New Jersey voters weigh in on expected Christie run for president

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. speaking in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, file)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. speaking in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, file)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to announce Tuesday he’s running for president.

What do his constituents think about the long-anticipated announcement?

Moshe Atzbi works at Hailey’s Harp, an Irish pub in Metuchen. Atzbi voted for Christie twice, and would support a run for the White House.

“If he made it to the final ballot he would raise a lot of very interesting questions that the nation really as a whole should start dealing with, fiscal responsibility being the topmost responsibility on my list,” Atzbi said.

Despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans two-to-one in this small town nicknamed the Brainy Borough, Gov. Christie actually won here in 2013.  He pulled that off even though his Democratic challenger that year, Barbara Buono lives in Metuchen. 

Layly Rosenstein says she voted against Christie in both governor’s races and is angry that he canceled the planned new Hudson River commuter train tunnel.

“It’s had a huge impact on commuters, myself included, and I did not agree with his reasons,” she said.

The George Washington Bridge lane closures scandal have taken a toll on Christie.  A Fairleigh Dickinson Public Mind poll last week put Christie’s approval ratings at an all-time low among New Jersey voters.  His approval ratings in the Garden State are less than half they were right after Superstorm Sandy.  A poll in New Hampshire shows him in 6th place among potential Republican candidates.

Even while being coy about running for president, Christie has given no indication he would step down as governor to make a run for the White House.  That could be trouble since supporters such as Mike Patterson are wary that he can run the state while running for president.

Patterson owns an ice cream shop in Metuchen and voted for Christie — twice. But if the governor secures the Republican nomination, Patterson says he should step down and let Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno take over.

“Campaigning is a full-time job — full time and then some. So how in the world is he going to govern the state, especially if he’s campaigning?” asked Patterson, “especially for a presidential election?”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.