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At All-Time Low in Polls, Trust in Christie Steadily Declines

Eagleton Institute Poll Shows State Residents May Be Souring on Governor
Gov. Christie
Gov. Christie's approval rating hit a record low of 42%, according to the polling project at Rutgers' Eagleton Institute. Charlie Kratovil

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—A poll conducted by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers showed that trust in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been an a steady decline since his re-election in November 2013. 

The release comes on the heels of a similar poll released by Eagleton earlier this week, showing the Governor has a 42% approval rating, closely trailing his 45% disapproval rating.

"This is the lowest favorability rating we have ever recorded for Christie," said David Redlawsk, Director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.

In the new poll, 842 participants, of which 734 of which were registered voters, were asked to rank the Governor based on three traits: trustworthiness, effectiveness, and strong leader. 

Regarding trustworthiness, 22% of respondents said that attribute best-described the Governor, compared to a majority 40% that felt the trait did not apply to him.

The study highlights almost inverse statistics on the governor from the election in November 2013.  At that time, 43% of respondents polled felt the word described him as very well, and just 20% felt the word did not apply at all. 

To make matters worse for the Republican Governor, the poll shows Christie losing support from his historically largest support group: Republican men.

Just one year ago, the Eagleton Institute released numbers which showing 66% of male Republicans polled felt that the term "trustworthy" described him very well.

That number was down to 48% in yesterday's poll. 

Redlawsk cited the Bridgegate scandal as a contributing factor.  The Governor also faced sharp criticism for his administration's steering $4.8 million in federal disaster relief funds to build a luxury apartment building in New Brunswick

The second trait, "strong leader" only struck 47% of the respondents as a term that accurately described the governor, with this number down 19 points from October 2013. 

Finally, the third term, "effectiveness", was one that 55% of the participants felt accurately described Christie. That number was done 22% from the October 2013.  

The Eagleton study also produced a list of fourteen traits, seven of them positive and seven of them negative, which participants were then asked to rank based on how accurately they described the governor.

Every single positive trait had seen itself traveling a downwards trend over the past year, while negative traits had seen a rise in the rate of participants who felt the words accurately described Governor Christie. 

The most notable words were "stubborn," "arrogant," and "self-centered."