New Jersey voters say the rest of the United States is not ready for a “Jersey Guy” president and neither is the Garden State, where Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential appeal continues to slide, a poll released on Thursday showed.
A telephone poll of 1,340 registered New Jersey voters by Quinnipiac University found that Christie, and every other potential Republican contender for the 2016 White House race, would lose the state to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the possible Democratic candidate.
Among voters in the traditionally blue state, Clinton tops Christie 50 percent to 39 percent; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush 53 to 31; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul 55 to 31; and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney 52 to 35 percent, according to poll results.
Christie’s popularity among his home-state voters has slipped, with 45 percent for Christie versus 49 percent for Clinton in February 2013, 42 percent for Christie versus 50 percent for Clinton in August 2014 and 39 percent for Christie versus 50 percent for Clinton in December 2014, the survey showed.
“Since ‘Bridgegate’ broke, Christie’s numbers have been tepid at best,” said the poll’s assistant director, Maurice Carroll, referring to the political hijinks over a September 2013 epic traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.
“It’s hurt him. Bad headlines translate into bad polls,” Carroll said.
Asked to gauge the pulse of the rest of the nation, 49 percent of respondents said American voters are not ready for a “Jersey Guy” president such as Christie, but 43 percent said to bring it on.
“When you say ‘Jersey Guy’ some people think of a guy who likes to pick a fight, others say it’s someone who tells it like it is. Christie doesn’t take any crap,” Carroll said.
The poll conducted by landline and cell phone from Dec. 3 to 8 had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)