Christie’s approval ratings soar as reelection campaign begins

NEW YORK -- First he appeared with President Obama, a Democrat, after Hurricane Sandy. Then he and his fleece jacket showed up on “Saturday Night Live,” mocking mayors who ignored his evacuation orders.

Now New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is appreciating the highest approval ratings of any governor from the Garden State, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. It’s a boon for the governor, who announced his intent Monday to run for reelection next year and who has often been mentioned in the pool of prospective GOP presidential nominees in 2016.


Christie did an “excellent” or “good” job responding to Hurricane Sandy, 95% of voters said in the poll, giving him an approval rating of 72%. His previous high, 59%, was reached in April, after he battled with the state Legislature in an attempt to control spending and introduce budget cuts.

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“The Gov gets sky-high marks from the cities, the Shore, from every corner of the state,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Christie spoke about the storm when announcing his bid for reelection, saying the public should know that he hopes to be in the job “for the long haul.”

“The person who has helped to lead them through the initial crisis wants to be here to lead them through the rebuilding and restoration of our state, and it would be wrong for me to leave now,” he said at a news conference in Middletown, N.J. “I don’t want to leave now. We have a job to do.”

Christie gave a keynote speech during the Republican National Convention, pledging to talk about the “tough issues” facing the nation, though some critics complained he talked about himself too much during the speech and not enough about Romney.

It’s unclear who Christie’s opponent will be. Speculation centers around Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who received his own boost from Hurricane Sandy, distributing Hot Pockets to residents and sending individual tweets to people in Newark. Booker spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He could also be eyeing the New Jersey Senate seat that would be left vacant in 2014 if Frank Lautenberg, who will be 90, retires.

Booker has said he will decide whether to run by mid-December.

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