Despite news that the New Jersey governor’s office orchestrated a traffic jam for political revenge, Gov. Chris Christie himself just received his lowest ‘bully meter’ rating yet.
Quinnipiac University asked New Jersey voters whether they think Christie is more a leader than a bully—a question they’ve asked on and off since 2010—and found that 54% of voters said the governor was a leader, while 40% said he was a bully. That’s four percent higher than his ‘bully’ rating in summer 2012, the last time the question was asked.
The poll comes on the heels of Christie’s State of the State address, where he pushed to change the conversation back to his legislative agenda.“Mistakes were clearly made,” Christie declared early in his speech. Indeed: he’s had to fire two close aides for their involvement in the traffic jam caused near the George Washington Bridge as political retribution and new documents show that other top staffers may have also been involved. An inquiry has been launched by the U.S. attorney’s office in Newark that Christie used to run, and members from both the state and federal legislatures are investigating.
Many have speculated that Christie will run in 2016 and while the media has skewered the governor for it, it’s polls like these that indicate how Christie will weather a scandal.
Just as Tuesday’s poll from Monmouth University said, a majority of voters still trust and approve of Christie—particularly Republicans. Overall, 51% of voters say he’s a trustworthy leader and 55% approve of the job he’s doing, according to the Quinnipiac poll.
But while the Monmouth University poll saw Christie losing particularly with Independents, Quinnipiac sees Christie losing enormous ground with Democrats.
In just a year, his ranking with them has inverted: a year ago, 56% approved of his work, while 38% disapproved. Now, 36% approve of the job he’s doing, while 55% disapprove.
“New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is doing better with the public than with the news media. His job approval has dropped from the stratosphere, but it’s still double-digit positive, pretty much where he was before his Superstorm Sandy hug with President Barack Obama,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release.
The survey was taken Friday to Monday of this week, surveying 1,027 New Jersey voters by cell and landline; the margin of error is +/- 2.8 points.