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Monday, February 16, 2015

Christie’s approval ratings continue downward slide

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Feb. 12, 2015. 
Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

By Joy Y. Wang

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.
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.

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