Polls: Voters cool on Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie smiles, in Trenton, N.J. Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie smiles, in Trenton, N.J. Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) (AP)
Posted: April 05, 2014

Gov. Christie is no longer the hottest politician in the country, according to a new poll.

But in New Jersey, the Republican governor's sliding approval ratings following the George Washington Bridge controversy appear to have stabilized at just above 50 percent, another poll found.

A national Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday ranking voter feelings about politicians found that Christie scored at 45.2 degrees on its "national thermometer" scale. The governor had scored 55.5 degrees in a poll released Jan. 9 - conducted just before the revelations linking a top Christie aide to the bridge controversy.

In the new Quinnipiac poll, Christie ranked ninth among a field of Democrats and Republicans in a list led by Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts - though many voters did not know her - and Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Among Republican voters, Christie came in 10th in Thursday's Quinnipiac poll. Topping that list was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who scored at 69.6 degrees, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Christie scored at 57.9 degrees with Republican voters.

The poll of 1,578 registered voters was conducted from March 26 to 31, with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

While Christie dropped "from hot to chilly" in the Quinnipiac rankings, according to assistant poll director Tim Malloy, a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released Wednesday indicates the governor's approval ratings seem to have stopped sliding.

The poll found Christie's job approval rating is 51 percent among New Jersey residents and registered voters - compared with 50 percent among residents, and 49 percent among registered voters in February. Christie's approval ratings are 14 points lower than in December.

The poll of 803 adults was conducted from March 30 to April 1, after last week's release of an internal review that said Christie was clear of involvement in the bridge controversy.

But the poll found that the report - produced by attorneys hired by Christie - doesn't seem to be the reason for the stabilized ratings. Of the poll respondents, 54 percent had heard of the report, and 30 percent saw it as an unbiased and fair investigation.

By contrast, 52 percent said the report was done to boost Christie's reputation. And only 11 percent said they agreed with the report's findings that no more than two people were responsible for the decision to close the lanes.

"Few New Jerseyans agree with the report's conclusions," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth poll.

As in February, 61 percent of poll respondents said Christie had not been completely honest about the bridge issue. In terms of running for president, 62 percent of respondents said they thought the incident would hurt Christie's chances - up from 51 percent in January.


mhanna@phillynews.com

609-989-8990 @maddiehanna

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