Society

Poll: Christie Least Popular US Governor In 20 Years

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates that Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has the lowest approval rating of any U.S. governor in the last 20 years.

Findings from a June 14 Quinnipiac University poll suggest that only 15 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Christie's job performance, while a whopping 81 percent disapproved.

Christie's approval deficit is the most negative rating that Quinnipiac University has recorded for a state governor in over 20 years of polling.

His abysmal approval rating has evidently impacted the prospects of his potential successor, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno of New Jersey.

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The survey results forecast that Democratic nominee Phil Murphy would trounce Guadagno in a head-to-head matchup for the upcoming gubernatorial election. 55 percent of voters supported Murphy while 26 percent sided with Guadagno.

"Hobbled by eight years in a little noticed job and her ties to a remarkably unpopular governor, Lt. Gov. Guadagno is little-known and little-liked… Guadagno's experience as lieutenant governor seems to be hurting her more," said assistant director Maurice Carroll of the Quinnipiac University polling group.

The survey also found that 57 percent of New Jersey voters wanted a Democratic-majority for their State Legislature, while 29 percent would prefer a GOP majority.

Carroll concluded that the state's political "wind is blowing in the Democrats' direction."

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Christie was enormously popular only four years ago. In November 2013, the New Jersey governor won re-election with over 60 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times.

The GOP governor's popularity swiftly soured after his aides were implicated in forcing the lane closures of the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. Christie denied any involvement in the closures and did not face criminal charges. His aide Bridget Anne Kelly and Port Authority executive Bill Baroni, meanwhile, were convicted for orchestrating the traffic jam, according to the New York Post.

During the dramatic trial, witness David Wildstein testified that Baroni and Kelly  had orchestrated the lane closures as political revenge against Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee for declining to endorse Christie for his 2013 re-election. Wildstein asserted under oath that Christie knew of the plot and laughed about it in private.

In June 2013, a Gallup poll found that 52 percent of national adults viewed Christie favorably, while only 20 percent viewed him unfavorably, according to Politico.

On April 11, a Morning Consult national survey found that Christie was the least popular governor in all 50 states, according to Fox News.

On Nov. 7, Murphy and Guadagno will face off in the state's gubernatorial election.

Sources: Fox NewsNew York PostThe New York Times (2), PoliticoQuinnipiac University / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

Has Christie earned his historically low approval rating?
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