As Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s staff is interviewed by the FBI to find out whether or not the Christie Administration tried to leverage Sandy Aid to help out a politically connected real estate development firm in Hoboken, new polling indicates the scandals are taking their toll on Governor Chris Christie. According to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Institute Poll Christie is now to pre-Sandy response popularity levels and for the first time in a longtime his favorability rating has dropped below 50%
Following a second week of revelations about “Bridgegate,” Gov. Chris Christie’s job approval and favorability ratings have dropped dramatically among New Jerseyans, with Democrats driving the decline, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Following more than a year of strong bipartisan support, Christie’s favorability rating is now 46 percent favorable to 43 percent unfavorable, down from 65 percent favorable just before his landslide re-election. This drop in support is led by a 26-point decline among Democrats.
All the good will and support created by a seemingly non-political response to Superstorm Sandy has vanished as the public winces at the thought of Christie’s staff jamming up the George Washington Bridge to punish political enemies.
Meanwhile Christie is facing criticism at his other job – leading the Republican Governor’s Association. On a recent trip to Florida where Christie was supposed to assist Governor Rick Scott’s re-election campaign the New Jersey Governor was kept out of sight and away from any photo opportunities with Scott. Apparently Scott did not want to be publicly seen with the man that was supposed to be helping him get re-elected.
The situation led one former candidate who received help from Governor Christie in his election effort, former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinnelli, to call for Christie to step down as head of the RGA.
“I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role,” Cuccinelli said on CNN’s “Crossfire.” “He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman. And that doesn’t mean any of the charges, political or otherwise, are substantive or not. It doesn’t matter. Perception is reality.”
Stepping down from his position at the RGA would effectively end Chris Christie’s political career. It would be seen, correctly, as a loss of confidence in his leadership by the Republican Party writ large and the party’s funding base.
Though if the FBI finds evidence to confirm Mayor Zimmer’s account of her conversation with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno the political career of Chris Christie might already be doomed.