Poll: Christie would lose to Clinton, finds shaky support among NJ voters

Governor Chris Christie holds a press conference regarding the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP team internal review of the George Washington Bridge toll lane realignment at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Friday, March 28, 2014. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Governor Chris Christie holds a press conference regarding the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP team internal review of the George Washington Bridge toll lane realignment at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. on Friday, March 28, 2014. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen) Photo: Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

A new Quinnipiac University poll doesn’t bode well for Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential ambitions — not only would he lose to former Secretary of State and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who trumps the incumbent governor and other Republican 2016 presidential contenders in the Garden State, but voters also say he would not make a good president, the poll finds.

New Jersey voters say 53 to 40 percent that Christie would not make a good president, according to the poll, released this morning. Republicans say 70 to 21 percent that their governor would do well in the White House, but every other party, gender or age group listed disagrees.

American voters are not ready for a “Jersey Guy” president such as Christie, Garden State voters say 49 to 43 percent. There are gender and age gaps: Men are divided 46 – 47 percent, but women say 51 – 41 percent America is not ready. Voters 18 to 34 years old say 54 to 38 percent the U.S. is ready for a “Jersey Guy,” but voters 35 years old and older disagree.

“Even Jersey guys, actually Jersey girls, don’t think the nation will go for a Jersey guy like Gov. Christopher Christie,” said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Shades of Woodrow Wilson. The last Jersey guy who got elected president did not carry the state in his 1916 reelection. And this poll shows we haven’t changed in the last century.”

“Besides that, we’d sooner vote for the girl from New York, Hillary Clinton. She beats all the probable Republican candidates, including the governor. He does better than the other Republicans but he still loses his home state,” he added.

New Jersey voters say 50 to 44 percent that they would not like to see Christie run for president and, if he does, he should resign as governor, voters say 62 to 32 percent.

There’s been some debate as to whether quitting the governor’s post would make running for president more or less difficult for Christie, who finds himself a mainstream candidate in a crowded GOP field ahead of the 2016 primaries.

Lose to Clinton

The poll also found that if Christie runs, he loses to Clinton 50 to 39 percent, winning only among Republicans. Clinton leads other possible Republican candidates:

  • 53 – 31 percent over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
  • 55 – 31 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
  • 52 – 35 percent over 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Clinton is the only candidate listed who gets a positive favorability rating, 58 – 35 percent. The Republicans all have negative scores:

  • 45 – 47 percent for Christie;
  • 25 – 35 percent for Bush;
  • 25 – 32 percent for Paul;
  • 36 – 48 percent for Romney.

“If Christie does run – and his New Jersey neighbors say he shouldn’t – he should quit his day job,” Carroll said.

Poll: Christie would lose to Clinton, finds shaky support among NJ voters