By Lauren Wanko
Gov. Chris Christie’s rock-star status is losing its luster, some political analysts say.
The latest Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll indicates a significant drop in public opinion of Gov. Christie since the Bridgegate story came to light last month.
The governor’s job approval rating dropped 20 points over the past year. Now only 50 percent of New Jersey residents approve of Christie’s job performance. The governor’s approval rating dropped 9 points since the university’s January poll, taken just days after the Bridgegate story hit the media outlets.
“What the numbers right now are showing that over the six weeks the governor has not been able to stop the hemorrhaging on this, more people believe that he is not telling the truth and more people believe that he was involved in the actual decision more than six weeks ago,” said Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray.
Murray says since Bridgegate, New Jerseyans are now looking much more critically at the governor’s actions.
“Bridgegate opened the floodgate as it were, for people to look at other things the governor is doing and say, ‘Wait a second, maybe we’re not gonna take your word that things are going so well, particularly in the areas around Sandy,'” Murray said.
Murray thinks Superstorm Sandy may be a bigger issue for the governor in the long-term then Bridgegate.
“Because that’s the issue upon which his entire persona has been built, and that has disappeared, that whole hero of Sandy image is gone,” Murray said.
“Stronger Than The Storm is a great slogan but the reality is, some of my neighbors are still not in their homes and don’t know what the rules are. They know they’re on a list but they don’t know where they are on the list,” said Sen. Jim Whelan.
This is the first time New Jerseyans think the governor is more concerned about his political future and that could make getting things done in Trenton that much harder, says Murray.
“I think it gives the Democrats a little more leverage in saying hey we can push against the governor because he doesn’t have the public support that he used to have,” said Murray.
“Well keep in mind that this is a governor that had a hard time to begin with. We are supposedly in a blue state, yet he’s a Republican governor that managed to work across the aisle. He did a great job the first four years. I have no doubt he’s gonna do a great job the next four years,” said Sen. Joe Pennacchio.
Christie’s approval ratings have dropped among Independents, Democrats and Republicans.
“Instead of having 9 in 10 support among his fellow Republicans, among his base, which is what you would count on, it’s now down to 3 in 4 support among his base which means there are cracks in his base. One quarter of his base are saying, ‘You know what? I’m not so sure of this guy,’ and that’s a real danger,” Murray said.
Murray insists it all comes done to the fact that Gov. Christie’s losing credibility. Whether he can win it back remains the question.