The Northeast has seen its fair share of snow this week, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can’t blame the winter weather for the slippery slide in his approval ratings.
A new poll from Rutgers-Eagleton reports that Christie’s approval ratings are the lowest they’ve been since he took office in 2010. Just 37% of the state’s voters have a favorable view of the 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, a figure that’s down seven points since the poll was last conducted two months ago. A majority — 52% — disapprove of the job he’s doing as governor.
When those surveyed were asked why they believed Christie’s numbers had dropped, 10% said they were turned off by his presidential ambitions and his negligence toward his current office. Fifteen percent cited the “Bridgegate” scandal from September of 2013, when high-ranking Christie officials allegedly closed lanes of the George Washington Bridge allegedly out of political retribution. Another 20% said that the drop was a result of “overall attitude, behavior, and personality.”
The recent numbers, which come from a poll conducted between Feb. 3 and Feb. 10, represent a continued approval-ratings slide, which has been precipitated in recent weeks by the governor’s comment on vaccines. He said during a trip to England that parents should have more choice in decided whether their children should be vaccinated.
The three-day trip to the U.K. — similar to those taken by other GOP hopefuls including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — was seen as an opportunity for Christie to beef up his foreign policy credentials. Instead, he remained mostly silent on world issues while abroad.
A recent trip to Iowa — his sixth — also did little to boost Christie’s popularity. To add to his problems, Christie is also facing a federal criminal investigation into whether he illegally stopped grand jury indictments for a political ally.
A Monmouth University poll from earlier this month reported that 66% of Christie’s believe the governor is more concerned about his own political future than the future of the state, a 10-point jump since September. When asked if Christie’s trip across the pond was to build trade relations — which was how the visit was billed — or if it was simply to help the governor fun for president, 65% said the latter. Just 17% believed it was to build trade relations.
Aliyah Frumin contributed reporting to this article.