Skip to main content

Guv is Not Prez Material

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Garden State prefers Clinton, Bush, and Walker over Christie


West Long Branch, N.J. – Few New Jerseyans believe Gov. Christie has the right temperament to be president and just 1-in-4 give him a decent shot at winning his party’s nomination, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.  Garden State residents actually prefer to see the Oval Office occupied by Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker rather than their own governor.

In a hypothetical match-up with Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie trails the Democrat 53% to 30% among registered voters in the Garden State.  Christie also trails his fellow Republican contenders as a preferred candidate.  More New Jersey voters believe Jeb Bush (42%) would make a better president than Chris Christie (27%).  Similarly, more Garden State voters believe Scott Walker (34%) would make a better president than Christie (24%).

Just three months ago, Christie was tied with Bush on this question 38% to 38% and he led Walker by a 36% to 28% margin among New Jersey voters.  New Jersey Republicans still prefer Christie (47%) over Bush (34%), which is similar to the 46% to 37% edge Christie held in February.  However, the state’s GOP base has flipped when it comes to Walker.  More New Jersey Republicans now prefer Wisconsin’s governor (44%) over their own (30%), which is a reversal of the 51% to 30% advantage Christie held among his fellow partisans just three months ago.

“The message from New Jersey voters seems to be as simple as ABC – anybody but Christie,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just 29% of Gov. Christie’s Garden State constituents believe he has the right temperament to be president, while 67% say he does not.  Large majorities of Democrats (78%) and independents (64%) – as well as a majority (54%) of Republicans – say Christie does not have the right temperament to lead the country.  Just three months ago, a solid majority (66%) of Republicans believed Christie did have the proper disposition for the presidency.

Only 1-in-4 New Jerseyans give Christie a decent shot at winning the GOP nomination in 2016, including just 7% who think he can win the general election and 18% who say he could win the nomination but not the White House.  Another 31% say that he is a long shot for the GOP nomination but could still pull it off and fully 40% feel there is no way he will win his party’s nomination.  There are no significant partisan differences in the results to this question.

“The state’s presidential preferences may stem from public resentment that governing New Jersey has become an afterthought for Christie,” said Murray.

Fully 7-in-10 New Jerseyans (70%) believe that Gov. Christie is more concerned with his own political future and just 16% say that governing the state is a higher priority.  Those saying Christie is looking out for himself include majorities of Democrats (75%), independents (73%), and even Republicans (54%).  Back in September, 56% of state residents felt that Christie was more focused on his own ambitions while 33% said he was concentrating on New Jersey issues.

Chris Christie has spent a significant amount of time traveling outside of the state in preparation for a possible presidential campaign.  Nearly half (47%) of New Jerseyans believe that their governor actually hurts New Jersey’s image around the country.  Just 17% say he helps the state’s image and 33% say he makes no difference to how New Jersey is seen by other Americans.  Democrats (57% hurts to 9% helps), independents (44% hurts to 19% helps), and Republicans (39% hurts to 26% helps) are all more likely to say the governor hurts rather than helps the state’s image.

“The recent Bridgegate indictments do not shine a positive light on the state and many New Jerseyans put Chris Christie right at the center of these negative perceptions,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 500 New Jersey adults, including 441 registered voters, from May 1 to 3, 2015.  The total sample has a margin of error of ± 4.4 percent and the registered voter sample has a margin of error of ± 4.7 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

 

  1. Do you think Chris Christie is more concerned with governing the state of New Jersey or more concerned about his own political future? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED]

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Governing the state of NJ 16% 16% 17% 10% 15% 31%
His own political future 70% 70% 72% 75% 73% 54%
(VOL) Both equally 8% 8% 7% 5% 9% 10%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 6% 5% 9% 4% 5%
  TREND: May
2015
Feb.
2015
Sept.
2014
June
2014
April
2014
Feb.
2014
Jan.
2014
Sept.
2013
Dec.
2012
Feb.
2012
Governing the state of NJ 16% 25% 33% 32% 35% 35% 42% 44% 61% 39%
His own political future 70% 66% 56% 55% 54% 56% 47% 38% 30% 48%
(VOL) Both equally 8% 5% 5% 7% 7% 5% 6% 12% 5% 6%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 4% 7% 6% 4% 4% 5% 6% 4% 7%
Unwtd N

500

805 802 800 803 803 541 783 816

803

  1. Thinking nationally, does Chris Christie help or hurt New Jersey’s image around the country, or does he make no difference to the state’s image?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Help 17% 17% 12% 9% 19% 26%
Hurt 47% 50% 35% 57% 44% 39%
No difference 33% 30% 48% 29% 35% 33%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 3% 5% 5% 3% 3%
  TREND: May
2015
April
2014
Jan.
2014
July
2012
Help 17% 29% 36% 41%
Hurt 47% 33% 21% 29%
No difference 33% 34% 40% 25%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 3% 3% 5%
Unwtd N

500

803 541 803
  1. Do you think Chris Christie does or does not have the right temperament to be president?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Does 29% 30% 26% 17% 32% 43%
Does not 67% 66% 69% 78% 64% 54%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 4% 5% 4% 4% 4%
TREND: May
2015
Feb.
2015
Feb.
2014
Jan.
2014
Sept.
2013
Does 29% 44% 41% 44% 56%
Does not 67% 52% 54% 49% 34%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 4% 4% 6% 10%
Unwtd N 500 805 803 541 783
  1. How would you rate Christie’s chances in 2016? Would you say (1) that he has a decent shot to become President, (2) that he has a decent shot to win the Republican nomination but not the general election, (3) that he is a long shot to win the Republican nomination but he could still pull it off, or (4) that there is no way he will win the Republican nomination?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Decent shot to become President 7% 6% 10% 5% 8% 8%
Decent shot to win the nomination
but not the general election
18% 17% 18% 16% 19% 16%
Long shot to win the nomination 31% 31% 29% 32% 31% 32%
No way he will win the nomination 40% 41% 31% 46% 35% 39%
(VOL) He will not run 2% 1% 7% 0% 4% 2%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 2% 5% 2% 2% 3%
  1. I know the 2016 presidential election is far away, but if the election for President was today, who would you vote for if the candidates were Chris Christie the Republican and Hillary Clinton the Democrat? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Chris Christie the Republican 29% 30% 28% 7% 30% 68%
Hillary Clinton the Democrat 53% 53% 55% 85% 48% 16%
(VOL) Other candidate 7% 8% 1% 1% 11% 8%
(VOL) Undecided / Not sure 10% 9% 15% 7% 11% 9%

On the Republican side,

[QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED]

  1. Would Chris Christie or Scott Walker make a better president? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Chris Christie 25% 24% 29% 21% 27% 30%
Scott Walker 35% 34% 39% 25% 39% 44%
(VOL) Same/both equally 2% 2% 1% 3% 1% 2%
(VOL) Neither 16% 15% 16% 24% 13% 6%
(VOL) Don’t know 23% 25% 15% 28% 20% 19%
TREND: May
2015
Feb.
2015
Chris Christie 25% 38%
Scott Walker 35% 26%
(VOL) Same/both equally 2% 1%
(VOL) Neither 16% 15%
(VOL) Don’t know 23% 20%
Unwtd N

500

805

  1. Would Chris Christie or Jeb Bush make a better president? [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER

PARTY ID

 

Yes

No Dem Ind

Rep

Chris Christie 29% 27% 38% 19% 29% 47%
Jeb Bush 40% 42% 29% 47% 39% 34%
(VOL) Same/both equally 2% 1% 3% 1% 1% 3%
(VOL) Neither 18% 18% 19% 22% 21% 6%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 11% 10% 11% 11% 9%
TREND: May
2015
Feb.
2015
Chris Christie 29% 40%
Jeb Bush 40% 36%
(VOL) Same/both equally 2% 1%
(VOL) Neither 18% 15%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 8%
Unwtd N

500

805

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from May 1 to 3, 2015 with a statewide random sample of 500 adult residents, including 375 contacted via live interview on a landline telephone and 125 via live interview on a cell phone, in English.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis.  Final sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information.  Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and SSI (RDD sample).  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design).  Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below).  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

34% Dem 50% Male 28% 18-34 63% White
46% Ind 50% Female 39% 35-54 13% Black
20% Rep   33% 55+ 15% Hispanic
           9% Asian/Other

Registered Voter Sample (weighted)

36% Dem 45% Male 21% 18-34 67% White
42% Ind 55% Female 41% 35-54 13% Black
22% Rep   38% 55+ 14% Hispanic
           6% Asian/Other


It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s policy to conduct surveys of all adult residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect them.  Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables