Rutgers Poll: All-Time Low Christie’s Job Approval Rating Skids into the Teens

Governor Chris Christie’s race for a zero percent job approval continues.

With the Bridgegate-smudged governor in damage control mode on Charlie Rose, the court of public opinion has already rendered its own verdict in the form of “lower-than-ever ratings for Gov. Chris Christie,” according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Mired in the low twenties for weeks, Christie cracked the 2-0 mark to plunge into the teens, the poll finds.

Just 19 percent of New Jersey registered voters now have a favorable opinion of Christie – down four points since just six weeks ago when the trial first began, according to the poll. Seventy-three percent view the governor unfavorably, up six points.

Christie’s overall job approval mirrors his favorability. Twenty percent now approve (down six points), while 75 percent disapprove (up six points).

Much of the post-trial ratings slip is due to increasing negativity within Christie’s own party base. Forty-seven percent of Republicans are favorable (down 10 points from September), versus 43 percent who are unfavorable (up 15 points); 10 percent are unsure.

Similarly, Republicans are split down the middle on the overall job he is doing: 47 percent approve (down 16 points) and 47 percent disapprove (up 17 points). This is the first time in his entire tenure as governor that Christie has not garnered support from a majority of Republicans.

Almost all Democrats and three-quarters of independents continue to have an unfavorable impression of Christie, as well as disapprove of the job he is doing overall.

“The governor was not directly on trial this past month, but the case seems to have taken a toll on his already low ratings,” said Ashley Koning, interim director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University. “After weeks of multiple testimonies implicating the governor’s involvement, even Republicans have now turned against Christie.”

Christie does no better with voters on a variety of individual issues. He draws his lowest approval on the state pension fund situation (15 percent approve, 68 percent disapprove) and hits a new all-time low on taxes (17 percent approve, 77 percent disapprove). In the wake of the gas tax increase, Christie is now at 19 percent approve (down six points) to 73 percent disapprove (up eight points) on transportation and infrastructure. He does little better on the economy and jobs – 22 percent approve to 68 percent disapprove.

Christie continues his decline on education and schools (28 percent approve, 65 percent disapprove). On Hurricane Sandy, an issue that once garnered near unanimous support for the governor, voters remain somewhat split on Christie’s efforts four years later – 42 percent approve to 48 percent disapprove.

“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,” said Koning. “Since the dust has not yet settled from the trial and Christie himself is due in court in a few weeks, we may have not yet seen the end of Christie’s decline.”

Results are from a statewide poll of 772 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 28 to Nov. 3, 2016, including 694 registered voters reported on in this release. The sample has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were done in English and, when requested, Spanish.

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