After two weeks of controversy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s approval rating has dropped significantly, a new poll says.
A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Wednesday says Christie’s favorability rating stands at 46 percent – compared to 43 percent who view him unfavorably -- down from a 65 percent favorable before the November election.
The drop is led by a 26-point decline among Democrats, the poll says.
Christie’s job approval rating also is sliding, with 53 percent approving of how he handles the job. That’s down 15 percentage points since November and well below the 66-to-73 percent approval rating he carried in the year since Superstorm Sandy, the poll says.
When asked to grade the governor, 43 percent gave Christie an “A’’ or “B’’ letter grade, down 16 points, and 29 percent gave him a “D’’ or “F,’’ compared to 18 percent two months ago, the poll says.
"Other polls taken immediately after the bridge scandal broke showed relatively small effects," noted David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University."But with another week of revelations, damage appears to have been done. The good will the Governor built up among Democrats with his handling of the Sandy aftermath is gone, at least for now."
While Democrats are abandoning Christie, most Republicans and any Independents continue to stand by the governor, according to the poll.
Just 19 percent of Democrats view Christie favorably, down from 45 percent two months ago. Democrats’ view of Christie’s job performance is at 29 percent, down from 51 percent in November.
Republicans are still bullish on Christie, with 78 percent having a favorable opinion and 83 percent approving of the job he’s doing.
But among those who travel the George Washington Bridge at least once a week, Christie’s ratings are lower, with 37 percent favorable. Those who use the bridge less often are more positive, with 45 percent favorable. Those who never use the bridge are 51 percent favorable on Christie.
The poll results were collected Jan. 14-19 from telephone surveys of 826 New Jersey adults, with a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points, the poll says.