Poll: America not ready for 'Jersey Guy' president

Story highlights

  • A new poll shows Hillary Clinton would defeat Chris Christie in New Jersey
  • A majority of New Jersey voters don't think Christie would be a good president
Hillary Clinton would topple Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey, and Garden State voters don't think America wants a "Jersey Guy" president, according to a new poll released Thursday.
The Quinnipiac University Poll indicates that the former secretary of state would carry New Jersey, 50%-39%, over the state's two-term, incumbent governor if the election were held today.
While Christie won convincingly in his re-election bid as a Republican governor last year, the odds are still stacked against him electorally. The state has a plurality of Democratic voters, and it hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988.
In fact, the same Quinnipiac survey shows Clinton has been ahead of Christie in hypothetical match-ups since February 2013.
Still, a majority of New Jersey voters (53%) says Christie would not make a good president, slightly down from April, when 57% felt the same way.
Interestingly, nearly half (49%) say American voters aren't ready for a "Jersey Guy" president like Christie.
"Shades of Woodrow Wilson. The last Jersey guy who got elected president did not carry the state in his 1916 reelection," Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a news release. "And this poll shows we haven't changed in the last century."
If he does make a White House bid, a decision he's said he'll make "well into 2015," more than six in 10 New Jersey voters think he should resign his governorship, something his aides have said he won't do.
Christie had sky-high approval ratings following the devastation from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, but his numbers have been slipping since the George Washington Bridge scandal unfolded earlier this year and as the state's economic struggles have garnered more attention.
He also saw criticism in New Jersey for his frequent travels out of state this year as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a job that took him around the country campaigning for 2014 Republican candidates.
For the poll, Quinnipiac surveyed 1,340 registered voters in New Jersey over the phone from Dec. 3-8. The sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.