Results issued today from the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll show that 54 percent said Christie should resign as governor. But the equivalent of roughly 1-in-10 people have a different viewpoint when told that Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation that would force him to resign, with 52 percent of that group of voters saying Christie should be allowed to continue to serve.
“New Jerseyans want the governor to resign now that he is officially in the 2016 primary race — but they want him to do it on his own terms,” said Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. “While those here at home show little love for Christie or his presidential run, they are nevertheless against his Democratic opposition ousting him from office.”
— Show yourself out, please. The 54 percent of people who say Christie should resign outpaced the 41 percent who said he should continue to serve. But they prefer a voluntary departure: 45 percent say he should be forced to resign by state law, compared with 52 percent he should be allowed to stay on.
— Partisan differences in response to Dems’ quit-now legislation. Told about the Democratic bill requiring any New Jersey governor to resign if he or she runs for governor, the share of respondents favoring Christie’s departure drops by 13 points among Republicans, 7 points among Democrats and 6 points among independents.
— As Christie travels more, his travels worry voters more. Fifty-three percent of voters said Christie’s frequent campaign trips hurt his ability to be an effective governor, the first time it was a clear majority. Thirty-nine percent say the travel schedule doesn’t have an effect. Concerns have steadily grown in the five polls in which Eagleton asked the question.
— Half say Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno ready for a promotion. While just 12 percent say Guadagno is very prepared to take over as governor, if it were necessary, 38 percent say she is somewhat prepared. Thirty-five percent say they don’t know, while 15 percent say she’s not ready: 8 percent who say she’s not very prepared and 7 percent who say she’s not prepared at all.
— Seven-in-10 registered voters still don’t have opinions of Guadagno. Fifteen percent said they have a favorable impression of the lieutenant governor, a prospective candidate for governor in 2017. Fourteen percent have an unfavorable impression. Seventy-one percent had no opinion. Even among Republicans, two-thirds had no opinion, with 23 percent viewing her favorably and 9 percent unfavorably.
The Eagleton-Rutgers Poll was conducted from July 25 to Aug. 1. The sample included 757 registered voters. The adjusted margin of error for the weighted subsample of registered voters was 4 percentage points.
Michael Symons: (609) 984-4336; firstname.lastname@example.org
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