Eagleton: N.J. wants Christie gone but is open to Guadagno

LEFT TO RIGHT: Kim Guadagno, Tom Kean, Jr. and Chris Christie at a much happier time for the NJGOP.

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Look: I have no doubt that Governor Chris Christie‘s popularity is in the toilet right now because I’ve seen it and heard it, Save Jerseyans. Firsthand.

All the same, I’m reluctant to spend too much time on the latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll results, showing 54% of New Jersey voters wanting him to resign, because Eagleton’s track record is abysmal. I’m not trying to be mean, and it’s definitely not personal. Seriously.

Guadagno, Kean and ChristieWe’ve been over this before. In 2013, they misjudged Chris Christie’s margin of victory by 14-points, making Eagleton the least accurate of the major public pollsters covering that race and forcing the institute to admit, in a rare pollster mea culpa, how “…there is small comfort in getting the winners right, but it is very small.” Eagleton also doubled Cory Booker’s actual margin of victory in October 2013 and, in 2009, predicted a Corzine victory. In fact, the final ’09 survey showed Jon Corzine (39%) leading Chris Christie (36%) by 3-points and pulling away based on an alleged polling surge by “independent” Chris Daggett (20%).

Oops; Christie won with 48.5% of the vote to Corzine’s 44.9%… and only 5.8% for Daggett.

So until Eagleton’s poll gets a big one right, folks, we need to treat’em with a higher-than-normal degree of caution.

With that out of the way, the most interesting finding have little to do with the Big Guy.

Eagleton reports that roughly half of polled voters think Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is ready to take on Chris Christie’s job; a paltry 15% disagree. Her name recognition is still low but hey, that’s correctable (with enough time and cash). It’s also to be expected with so many years dwelling in the shade of a giant oak tree. The key for her? After years of insider questions concerning her quotient of “gravitas,” her high-mileage efforts on the statewide political circuit while the Governor is off running for president are paying dividends. Put another way, she still has the opportunity to define herself.

The challenge, of course, will be preventing Democrats from defining her as Christie-flunky should she win the nomination. Super PAC smears speak louder than U.S. Attorney letters. No poll can tell us how that’ll play out until, or if, the formal campaign begins. Stay tuned…

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Matt Rooney
About Matt Rooney 8496 Articles
MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.

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