Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Chris Christie Miracle

Or, How A Potential Presidential Contender Could Not Get Reelected In His Own State.

From this article on New Jersey Newsroom,

If Republican Chris Christie was seeking re-election as governor against someone else on Tuesday, someone else would win, according to a newly-released Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

More New Jersey registered voters say their opinion of Christie has “gotten worse” since he took office in January 2010, than those who say they feel better.

Thirty-eight percent say they have a worse opinion now of the governor while 28 percent say their opinion has improved.

And looking toward the 2013 gubernatorial election, only 42 percent of registered voters would vote for Christie if the election were held on Tuesday, while 49 percent would prefer someone else.

For someone like me who lives in New Jersey, these have certainly been unsettled times. Chris Christie was elected with just 48% of the popular vote, yet has tried to implement 100% of his ultra-conservative agenda. Oddly, the Democratic controlled Legislature gave him his biggest victory in June, voting to limit union collective bargaining rights and making state employees pay more for their pensions and benefits.

But poll after poll shows that Christie is not nearly as popular in New Jersey as he is in the rest of the country, at least with Republicans. In a different article on the same site last week comes these findings:

As out-of-state Republicans urge Gov. Chris Christie to seek the party’s presidential nomination next year, a majority of New Jerseyans questioned in a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll made public on Friday say they would not vote to re-elect him as governor in 2013.

Forty-nine percent said they would support another candidate while 42 percent said they would vote for Christie.

What's going on here? Well, just in case you think it's just Christie, it's not. New Jerseyans seem to be in a foul mood when it comes to President Obama as well.

Residents have become noticeably less positive about Obama. His favorable rating has dropped to 44 percent, down 11 points from an April Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, while another 44 percent view him unfavorably, up 12 points.

I expect Obama to win New Jersey next year, especially if Perry or Bachmann is the Republican nominee. As for Chris Christie, I don't believe that he will run for president in 2012, but he still has enough time to repair his reputation in New Jersey in time for 2013.

His most immediate concern is this year's election for the entire New Jersey Legislature, as both houses are currently controlled by the Democrats. Christie has been arguing for months that Republicans would do a better job controlling costs and running the state, but the public is unconvinced, as the article New Jerseyans favor divided government and Democratic State Legislature shows.

Chris Christie has shown himself to be an effective politician and he's united the state Republican lawmakers into a solid voting bloc on almost every bill. New Jersey is a moderate state, though, and Christie does need to be careful about championing the far-right's agenda if he wants to have a future here. His other option is to move to a state where he seems to more popular, but I think his personal style would wear thin no matter where he goes.


  1. There used to be the phenomenon: I hate congress, but love my representative. I think we are now seeing a new manifestation: I hate congress, and I'm not too crazy about my representative. The animus people hold towards all levels of government has grown exponentially. It's commensurate with their frustration of of politicians' unwillingness or inability to solve the economic and social problems facing us on the local and national levels.

    Love what you're writing. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks David. I've never seen a more toxic environment, not even in the depths of the Nixon Administration. Both parties are at their extremes.

    Thanks for reading and posting.