christie hasn't changed

While New Jersey residents are glued to the bridge controversy, a national Pew Research Center poll suggests that Americans are not enthralled with the story and the political turmoil surrounding Christie.

According to the Pew survey, Americans paid more attention to last week's frigid weather than to Christie and the George Washington Bridge controversy. Forty-four percent say they very closely followed the news about the cold weather, with just 18% saying the same thing about events in New Jersey.

The poll also indicates that six in 10 Americans say their opinion of Christie has not changed in recent days, with 16% now viewing him less favorably and six percent seeing him in a more favorable light.

"The survey finds that majorities of Republicans (69%), Democrats (55%) and independents (60%) say that their opinion of Christie has not changed lately," says a release from Pew Research.

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll was January 10-12, with 541 New Jersey adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted January 9-12, with 1,006 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.


Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • Polls
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The next few weeks will be very interesting.

    January 13, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Christie fired the two senior aides who appear to be connected to the access lane closures, but he denied any knowledge of the apparent actions by some of his top aides, saying "I knew nothing about this," adding that he has "nothing to hide."
    -----------------------------–
    If he's telling the truth, then he's just admitted to the worst case of lack of leadership on political record.

    January 13, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Not really. The public knows the truth..........this is a political assassination effort by the Democratic party..........because Christie was leading Hillary, in the most recent polls for 2016.

    January 13, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    This dude is so pathetic with blubber mouth no substance.......

    January 13, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well there you go GOPerville. The media's "picked" your candidate for you and they're sticking with him.

    Good luck in 2016.

    i

    January 13, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    It keeps droooooopping like stench doo doo....just wait until the 'smoking gun' comes out about how Christ Christie has been vindictive to his political opponents and using the NJ State House to intimidate, thwart and harrass innocent New Jersey citizens just for political gain....

    LMAO

    January 13, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "this is a political assassination effort by the Democratic party"

    Yeah, ...I mean, the Dems obviously forced Kelly, Wildstein, et al, to make those disgusting statements that prove the bridge was shut down as a political stunt. Clearly, the Dems held them at gunpoint and forced them to do it.

    January 13, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Rick McDaniel
    Not really. The public knows the truth..........this is a political assassination effort by the Democratic party..........because Christie was leading Hillary, in the most recent polls for 2016.

    What's the matter big guy? You don't like it when your own tactics are thrown right back at you? Actually, I think the Tea Tards are feeding the Dems all the ammo they need...

    January 13, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Just 17% say they've heard or read nothing about the story.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Christie is in that 17%....

    January 13, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    Just 17% say they've heard or read nothing about the story.
    -----------------
    Christie is in that 17%....

    Bam! Down goes Christie.

    January 13, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    "Christie is in that 17%...."
    No doubt.
    I know nothing about it... even though I chastised a Reporter a few months back for asking me about that which I do not know. Then I called the Governor on the other end of the bridge to try and get him to have his people back off about this incident which I am totally in the dak about. Then yesterday, when I first read about it in the newspaper, despite daily coverage in the local media and daily complaints from many, many folks; and, after two sleepless nights of not worrying about it; How could I? I hadn't even heard about it until that phone call, when they told me what I'd never known or heard of before. So, then I fired a couple of people for lying to me about this which I did not know, but knew these trusted individuals had lied to me about it because they didn't tell the truth when I never asked them, because I didn't know. But, I take full responsibility now that I do know and you obviously have the e-mails I knew nothing about. I take full responsibility now that (we're caught) I know.
    This is worse than the dialogue from 'The Village'....

    January 13, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Thomas

    At last ,
    The arrogance and intimidation that is the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie brand has come back to bite him in the ass.

    Give a egotistical jurk like Christie enough rope an eventually they will hang themselves .

    January 13, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    Bam! Down goes Christie
    -------------------------------------------------
    tee hee!!

    January 13, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Jules

    And just wait until everyone finds out that his whole press conference was a lie .

    January 13, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. The REAL Truth...

    @Rick McDaniel – Not really. The public knows the truth..........this is a political assassination effort by the Democratic party..........because Christie was leading Hillary, in the most recent polls for 2016.
    ----------------------------
    And given the treatment of the POTUS by Republicans and TP'ers over the last 5 yrs do you seriously expect the Dem's not to jump on the opportunity to remove a GOP front-runner. It's not like the GOP has never done anything similar, and at least this one appears to be a real scandal. It's about time the GOP reap what they've sown since 2008.

    January 13, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Ol' Yeller
    and, after two sleepless nights of not worrying about it; How could I? I hadn't even heard about it until that phone call, when they told me what I'd never known or heard of before. So, then I fired a couple of people for lying to me about this which I did not know, but knew these trusted individuals had lied to me about it because they didn't tell the truth when I never asked them, because I didn't know. But, I take full responsibility now that I do know and you obviously have the e-mails I knew nothing about. I take full responsibility now that (we're caught) I know.
    -------------------------------------------------
    HILARIOUS Ol' Yeller!!!!!!!

    January 13, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "According to the Pew survey, Americans paid more attention to last week's frigid weather than to Christie and the George Washington Bridge controversy. Forty-four percent say they very closely followed the news about the cold weather, with just 18% saying the same thing about events in New Jersey."

    Oh my. The conflict of interests scenario? Too, too funny to be taken seriously.

    January 13, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Will New Jersey citizens get over their infatuation with Gov Christie when he has to wear orange color prison clothes?

    January 13, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. maruzicho

    We should not blame him or say anything about this man until he is convicted of any crimes. We may speculate, question, and ask for answers but he is innocent until proven guilty. Many people jump to conclusions and create a mess when in actual many of the times it is all speculation or just media coverage. Everyone that leads an organization or a state is going to have failures or have to answer up for any speculation even if they were not connected directly to it. I would just give this man the say so until you see convictions or punishments. Its media attention. This also could be the Governor's testing ground for a run for President. If you cannot take the heat and have communication skills to back yourself or your philosophy you are not going to make it as a President. I say this is a test for a run for president. Can the Governor give good answers for mistakes while taking the heat in the kitchen.

    January 13, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. maruzicho

    This is simply practice for a run for President of The United States in my opinion. Can Governor Christie take the heat in the kitchen with excellent communication skills.

    January 13, 2014 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Bob

    Christie's chickens are coming home to roost. The GOP's hopes and dreams for 2016 are fading fast!

    January 13, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. rs

    With coverage like this- sure, just like the GOP did after their shutdown, just like Obama did with the ACA web site coverage. This is to be expected. The longer term question is does it change for now or for long term. Just as we have seen the various so-called scandals of the President vanish (Benghazi, IRS, etc.), we have seen rebound. If Christie isn't directly implicated, or does an unusually good job dealing with the fallout, this too might be tempoary.

    January 13, 2014 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Evergreen

    I was looking forward to watching Gov. Christie destroy the 2016 teaparty candidates then follow in the footsteps of Mr. Romney as an also-ran. Rand Paul and Paul Ryan have more to gain by Christie's implosion than anyone else.

    January 13, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Middle Ground

    We won't hear the last of this until Sour Palin bestows her wisdumb upon us. You know she is due; she's been too quiet for a few weeks. And she knows all about bridges.....

    January 13, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. more bs

    it would be funny if the republicans were the ones to actually bring this story out to destroy christie. he wasn't considered one of them so destroy him so they can put up one of their own. think about it

    January 13, 2014 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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