Most of his constituents believe Governor Christie should have been a defendant in the recently concluded Bridgegate trial, and less than a fifth approve of his job performance. These and other findings from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind’s most recent survey of registered voters paints a dark portrait of the electorate’s mood toward the governor as he enters the final year of his administration.
Eighteen percent of registered voters approve of Governor Christie’s job performance, while the vast majority disapprove (73%). And, under his leadership, sizable numbers express concern over the direction the state is headed. Only 20 percent are content with the state’s direction. Seventy percent believe the state is heading down the wrong path. These numbers are largely unchanged from October, when 21 percent approved of the governor and 20 percent evaluated conditions in the state favorably.
“A proposed renovation of the statehouse may improve the executive wing, but public attitudes are proving more difficult to change. This is the lowest recorded approval rating for any New Jersey governor in the years since the FDU poll has been measuring voter attitudes,” said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind.
And, as the FDU poll has found in recent surveys, the governor is no longer supported by even a majority of his partisan constituents. Over half (52%) of Republicans disapprove of his leadership while only a third (33%) approve.
“Governor Christie has been abandoned by virtually everyone, which is a far cry from where he once sat atop a field of aspiring presidential candidates who cut a more polarizing figure than he did,” said Jenkins.
Adding to the governor’s public opinion woes is a perception by many in the state that the Bridgegate trial should have included more defendants. The same survey asked registered voters who followed the trial very or somewhat closely to agree or disagree with a series of statements about the recently concluded trial of former Christie aides, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly. Few attentive voters believe the list of defendants was comprehensive, and by a sizable majority, many across the state believe the governor should have been tried along with Baroni and Kelly for the role they believe he played in the lane closure affair.