Christie Gets High Marks For Leadership After Sandy

Gov. Chris Christie greets President Barack Obama before an aerial tour of the damage in New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy at Atlantic City Airport in Atlantic City on Wednesday (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie greets President Barack Obama before they took an aerial tour of the damage in New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 31. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

NEW BRUNSWICK–New Jersey residents have responded very positively to Gov. Chris Christie’s leadership following Superstorm Sandy, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. More than 90 percent praise the governor for his handling of the storm: 69 percent say Christie handled the crisis “very well” and another 23 percent say he handled it “somewhat well.”

Eighty-one percent of New Jerseyans believe Christie and President Barack Obama showed “needed cooperation and bipartisanship,” compared to only 12 percent who think the Republican governor “went too far in his praise” of the Democratic president.

The governor’s overall favorability rating now stands at 65 percent with all residents and 67 percent among registered voters, up more than 15 points from before the storm. Sixty-one percent of respondents say they support Christie more strongly due to his handling of the storm.

“Gov. Christie has emerged as a clear leader in this crisis, with New Jerseyans applauding his efforts, and in particular his literal and figurative embrace of President Obama in a time of need,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Despite a recent New York Times story that some national GOP leaders are condemning the governor for his show of bipartisanship, New Jerseyans of all stripes say it was exactly the right thing to do.”

New Jersey residents also commend President Obama, with 84 percent of residents saying Obama did “somewhat” or “very well” during the crisis. But most say this had no effect on how they voted: more than three-quarters of voters say the president’s response made no difference, while 18 percent say his assistance with Sandy made them more likely to vote for him.
Results are from a poll of 1,228 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Nov 14-17. The sample has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. Within this sample is a subsample of 1,108 registered voters; this subsample has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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