By John Celock
Three years after winning reelection by 22 points, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has seen his approval rating hit record lows in two new polls released Tuesday.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released Tuesday shows Christie with a 19 percent approval rating while a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind Poll has Christie at an 18 approval rating. Politico reported that former Gov. Brendan Byrne (D) hit the lowest approval rating for a Garden State governor, at 17 percent after signing legislation to create a state income tax.
The Quinnipiac poll shows that 77 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Christie’s job performance as he enters his last year in office. The poll also indicates that 71 percent of those surveyed believe that Christie knew about the Bridgegate plan. In November, two former members of the Christie administration, including his former deputy chief of staff, were convicted of closing lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s reelection.
The poll results come as Christie, who was once urged by a score of national Republican leaders including former First Lady Nancy Reagan to run for president, has seen his national political star crash. Christie, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination this year, was removed by President-elect Donald Trump as chairman of his transition team days after the November election. Christie, who saw several close aides removed from transition leadership posts, was demoted by Trump to be one of several vice chairs of the transition team.
Christie, who is term-limited, has also seen his chances for a position in the Trump administration diminish since his removal from the transition chairmanship. Recent reports indicate that Christie is lobbying Trump for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.
While unpopular at home, New Jersey residents are indicating that they want Christie to leave Trenton for the Trump administration. Sixty nine percent of those polled by Quinnipiac said they do not want Trump to offer Christie a job. If Christie were to leave for a job with Trump, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) would take over the remaining year left in his term.
The Quinnipiac poll had other bad news for Christie with 71 percent of those surveyed saying the governor is not honest, 67 percent saying that Christie did not care about New Jersey residents’ needs and problems and 51 percent saying he did not have strong leadership qualities.