New Jersey Governor Christie's approval rating falls to lowest yet

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

8 PHOTOS
Chris Christie weight loss
See Gallery
New Jersey Governor Christie's approval rating falls to lowest yet
BELMAR, NJ - MARCH 25: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laughs during a Town Hall Meeting with families affected by Superstorm Sandy at Belmar Borough Municipal Building on March 25, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Christie talked about some of the programs the state is running for homeowners, as well as efforts to build and restore dunes along the coast this spring,The governor was not asked about the George Washington Bridge lane-closure (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - MARCH 25: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a Town Hall Meeting with families affected by Superstorm Sandy at Belmar Borough Municipal Building on March 25, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Christie talked about some of the programs the state is running for homeowners, as well as efforts to build and restore dunes along the coast this spring,The governor was not asked about the George Washington Bridge lane-closure (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
BELMAR, NJ - MARCH 25: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a Town Hall Meeting with families affected by Superstorm Sandy at Belmar Borough Municipal Building on March 25, 2014 in Belmar, New Jersey. Christie talked about some of the programs the state is running for homeowners, as well as efforts to build and restore dunes along the coast this spring,The governor was not asked about the George Washington Bridge lane-closure (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
KEANSBURG, NJ - FEBRUARY 04: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during a press conference with families affected by Superstorm Sandy at a lounge in the New Point Comfort Fire Company on February 4, 2014 in Keansburg, New Jersey. Christie, whose governorship is being threatened by a scandal is facing federal investigation over use of Sandy funds. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
EWING, NJ - OCTOBER 30: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie updates members of the media on damage and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Sandy from the emergency operations center at State Police Headquarters on October 30, 2012 in Ewing, New Jersey. High winds and a massive storm surge caused major destruction to the Jersey Shore and throughout the Garden State. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 29: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie laughs while speaking during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on March 29, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat Christie look on during the regional semifinal of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament between the Connecticut Huskies and the Iowa State Cyclones at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie continues to lose favor at home, with a poll on Monday showing his lowest approval rating as governor as he attempts to woo would-be voters in other U.S. states for a possible 2016 Republican presidential campaign.

New Jersey voters disapprove of the job Christie is doing by 56 percent to 38 percent, his lowest-ever approval rating, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.

Voters gave him the lowest marks for his handling of the state budget, education, the economy and jobs. The results come just days after the state of New Jersey's credit rating was downgraded for a ninth time since Christie took office in January 2010.

Moody's Investors Service cut New Jersey to A2 with a negative outlook late on Thursday, citing "the lack of improvement in the state's weak financial position and large structural imbalance," stemming mostly from huge shortfalls in its public pension contributions.

Chris Christie Really Hasn't Evolved As A GOP Candidate

New Jersey is the second-lowest-rated U.S. state, behind only Illinois.

The state government had shortchanged the public employees' retirement system long before Christie, and under bipartisan reforms in 2011, he began ramping up funding. But last year, he slashed the Garden State's pension contributions because of a large, unexpected drop in tax revenues.

Labor unions sued over the issue and won in state court, but the Christie administration has appealed. Arguments are set for May 6 in New Jersey Supreme Court, which could force the state to add back the $1.6 billion of payments Christie cut and put further pressure on a strained budget.

Meanwhile, the state's job growth since the recession has lagged its neighbors and the country as a whole, recovering only 63 percent of the jobs it lost.

That is compared to 133 percent job recovery for the United States and 244 percent in neighboring New York state, according to the think-tank New Jersey Policy Perspective.

The state's sluggish economic recovery would be fodder for opponents if Christie announces a run for the White House in a crowded Republican field.

Christie made a brief political circuit last week in New Hampshire, giving him a shot at recapturing the spotlight after being overshadowed by other presidential hopefuls like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

Quinnipiac's poll of 1,428 voters was conducted by phone from April 9-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ in New York, editing by G Crosse)


Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced 19 of the Creepiest, Most Inexplicable Things People Ever Experienced
This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge This Elephant Was Separated From Her Mother As A Baby - But She's About To Get A Huge
Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked Man Built This Contraption In His Backyard - And Even He Was Surprised How Well It Worked