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Would You Mind if Governor Christie Quit as NJ Governor to Run for President? [POLL]

Governor Chris Christie (R) (Tim Larson, Governor’s Office)
Governor Chris Christie (R) (Tim Larson, Governor’s Office)

Would you feel as though the Governor were shirking his responsibility to the plurality of voters who put him in office for a second term if he were to quit his office and run for President?

I know that even though he says, in words to this effect, that this is the only job he wants – we all know he’s got his eyes on the prize!

And we’re good with that. Or so I think we are.

Would we have reelected him by the large margin we did in last month’s election had we felt he’d be abandoning us?

So apparently if he splits early, it’s no big deal – at least according to this:

A month after rewarding Gov. Chris Christie with four more years in office, New Jerseyans say it wouldn’t bother them if he resigns sooner than that to run for president.

Christie could make New Jersey a swing state in a potential matchup with Hillary Rodham Clinton, the latest Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll shows. He narrowly leads the former secretary of state among registered voters, 46 percent to 43 percent, which is within the poll’s margin of error.

Christie has said he won’t decide whether to run for president until 2015, but 69 percent of New Jersey adults said they think he’s planning a bid. Most seem equally comfortable with him doing it as governor or leaving early from state office, even though he hasn’t yet started the second term he won by handily defeating state Sen. Barbara Buono in last month’s gubernatorial race.

Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray said, “more and more people seem to think this is a certainty. They thought that when they went into the voting booth to re-elect him.” “This is part of the reason why the whole strategy of the Buono campaign to tag him for having presidential ambitions backfired. This is something people actually like about Chris Christie, that he is presidential material and we’ve got him as our governor for as long as we have him.”

Democrats were slightly more bothered by the idea of him running while serving; independents were a bit more bothered by the prospect of him resigning.

Jennarose Placitella, a University of Pennsylvania student from Colts Neck, said Christie is OK — “for a Republican.” She wouldn’t be bothered if Christie resigned as governor to run for president.

“I don’t think that most people are bothered by that,” Placitella said. “They re-elected him just because he did a good job, he didn’t have any big controversies, except for maybe education when he started out. So it was really a no-brainer. I don’t think it really registers with people or that they would get particularly upset about it, since it’s still his administration that would take over.”

If Christie were to leave, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno would become governor. Depending on the timing of any such departure, Guadagno would be governor for a few months or more than a year, until a special election.

Which makes me wonder how effective she’d be as governor having to deal with a Democratic Legislature.

Al Schories, a retiree and registered Democrat who lives in Manchester, said he expects Christie to run for president and probably would support him if the election were today. But he frowns on the prospect that Christie might resign as governor to seek the White House.

“That would bother me, because then I feel he’s deserting the citizens of New Jersey,” Schories said. “Then if he doesn’t get elected, where is he? He still owes it to the people here. When the time comes, he has the option of running. He doesn’t have to quit to run. Definitely stay on as governor, definitely.”

One-third of New Jersey adults think Christie will resign before the end of his term, while 58 percent think he will serve his full term.
Arthur Macarios, a retired dentist from Brick, is among those expecting Christie to run without resigning.

“Nobody else does. When (Barack) Obama ran for president, did he resign as a senator? No, so I don’t feel that you have to resign from one job to seek the other job,” Macarios said.

The decision Christie faces about whether to remain governor if he chooses to run for president wouldn’t be solely about balancing the demands of being governor with the time and effort it takes to travel the country as a presidential candidate. It’s also possible federal law would prevent Wall Street donors from being able to contribute to him as a sitting governor due to his responsibility for overseeing state bonds and pension funds.

Christie will be on the road frequently during the next year as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He travels to Vermont today and was in Idaho last week.
In an exit poll in November, Clinton narrowly led Christie in New Jersey, 48 percent to 44 percent.

Now there is always the possibility he can bail on being Governor before the first primaries – but that would be a risky proposition should things not look good through the first round of states.

At that point, should he not do well in the primaries after having left the governorship (which I really don’t think is likely); how long do you think it would take for Fox News to come a calling’

Just saying’

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