New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s approval rating is now up 19 points despite his controversial comments expressing his support of President Barack Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll.
Christie has never seen such high approval ratings since he took office in 2010. His numbers have typically hovered between 44 and 50 percent but since the Hurricane his favorability rating has shot up to 67 percent.
“Throughout the governor’s term, we’ve had little movement in his ratings. This just blows that out of the water,” David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, told The Huffington Post.
But while Christie may be seeing results among his New Jersey constituents, his fellow GOP party members are not as thrilled.
Christie has been heavily criticized by conservatives after he congratulated Obama on his hurricane response before the election and expressed his disapproval of former Republican candidate Mitt Romney for being a sore loser after the election.
“I always think this is kind of scapegoating after elections,” Christie said in response to Romney’s claim that Obama bought the election. “When you lose, you lost.”
Pundits have even gone so far as to call Christie a traitor to the GOP and others fault Christie as the reason why Romney lost the election.
Romney’s political advisers found that a large number of undecided voters turned to Obama in the end, because of his Hurricane Sandy response, according to New York Magazine.
“Christie,” said a Romney adviser, “allowed Obama to be president, not a politician.”
Many conservatives see Christie’s noticeable tolerance and support of Democrats as a betrayal of Republican values.
But Christie has bigger fish to fry than pleasing the GOP. He is up for reelection in his very blue state in 2013 and he may be contemplating a 2016 run for President. New Jersey went 58 percent for Obama in this past election, 2 percentage points up from 2008 numbers, and will be unlikely to elect a Republican that alienates the left-wing.
Clearly he has decided that playing both sides of the fence is going to be much more lucrative for his career in the long run, regardless of how many conservatives he angers.
Francesca Chambers contributed to this report.