After Bridgegate: Christie approval rating almost as bad as Florio’s
Gov. Chris Christie's approval ratings have plummeted again, this time bringing him within just a few points of some of the state's most unpopular former governors.
A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows that just 19 percent of registered voters in New Jersey have a favorable opinion of Christie. The dismal statistic represents a drop of four points since six weeks ago, when the controversial Bridgegate trial began. The poll also shows that 73 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of the governor, which is a 6-point increase.
What's even more significant, however, is the dip in Christie's approval rating within his own party. Since September, the number of Republicans who have a favorable view of the governor has dropped 10 points to 47 percent, while the number of GOP members who have an unfavorable view of Christie has jumped 15 points to 43 percent, the poll shows. Ten percent of Republicans said they were unsure how they view the governor.
“His loss of the Republican base is huge in New Jersey. They’ve always been behind him whether he was a first-term governor and Democrats and Independents hadn’t warmed to him yet," aid Ashley Koning, interim director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers.
The poll shows that Christie's job approval ratings are split among Republicans, with 47 percent approving of the job he's doing - a drop of 16 percent - and 47 percent disapproving. This marks the first time since being elected that Christie has not garnered support from a majority of GOP members.
"He had near unanimous support of Republicans in his post-Hurricane Sandy days through his re-election, and ever since Bridgegate first broke we’ve seen that number of Republicans slowly, slowly decline, but we’ve never seen something like this where he can not garner a majority of Republicans in terms of his favorability and job approval ratings," Koning said.
The drop in Christie's ratings make him one of the state's most unpopular governors, based on poll numbers.
“Governor Christie is now just a few points shy of the record low ratings set by governors Byrne, Florio, and DiFrancesco in Eagleton’s 45 years of polling on New Jersey governors,” Koning said. “Since the dust has not yet settled from the (Bridgegate) trial and Christie himself is due in court in a few weeks, we may have not yet seen the end of Christie’s decline.”
According to Rutgers-Eagleton, 772 adults were contacted for the statewide poll by live callers on both landlines and cell phones between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, which included 694 registered voters. There is a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points and interviews were conducted in English and Spanish as requested.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.