New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) likely presidential campaign has a big problem: Republicans don’t really like him.
In a new Public Policy Polling survey published Tuesday, Christie sports a terrible 29% favourable rating from voters who said they backed Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
Indeed, Christie’s 20% favourable rating among supporters of President Barack Obama isn’t even that much worse than his approval among Republicans. And a majority of both Democratic and Republican respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of him.
But that’s not his only problem. Christie’s other huge concern is that 82% of voters polled said they have formed an opinion about him one way or the other. This high name recognition coupled with his low approval rating means he’ll have to convince a sizable portion of his detractors to change their minds instead of simply introducing himself to them. Every other GOP presidential hopeful apparently had lower name recognition with more respondents saying they were “not sure” about whether they had a favourable impression of the contender.
Here’s PPP’s Christie numbers:
As a result, Christie also performed worse against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton than all of his potential GOP rivals in the poll. Even relative unknowns like retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson did better against Clinton than Christie, who snagged just 37% of the vote in the matchup.
On the other hand, Christie’s supporters are optimistic he can win over voters. In light of his poor poll numbers, the main rationale for his potential campaign seems to be the idea he does better on the stump than his rivals. Christie’s backers surmise his gift for retail politics could help him win over his critics long before any voters cast their ballots early next year.
“Let’s not forget that at the end of the day this is about candidates and their message. Christie is a superior communicator who operates well in the face of the media circus,” a close Christie ally previously told Business Insider. “Voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are going to kick the tires and make a decision about who can win and best lead the country. Christie has the raw talent and experience and is as well-positioned as anyone.”
Here’s some of PPP’s other numbers for Christie:
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