Every presidential candidate wants to be able to brag about the home-state support he or she enjoys. It makes sense – a policymaker’s constituents had an opportunity to see his or her work up close. The more those voters were impressed, the more a White House hopeful can ride a wave of popularity onto the national stage.
But as the 2016 race unfolds, a “home-state haters” problem is kicking in. Louisianans, for example, have soured on Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). Marylanders aren’t at all excited about former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) presidential campaign.
And in New Jersey, the bottom has fallen out on Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) support. Last month, a Monmouth University poll put the Republican governor’s approval rating at just 35%. This morning, Politico reports an even lower number.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is still not winning any favor with Garden State voters, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll released Tuesday.Christie, who is in the midst of planning a presidential run, has an approval rating of 30 percent, below what is usually expected for a White House hopeful in his own state, where 55 percent disapprove of his performance. His numbers are down from the last FDU poll in April, in which 36 percent of voters approved of the job he was doing, compared to 50 percent who did not.
In case it’s not obvious, 30% is a dreadful number. It’s the kind of approval rating a politician will find difficult to explain away when he’s seeking a promotion.
In fact, it’s arguably the kind of number that should keep Christie out of the race. The beleaguered governor has prepared all kinds of answers to dismiss his many problems – the scandals, the downgrades, the pension mess, the policy missteps – but there is no talking point that can adequately explain a 30% approval rating.
There are only laughable excuses. Last month, Fox’s Megyn Kelly reminded the governor that two-thirds of his own constituents do not believe he’d be a good president. Christie replied, in reference to New Jersey residents, “They want me to stay. A lot of those people that 65 percent want me to stay. I’ve heard that from lots of people at town hall meetings, ‘Don’t leave,’ and ‘Don’t run for president because we want you to stay.’”
There’s a point at which the line between arrogance and delusion blurs. As we talked about at the time, the notion that New Jersey voters are so in love with Christie that they can’t bear the thought of him moving to the White House is plainly silly. Garden State voters are being asked if they approve of Christie, not whether they hope to keep him in Trenton.