Poll of NJ voters: Chris Christie is more leader than bully

posted at 6:41 pm on July 17, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

As much as he’s criticized for some of his infamously bombastic and aggressive tendencies, which some might deem unbecoming of a state executive, New Jersey Chris Christie must be doing something right. Not only is he enjoying high favorability ratings among his constituents on his overall job performance as a governor, but it looks like at least a slight majority of New Jerseyans can appreciate the qualities of a strong and forthright leader when they see ‘em. According to the latest poll, more New Jersey voters described Gov. Christie as a leader rather than a bully — although he has lost a few points on that scale in the interval since April, during which time he’s had a few well-publicized spats.

Fifty percent of voters surveyed in the Quinnipiac University poll described Gov. Chris Christie as a leader, compared to 45% who said he was a bully. The “leader” rating is down slightly from April, when 54% said Christie was a leader and 39% said he was a bully. …

“Gov. Christopher Christie’s squabble on the Seaside boardwalk – shades of Snooki! – underlined his pugnacious ‘Jersey Guy’ image with some voters, who volunteered that he’s a bully. But most of his fellow New Jerseyans call him a leader,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, wrote in a release accompanying the poll’s release. …

As Jazz wondered a couple of weeks back, Gov. Christie’s confrontational style generally seems to float New Jerseyans’ boats, but would it really fare well on the national arena if he were Mitt Romney’s running mate? (Heck, forget the national arena — what about the international arena if he were to become the United States’ vice president?) His constituents, at least, don’t seem to think it’s the greatest idea:

Christie, who declined to make his own bid for the GOP presidential nomination, would be a bad choice for Mitt Romney’s running mate, a majority of the New Jersey voters said. Fifty-three percent said he’d make a bad vice presidential choice, and 40% said he would make a good pick.

And of course, Christie has said he wouldn’t say no to the opportunity if Romney did select him as his running mate, and maybe what Romney really needs on his ticket is a take-no-prisoners, make-no-apologies champion like Christie — although it seems like lately the speculation has largely moved away from Christie and more toward safer candidates like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and now former Secretary of State Condi Rice, and etcetera. But honestly, despite all the buzz, does anybody really know except for the inner circles of Team Romney? Perhaps they’ll put us all out of our silly-season misery soon enough.


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