Christie as Trump's vice president? New Jersey voters say, 'no, thanks'

New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie may have the qualifications for vice president, but a recent poll says his own constituents don't want him on the Republican ticket. 

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/File
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie reacts to a question during a news conference after announcing the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had resigned, a day after an internal investigation cleared Mr. Christie in the "Bridgegate" scandal, during a news conference in Trenton, N.J., on March 28, 2014.

New Jersey voters don't want to see Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Donald Trump's presidential ballot.

A new Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday says 72 percent of New Jersey voters would disapprove of a Trump-Christie ticket in November.

"It's a drastic decline in popularity for a governor who once looked like a strong choice for president," Maurice Carroll, assistant director for Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a press release. "Christie-for-President was a flop, and, as far as the local folks are concerned, so is Christie-for-Vice President. Forget local pride, New Jersey voters say overwhelmingly; they don’t want their Gov on a Trump ticket." 

At 64 percent, New Jersey voters disapprove of Governor Christie 2 to 1: the lowest rating ever for the governor.

According to the survey, disapproval ratings are pretty similar across the board. Regardless of gender, age, or college education, 60 to 68 percent of New Jersey voters disapprove of Christie. And while Republicans have a more positive view with only 34 percent disapproving, this is counteracted by stronger disapproval ratings among Democrats and black voters, with 86 percent of both groups telling pollsters they disapprove of Christie.

“Gov. Christopher Christie is in Trenton until the end of 2017, if he wants to be, holding what is constitutionally one of the strongest governor's seats in the nation," adds Mr. Carroll. "But New Jersey voters give Christie abysmal job-approval numbers. Even a third of his fellow Republicans disapprove."

And as a potential vice presidential nominee, New Jersey voters also disapprove of Christie. When asked if Donald Trump should pick Chris Christie as his running mate, 64 percent of the state's Republicans and 75 percent of Democrats answered: No.

And a Monmouth University Poll earlier this month found similar results. Only 15 percent of the New Jersey Republicans surveyed said Christie would help Trump's presidential bid, while 37 percent said Christie would have no impact on Trump's chances and 41 percent said the New Jersey governor would actively hurt Trump in the general election. 

And it's not a question of New Jersey voters wanting to keep their governor away from an ill-fated candidate: 79 percent of voters said they will vote for Trump in November.

"It's hard to imagine any running mate who could kill the Trump buzz, but the voters who know Chris Christie best think he might be that guy," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, tells NJ Advance Media.

Trump has said he doesn't plan to announce his running mate until the Republican National Convention in July, but that has not stopped the rumors from circulating.

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson tells The Washington Post that Trump has already narrowed down the possibilities to a shortlist of potential candidates. Mr. Carson says his own name is on this list, as well as former presidential candidates Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas, Christie, and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. 

Some sources say Christie is a viable candidate. Not only was Christie the first rival primary candidate to endorse Trump, but the presumed Republican nominee has also appointed Christie to lead his White House transition team. 

"The New Jersey governor, also known for his brash, straight-talking style, would help Trump preserve his outsider image while also bringing the Washington relationship and political experience Trump is looking for," suggests CNN's Jeremy Diamond. "Beyond the connections he brings from his time as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Christie played up his national security experience from dealing with terrorism cases as a US attorney during his 2016 bid."

The Quinnipiac poll release comes a day before Trump and Christie are expected to headline two separate fundraisers together, one with individual tickets costing $25,000 and the other with tickets costing $200. The revenue from the fundraisers will help to pay back the GOP's $500,000 in legal fees incurred from the Governor's Bridgegate scandal and Christie's $250,000 presidential campaign debt.

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