Only 30 percent of registered voters in New Jersey hold a favorable opinion of Gov. Chris Christie -- a candidate for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination -- according to a new poll conducted by the Rutgers University. The Rutgers-Eagleton poll was conducted prior to Christie qualifying as a participant in Fox News’ first Republican primary debate to be held Thursday.
“Asked to justify their negative assessments, 18 percent cite his character, attitude, and image as reasons for their unfavorable feelings; another 10 percent use such terms as untrustworthy, deceitful, and liar,” the Rutgers Institute of Politics said, in report outlining the findings of the poll.
According to the report, which also compiled previous polls, between June and August, the number of New Jersey voters who said their “general impression” of Christie -- who announced his candidacy on June 30 -- was favorable fell by nearly 10 percent. Over the past year, his favorability rating has fallen by almost 20 percent.
Christie’s overall job approval rating as governor has also shown a similar decline over the past year. Between August 2014 and August 2015, the percentage of people who disapproved of his work as governor increased to 59 percent from an earlier 39 percent.
In the good old glory days, Christie used to hold town hall meetings and have fights with union members and teachers, have his staff tape those fights and then put them up on You Tube.
Those You Tube moments were part of his initial national fame and helped gin up the idea that Christie had potential as a national political figure.
But the glory days are long gone - the Bridgegate scandal, along with the misery New Jersey residents live with daily in Chris Christie's economically-challenged, infrastructurally-decrepit state have ensured their demise.
That doesn't mean Christie hasn't tried to bring back the glory days, of course - just last week he said on ABC News he'd love to punch the national teachers union in the face.
That remark engendered much outrage among teachers and their families, which is not exactly a constituency Christie is interested in.
But if he thought that remark would win him some friends among other constituencies, well, he was wrong.
Not only have his poll numbers in Jersey continued to crater, his approval on particular issues have continued to fall to new lows as well - including on education:
Christie fared no better on individual issues, reaching a new low over his work on Superstorm Sandy recovery -- with only 46 percent approving of his work, down from his April 2013 peak of 87 percent. Additionally, Christie -- who recently said that the American Federation of Teachers, a national teachers’ union, deserved a “punch in the face” -- has also fallen to new lows over his work on education and schools in the state. His approval rating on the issue has fallen more than 10 percent over the past year, with 58 percent disapproving of his work.
He's down 41 percentage points on education in the last two years and three months.
That's a pretty big fall.
In a previous Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 69% of New Jersey voters said Christie wasn't suited to be president because of his temperament.
In a Monmouth poll, 57% of New Jersey voters wanted Christie to resign.
Coming on the heels of 61,000 booing him at Monmouth Park last week, these poll numbers should give Christie a good feel for how much people despise him and the job he is doing as governor.
And if he thinks beating up on teachers is going to help him bring back some of the glory days, he is sadly mistaken.