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Will Christie’s Attitude Work Nationally?


Most registered voters in New Jersey expect Gov. Chris Christie to run for president in 2016. According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, 59 percent said Christie will run, while 19 percent think he won’t. Twenty-two percent are not sure.

Governor Chris Christie
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Will he stay or will he go? Forty-five percent of voters think Christie will resign to run, and 33 percent expect him to finish his term, including those who said he would run without resigning. Twenty-three percent are uncertain whether the governor will complete his second term.

Prior to last week’s election, more than three-quarters said Christie’s future plans would have no impact on their vote. Only 8 percent said an anticipated run made them more likely to vote for Christie, while slightly more (13 percent) said his presidential ambitions made them less likely to vote for him.

“Here is the most direct evidence yet that Sen. Barbara Buono’s attack on Christie’s apparent presidential ambitions was misguided,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Voters think he is going to run, but most didn’t see that as a reason to oppose him, even while many expect him to resign before the end of his term.”

As for Christie’s confrontational, tough-guy style, voters said, by a 2 to 1 margin, that it shows leadership and helps him get things done at home. Only 30 percent said it is disrespectful and hurts his ability to lead in the state.

That doesn’t mean voters are sure that the confrontational attitude will go over well on the national stage. Thirty-six percent think it will, but 46 percent said voters across the country will not like his style. Just 4 percent said it will not make a difference, and another 14 percent are unsure.

Results are from a statewide poll of 804 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 28 – Nov 2.

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