It’s no secret at this point that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is pinning his presidential hopes on a win, or at least a good showing, in the New Hampshire GOP primary next month. It also comes as little surprise to Garden State residents that Gov. Christie has not been around that much since his campaign began. According to the governor’s own records, Christie was traveling outside New Jersey on 261 days last year, with 56 in New Hampshire alone. The majority of that time was spent campaigning.
Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling Institute, says that Gov. Christie’s absence is impacting how he’s viewed back home.
“We had 76 percent of New Jersians say that he was putting his own political future ahead of the good the state,” he says. “There was just a sense that he turned his back on the state.”
Governor Christie has defended his absence saying that he is always just a phone call away and that he has been able to govern remotely. Murray argues, however, that is simply not cutting it for New Jersey residents.
“Nothing is getting done in Trenton,” Murray says. “He might be reachable on his cell phone, but he simply isn’t even thinking about it. His mindset really is now on running for president to the detriment of everything else.”
With little legislative achievement taking place in 2015, frustration is growing in the Democratic legislature.
“Things get done when the governor and the legislative leaders sit down in the same room, and that’s part of the problem here. He is not here to do that.”