By ShiWanda Sheard-Perry
West Helena, Ark.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been down in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. A recent poll conducted by Monmouth University showed he only had the support of 4.4 percent of Republican voters, trailing fellow GOP candidates Donald Trump (26%), Jeb Bush (12.2%), Scott Walker (11.1%), Ted Cruz (5.8%), Mike Huckabee (5.7%) and Ben Carson (4.6%).
Even in his home state, he doesn’t seem to have a firm group of supporters. After conducting four interviews with New Jersey residents for the Princeton Summer Journal, Christie seemed to be hated.
Recently, the Bridgegate scandal has surfaced into the spotlight once again. Several state officials with ties to Christie have been charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to create traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge in order to exact political retribution against a local Democratic mayor. Christie has repeatedly denied knowledge of those officials’ activities.
“Chris Christie seems like a jerk,” said Peter Bolgert, a resident of Princeton, N.J. “I would never vote for Christie. He doesn’t seem trustworthy. He markets himself as a fiscally responsible guy when really he isn’t.”
Asked what he has done as a governor, Bolgert said, “Christie had a big deal with the public union to increase contributions and revenue, and he didn’t even come through with his part of the deal.”
Mckenna Samson had a few thoughts on Christie as well.
“The way he’s dealing with education is unacceptable,” she said. “More could be done, especially for special [needs] kids.” She said she hopes he will focus on addressing police brutality and has a strategy for peaceful diplomacy. She also hopes he looks toward developing a less racist and homophobic country.
Mayra Jacome, however, felt differently about Christie. “He is a nice person and he has done a lot of things for New Jersey,” Jacome said. “Yes, I would consider voting for him as president. He handled the Hurricane Sandy situation very well.”
Sam Patel agrees with Jacome. “Chris Christie is capable and good enough to lead this country. I would vote for him,” he said. “Chris Christie helped the victims in Hurricane Sandy.”
Still, Christie clearly has a lot of work to do. A recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University found that only 30 percent of registered voters in New Jersey approved of the job he was doing.