Unfavorable Opinions Double for New Jersey’s Governor

Unfavorable Opinions Double for New Jersey's Governor

Gov. Chris Christie's bid for the 2016 presidency seems in doubt as research shows that unfavorable opinions of New Jersey's governor have doubled in the last year.

An article by Francis Hilario in the January 23 edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal notes that a new survey by Pew Research has reversed the "unfavorables" for Christie from 17% in a survey last January to 34% in the current survey. The favorable opinions of the governor have remained fairly constant, dipping only 2% from 40% recorded in January last year.

The reasons for the change seem fairly obvious. Gov. Christie has been in the news almost constantly for about a month, during which the debacle over the closing of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York have tarnished his administration — and then accusations by the mayor of Hoboken that Sandy federal funds were withheld from the city due to a conflict over a real estate development.

Last year Christie was receiving high approval ratings for his visibility and handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, including his iconic hug with President Obama. At that time, 72% of voters approved of the governor while only 21% disapproved. According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted last November, that gave Christie the highest score the university had measured for a New Jersey governor.

According to the Pew Research report, "Christie's explanation of his role in the highway lane closure is drawing skepticism. Most of those who have heard about the controversy do not believe Christie's assertion that he was not aware of his aides' involvement in the lane closure."