- Nearly half in New Jersey think it's "kind of cool" that Christie loves Springsteen
- That's according to a new poll in honor of Springsteen's 65th birthday
- Christie has been to 132 Springsteen concerts and holds out hope the two will be friends
- Springsteen, a liberal, has never expressed the same kind of love toward Christie
It's a classic tale: Governor loves rock icon. Rock icon doesn't return said love. Governor doesn't care. Governor will always love rock icon.
OK, maybe it's not that classic, but that's the story between Chris Christie and his fellow New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen.
A new poll indicates that nearly half (48%) of New Jersey residents think it's "kind of cool" that their governor is a superfan of The Boss.
That's more than twice the number (19%) who say his infatuation is "kind of embarrassing," according to the Monmouth University survey, which was conducted in honor of Springsteen's 65th birthday on Tuesday.
Another 33% say it's neither cool nor embarrassing, or they simply don't have an opinion.
Breaking the numbers down by political parties, roughly half of Republicans, Democrats and independents respect Christie's image as a Springsteen fanatic.
"Democrats and Republicans may have very different views of the governor's job performance, but one area where Christie has fostered unabashed bipartisan support is his idolization of Bruce Springsteen," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a release about the poll.
It's no surprise that Jersey has Springsteen pride. The musician was born in the Garden State, (USA), and his New Jersey roots have inspired many of the working-class themes found in his music.
Christie, 52, said in June that he has been to 132 Springsteen concerts. Yes, you read that right. 1-3-2.
His public statements on his Springsteen adoration have spanned the emotional spectrum, from defensive to idealistic.
The governor unleashed on one woman last month who said Springsteen, a liberal, had called on the Republican governor to stop playing his music at events. "You're wrong," he flatly told her at a town hall meeting, as they continued to argue.
While Springsteen and Christie have met a couple of times and Springsteen praised Christie for his leadership after Superstorm Sandy, Springsteen has done little else to show high regard for the governor.
Not long after the George Washington Bridge scandal made national headlines in January, Springsteen took part in a parody with late night TV host Jimmy Fallon, mocking the governor in a song to the tune of "Born to Run."
One New Jersey resident asked Christie to just give it up and destroy his Springsteen CDs. "He is not a friend of yours, governor," the man said at a town hall in February.
Christie acknowledged the man may be right but said it's hard for him to let go of the musician he's long adored.
"Hey listen, I don't do drugs, I don't drink. This is it for me, OK? That's all I've got," he said.
The governor added he's still holding out hope that one day the two will become friends.
"I live in hope of that because I think when we get attached to certain people as youngsters, which I did, it is hard to kind of let that go," he said. "So, you are probably giving me wise and sage counsel that I should accept, but my heart keeps telling me not to."
The Monmouth poll was conducted by telephone with 802 New Jersey adults from September 17-21. The sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.