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August 11, 2015

Gov. Chris Christie may be many things to the folks who live in New Jersey. Unfortunately for the governor, given his current political ambitions, one of those is not “presidential,” according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Fifty-four percent of New Jersey registered voters say “presidential” does not describe Christie at all, versus 29 percent who think it describes the governor “somewhat well” and just 14 percent who say “very well.”

Negative perceptions of Christie, which could affect his presidential run, continue to inch up: with “arrogant” (58 percent “very,” 25 percent “somewhat”), “self-centered” (52 percent “very,” 24 percent “somewhat”), and “bully” (49 percent “very,” 25 percent “somewhat”) reaching new highs.

The governor did field some good numbers. About half of those surveyed still believe “smart” describes him “very well”; another third, “somewhat.” Four in 10 say “strong leader” is “very apt” (another quarter, “somewhat”).

The emotional tenor of some of the responses also is telling. Voters continue to feel “angry” at Christie (43 percent), while almost half are “worried,” and a third even feel “contempt.” About three in 10 continue to say Christie makes them feel “proud” or “enthusiastic,” but both are down by double digits since the governor’s reelection in 2013 -- and by six points since Bridgegate alone.

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