Most New Jersey residents still like Gov. Christie, but don’t trust him

By Mark Lagerkvist | New Jersey Watchdog

A majority of New Jerseyans still approve of Chris Christie. The problem is they don’t trust the governor.

TRUST HIM?: A new poll shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie struggling.

Stemming a decline in his popularity since Bridgegate, Christie’s job rating increased 1 percentage point, according to a new Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll. Fifty-one percent of New Jersey residents approve of his performance in office, compared to 41 percent who disapprove.

“The bleeding has stopped for now,” said poll director Patrick Murray.

But before champagne corks start popping in Trenton, here is some sobering news:

  • 61 percent of New Jersey residents surveyed believe Christie has not been completely honest about Bridgegate while 32 percent say he has been honest.
  • 52 percent say the governor’s internal investigation led by Randy Mastro was done primarily to help Christie’s reputation, compared to 30 percent who see it as a fair and unbiased probe.
  • 54 percent of those polled think Christie is more concerned about his political future than governing the state.
  • 62 percent of those polled say the scandal will hurt Christie’s chances of running for the White House in 2016.

The big question is whether Christie can regain the political mojo put him into the national spotlight and made him a YouTube star.

After the findings of the Mastro investigation were released last week, the governor took his first steps on the comeback trail.

Christie conducted his news press conference in two months, sandwiched between high-profile television interviews on ABC and Fox during which he proclaimed his exoneration. Then he flew to Las Vegas to rub elbows with Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire and Republican mega donor.

Yet Christie is far from home-free, as he faces subpoenas and investigations by the State Legislature and U.S. attorney’s office that could drag on for months to come.

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from March 30-April 1, with a statewide random sample of 803 adult residents, including 601 contacted via live interview on a landline telephone and 202 via live interview on a cell phone. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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