By John Celock
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is not finding much love back home as he tries to get his presidential bid off the ground, with a new poll showing New Jersey residents prefer other candidates.
A Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday showed that Christie trails Democrat Hillary Clinton and fellow Republicans Jeb Bush and Scott Walker among New Jersey voters. The poll also shows that New Jersey residents do not think that the famously combative Christie has the temperament to be president and that his national travel has hurt the state. The poll comes days after a poll came out indicating that Christie’s approval rating had dropped in New Jersey.
The poll shows that Christie trails Clinton 50 percent to 30 percent in a hypothetical general election match-up in the Garden State. The poll also shows that Bush, a former Florida governor, is believed to be a better president than Christie amongst registered voters in New Jersey. Forty two percent sided with Bush while 27 percent sided with Christie. Christie tied Bush in a similar poll three months ago at 38 percent each.
The poll also indicated that 34 percent believe that Walker, the Wisconsin governor, would make a better president than Christie, who received 24 percent in the question. In the previous poll, Christie led Walker in New Jersey 36 percent to 28 percent.
The questions were asked of all registered voters in the Garden State. Amongst New Jersey Republicans, Christie continues to lead Bush 47 percent to 34 percent, but 44 percent of Republicans surveyed prefer Walker while 30 percent prefer Christie.
The poll also showed that only 29 percent of New Jersey residents believe Christie had the right temperament to be president while 67 percent said he does not. Forty seven percent of those surveyed believed that Christie’s frequent national travel since starting his second term last year has hurt the state’s image nationally. Christie traveled the country for much of 2014 in his role as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. During his first term, he was a regular speaker at Republican events across the country, which Democrats frequently attacked during his 2013 reelection campaign.
The poll comes as Christie continues to try to launch his presidential campaign amid the backdrop of the ongoing investigation into the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 in retaliation for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee’s decision not to endorse Christie’s reelection. Earlier this week, two former Christie allies – Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly – were charged in the Bridgegate case following the guilty plea last week of former Port Authority official David Wildstein, who was named to his post by Christie. Baroni, the former Port Authority deputy executive director, and Kelly, a former gubernatorial deputy chief of staff, have pled not guilty in the case.
Christie has said that he was not aware of the lane closures when they occurred. A poll earlier this week though showed that most New Jerseyeans believe that Christie knows more about the lane closures than he has indicated.