New Jerseyans on Christie's love of Dallas Cowboys? Who cares

Story highlights

  • A new poll shows that 83% of New Jersey football fans don't care about Gov. Chris Christie's NFL loyalty
  • Christie's love for the Cowboys saw renewed attention this month when owner Jerry Jones treated him to a free game

WASHINGTON (CNN)An overwhelming majority of football fans in New Jersey say Gov. Chris Christie's affection for the Dallas Cowboys makes no difference in their opinion of him.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 83% say the Republican's loyalty to the Cowboys doesn't affect their view of Christie, while 13% say they think less of him and three percent say it makes them view him in a more favorable light.
    The governor's NFL preference was back in the national spotlight after Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones paid for Christie to attend the Cowboys vs. Lions game in Dallas earlier this month, and the two were seen celebrating in the owners box at the end of the game.
    "Most New Jerseyans don't much care," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll in a release. "Besides, most New Jerseyans are New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles fans. The Cowboys are down in the single digits - with the Jets."
    It's been a well-documented fact in New Jersey that Christie supports Dallas. He first disclosed his fandom back in 2010, his first year in office, to a local sports writer, and it became national news in 2013 after he was jeered by a bunch of elementary students for liking the Cowboys.
    Given Christie's White House aspirations and higher profile, however, Democrats were active this month in questioning Christie's friendship with Jones, especially in light of a Port Authority contract that was awarded to a company owned by Jones in early 2013.
    Christie has fiercely denied any wrongdoing or inappropriate dealings with Jones, arguing that they didn't become friends until after the contract.
    Seven in 10 New Jerseyans say they think the controversy over Christie's free Cowboys game is politically motivated, according to the poll, while 11% say it's a serious issue.
    And in the land of the Giants and Eagles, New Jersey is home to more Cowboys fans than you might think, at 8% of the state's football fans. Thirty-six percent support the Giants and 17% back the Eagles.
    The poll was conducted January 15-19 with 1,406 New Jersey adults by telephone, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.