In May 2015, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) presidential campaign was just getting off the ground when polls showed his own constituents didn't support his White House bid. Asked why his home state's voters were so opposed to giving him a promotion, Christie argued
, with a straight face, "They 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.'"Even at the time, it was impossible
to take this seriously. New Jersey voters had soured on Christie's leadership and agenda, pushing his support lower as the governor turned his attention to national office. And a year and a half later, his support has managed to sink even lower
A new survey shows Republican Gov. Chris Christie's favor-ability and job approval ratings in New Jersey are at record lows.The Rutgers-Eagleton poll on Monday showed a record low of 19 percent have a favorable view of Christie. That's down four points from six weeks ago.
Note, this poll was conducted before
a jury convicted two of Christie's top aides on multiple criminal counts in the "Bridgegate" scandal late last week. What's more, while his favorability rating is down to 19%, the same poll put his approval rating at an abysmal 20%.For context, note that Richard Nixon, at the height of Watergate, saw his approval rating fall to 25% -- slightly better than Christie's standing with his own constituents.Two years ago, after the 2014 midterms, the New Jersey governor was riding high. He'd just wrapped up a successful run as chairman of the Republican Governors Association; he'd cruised to an easy re-election victory just a year earlier; he was widely seen as a top-tier presidential contender; and pundits were singing his praises.Now, Christie is one of the nation's least popular governors and his political career appears to have passed the point of no return.As for the significance of the "Bridgegate" affair, Bloomberg Politics had an interesting report
over the weekend:
Chris Christie behaves like a "master puppeteer" who knows all that goes on in his administration, concluded a juror who weighed evidence in the seven-week corruption trial and voted to convict two of the New Jersey governor's former allies.Juror Sheryl Bender broke her silence in an interview one day after Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni were convicted, expressing bewilderment that neither Christie nor other members of his inner circle were held accountable in the plot to create traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge as a way to exact revenge on a New Jersey mayor.
For his part, the governor continues to insist he did nothing wrong, and he saw last week's convictions as vindicating him.