New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's ratings in his home state are slipping, and some say it's because of his increased out-of-state travel ahead of a potential run for president.
According to a poll
conducted by Monmouth University and the Asbury Park Press, Christie's job approval rating stands at 46 percent among New Jersey residents. Thirty-nine percent of those polled do not approve of the way he is doing his job. These numbers are a change from a June poll conducted by the same groups, which showed Christie had 50 percent of the state's support.
Further, 15 percent of New Jersey residents do not have an opinion of Christie, compared to the results of other polls earlier this year that showed that figure to be anywhere from 6 to 9 percent.
Three-quarters of those surveyed think Christie will run for president in 2016; 39 percent of that group thinks his travel schedule and potential presidential plans
have made him less effective at doing his job as the state's governor.
"In the past, buzz about Christie's presidential potential was a source of pride for most New Jerseyans. These findings suggest that some of his constituents are starting to resent his time out of state," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
"This is no definitive indication that growing uncertainty about the governor's job performance will result in widespread backlash against his presidential ambitions, but it bears watching."
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed think Christie's recent trip to Mexico
was designed to bolster his presidential hopes, while just 21 percent believe the administration's reason for the trip — building trade relations between New Jersey and the United States' southern neighbor.
The main issue that has haunted Christie is the George Washington Bridge
lane-closing scandal. A federal probe has yet to find evidence that Christie was involved in the episode.
Sixty-percent of the New Jersey residents polled think Christie has not been completely honest about his knowledge of the lane-closing scandal. However, 59 percent think the committee investigating the scandal should end its work. Eighty-five percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Independents, and 46 percent of Democrats all have the same opinion.
The poll results did note that the majority of the interviews were conducted after news reports surfaced claiming Christie had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
"Few people think that Christie has been forthcoming about Bridgegate, but they don’t believe that the motives of Democratic legislators leading the investigation are all that pure either. This seems to have made the issue a wash for the governor," Murray said.
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