Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christie approval hits 67%

A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows Chris Christie getting a fairly predictable but very solid bounce from his management of Hurricane Sandy.

Over 90% in New Jersey approve of his handling of the storm's aftermath, and 67% of all registered voters approve of his general performance as governor.

Meanwhile, his favorability ratings are pretty stunning. He's at 89% with Republicans, 70% with independents, and 49% with Democrats.

Of course, a bounce is a bounce, but those fade.

The big question surrounding all of this is whether Christie will run for a second term.

A bounce like this gives him some positive momentum heading into a potential reelection bid, but he faces two thorny issues.

a. If he loses reelection, it would -- almost by definition -- mean he'd been bloodied up in the race. A loss, in and of itself, could hurt his 2016 prospects, but the blood leading to the loss could be even worse.

b. If he runs and wins, there's no guarantee he'll have gaudy numbers come 2016. Second terms are cauldrons for scandals, for mischievous reporters, for fatigued voters. There's a reason why Virginia governors are always abnormally popular. They don't hang around too long.

So Christie might want to go out on top and take a pass on a reelection bid if he's priming himself for 2016.