A new poll shows Gov. Chris Christie’s approval rating sinking to its lowest level yet. Only 16 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the job the Republican governor is doing for them.
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat who goes on trial on corruption charges in federal court next week, has a slightly stronger mandate among New Jerseyans, with 28 percent of voters approving of his job performance.
“New Jersey voters have really been souring on the governor for quite some time now,” said Ashley Koning, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, which released new data this week.
Koning said a failed bid for president, Christie’s out-of-state travel, and the “Bridgegate” scandal have contributed to a drop-off in his approval ratings from their post-Sandy highs.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has almost double the support of Garden State voters, with 30 percent approving. Trump has a loyal conservative base to thank, Koning said. “They’re sticking in his corner, whereas they’re not doing the same for their own governor.”
Christie’s 16 percent approval rating is the lowest for any New Jersey governor ever asked about in the Rutgers-Eagleton poll’s 46-year history.
In addition to his 28 percent approval rating, Menendez also received 25 percent disapproval, which Koning said demonstrates that most people do not have a strong opinion of the senior senator as he heads into the first days of his federal corruption trial in Newark next week.
Pollsters also questioned voters about the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election. Christie leaves office in January after reaching his two-term limit.
When asked whether they knew the two major party candidates — Republican Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy — four in 10 voters said they did not.