Quinnipiac Poll: Christie approval at 58%

New Jersey voters say Gov. Chris Christie would have won a presidential contest,  but they back his decision not to run 8-1, according to this morning’s Quinnipiac University Poll. Voters seem to celebrate being stuck with him and give him a 58 – 38 percent job approval rating, another “best score ever” this morning, and a boost over his 47 – 46 percent score August 17.

As in the Monmouth Poll also issued today, women approve of Gov. Christie 51 – 44 percent, a 25-point swing from a negative 37 – 55 percent in the August 17 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University. Men approve 65 – 32 percent, compared to 58 – 36 percent in August. Approval is 88 – 11 percent among Republicans and 65 – 30 percent among independent voters, while Democrats disapprove 67 – 29 percent.

New Jersey voters say 84 – 10 percent that Christie made the “right decision” not to run for president with strong agreement among every group and in every region.

But 66 percent of voters, including 76 percent of Republicans, say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that Christie would have won the Republican nomination.

And 56 percent of voters, including 29 percent of Democrats, say it is “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that Christie would have defeated President Barack Obama in 2012.

The “Christie-for-President” talk was good for New Jersey, voters say 60 – 24 percent, including 42 – 36 percent among Democrats. And the governor’s out-of-state political travels don’t affect how they think about him, 62 percent say.

“Overwhelmingly, his New Jersey neighbors thought Gov. Christopher Christie did the right thing in walking away from the presidential race – even though most voters think he could have won both the nomination and the White House,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“They think the governor’s brief run as Republican flavor-of-the-week was good for New Jersey, and most aren’t bothered by his out-of-state travels,” Carroll added. “Trenton won’t be the end of the political line for Gov. Christie, the neighbors predict 73 – 22 percent.

“And there’s nothing like some national attention to get the folks back home to appreciate you a little more. We don’t know if it’s cause and effect, but Christie’s approval rating, especially among women, is way up.”

New Jersey voters like Christie as a person 59 – 26 percent, up from 50 – 35 percent in August. Women like him 53 – 29 percent and men like him 65 – 24 percent.

Jokes about Christie being overweight are in bad taste, voters say 71 – 20 percent, and voters agree with the governor 72 – 24 percent, including 63 – 32 percent among Democrats, that political commentators who raise his weight as a political issue are ignorant.

New Jersey voters also agree with Christie 74 – 19 percent, including 65 – 29 percent among Republicans, that he doesn’t have the personality to be vice president.

“Christie says he doesn’t have the personality to be VP, and New Jersey voters agree. But a fair number, 45 percent, say he could be tapped to be the GOP running mate,” Carroll said.

New Jersey voters approve 32 – 24 percent of Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, with 44 percent undecided. She is qualified to take over as governor, voters say 34 – 29 percent, with 37 percent undecided.

“It’s a moot point, at least for now, but the question was out there: How would Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno measure up as governor? Okay, said a third; not okay, said another third; don’t know, said another third,” Carroll said. From October 5 – 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,186 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.