TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some Republican New Jersey lawmakers believe that Gov. Chris Christie should consider resigning if he continues to leave the state to campaign for Donald Trump.
This comes as Christie’s recent endorsement of the Republican presidential candidate may have hurt him more than helped him, according to a new poll.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday that Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli said that Christie must choose between campaigning or governing. Two other Republican state lawmakers also said Christie should consider resigning if he continues to campaign for Trump.
In a survey done by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, Christie’s approval dropped to only 18 percent among independent New Jersey voters after the Trump endorsement — down from 34 percent before the announcement was made.
Overall, Christie held a 33 percent approval among respondents before the Trump endorsement, which fell to roughly 27 percent after the announcement, according to the poll.
“In the two days leading up to the Trump endorsement, he was polling about 33 percent in his job approval. After the Trump endorsement, that number went to 27 percent,” Krista Jenkins, of the PublicMind poll, told CBS2’s Tony Aiello. “The Trump endorsement certainly didn’t move the needle in the opposite direction. It did appear to hurt him a bit.”
New Jersey voters also had some harsh words to describe Christie, with adjectives like “bully,” and “arrogant” reported to top the list of words to describe the governor, the survey shows.
On March 1, six local New Jersey media outlets used the word “arrogant” to describe Christie in a joint editorial urging the governor to resign following his endorsement of Trump:
“We’re fed up with Gov. Chris Christie’s arrogance. We’re fed up with his opportunism. We’re fed up with his hypocrisy. We’re fed up with his sarcasm. We’re fed up with his long neglect of the state to pursue his own selfish agenda. We’re disgusted with his endorsement of Donald Trump after he spent months on the campaign trail trashing him, calling him unqualified by temperament and experience to be president,” the op-ed reads.
Christie threw his support behind Trump shortly after suspending his own campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in February.
But before he dropped out, Christie repeatedly described Trump as insufficiently qualified and temperamentally unsuited to be president.
“Chris Christie thinks that voters and observers of politics obviously have amnesia. They don’t. It was just recently that Christie was attacking Trump in the most vicious terms and now he’s standing next to him,” New York City political consultant Hank Sheinkopf told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “Why? Well people think cynically that Christie wants a job, like attorney general.”
Some Chatham residents were split about Christie stumping for Trump.
“I agree, he has spent too much time out of state,” Nathan Brown told CBS2. “And we all have our thoughts about Donald Trump.”
“I support Donald Trump and I think there’s a lot more support than people realize,” John Sciacchatano told CBS2.
Of Christie’s jumping on the Trump bandwagon, Baruch College’s Doug Musio said it “signals that Christie is concerned about one thing and that’s Chris Christie.”
Meanwhile, the poll also found that New Jersey voters had a more mixed review of President Barack Obama, with adjectives like “good,” weak,” “OK,” “fair,” and “disappointing,” among the more commonly-used words to describe the president.
According to the poll, 50 percent of New Jersey voters expressed approval of the president, with 39 percent expressing disapproval.
However, around 57 percent of those voters also expressed concerns over the future of the country, with 37 percent expressing confidence in America’s future, the poll shows.
CBS2 reached out to the governor for comment several times, but his staff declined comment.