During this week when we are all taking another long look at the viability of various “GOP Establishment” candidates for president, it’s worth noting that Chris Christie’s in a sustained slump when it comes to his constituents. A new survey of New Jersey from Fairleigh Dickenson University shows Christie’s approval/disapproval ratio dropping to a dismal 39/47. But worse yet, his approval rating has been stuck below 50% from just about exactly the day the Bridgegate scandal broke.
Now you could say Christie’s real audience is now the Republicans of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, not the general electorate of New Jersey, so who cares if he’s generally popular? But keep in mind that his presumed electability is an enormous part of his appeal, and the chief reason primary voters might overlook his ideological heresies and/or prefer him to Jeb or Mitt or someone else. Once it sinks in that he’s largely lost his trans-partisan appeal, he’s just another RINO who has to bully constituents to make himself lovable among “the base.”