Re: Christie’s Approval Rating
posted at 11:33 am on November 27, 2012 by Guy Benson
Ed, that Q-poll you wrote about isn’t the only recent survey that has shown Chris Christie floating in the job approval stratosphere. Last week, Politico reported on a private poll that pegged the governor’s job approval at an unfathomable 77 percent. The pollster puts that number in context:
“[W]e see the strongest job approval numbers to date for the Governor. Governor Christie has enjoyed approval ratings of between 50%-59% in every single public poll for the last 17 months, very strong numbers in a state as Democrat in New Jersey. And while we have seen his approval and favorability ratings crack 60% in some private polls, this recent poll breaks new ground. … [T]his is all being done in a state with 750,000 more Democrats than Republicans where President Obama was just re-elected by a staggering 17 points.”
As a native New Jerseyan, allow me to add another layer to this: New Jersey voters, as a general rule, detest their statewide elected officials. Even pols who are re-elected by wide margins win despite mediocre (at best) job approval numbers. Bob Menendez, our newly re-elected US Senator, has a 51 percent approval rating — a number that spiked just ahead of the election. For much of 2012, his approval line bounced around in the 30s and 40s. Menendez’s Senate counterpart, 88-year-old Frank Launtenberg, has seen his job approval and favorability numbers languishing in the 30s for the last several years. Christie’s two immediate predecessors in Trenton didn’t fare much better; both drew tepid marks from New Jersey voters during their terms in office. My point is that Christie’s extraordinarily robust ratings aren’t just impressive from a national standpoint; they’re truly exceptional for a statewide office holder in New Jersey. Sure, his numbers will inevitably slide over the next 11 months, but he kicks off his re-election bid from an unprecedented position of strength in the state. As Ed mentioned, the timing of these eye-popping numbers is fortuitous for Christie. Several potential challengers are currently weighing whether they’ll challenge the sitting governor next year, or whether their ambitions would be best served by sitting out for one more cycle. Guys like Corey Booker might look at Christie’s gaudy stats and decide to take a pass this time around.