Gov. Chris Christie has worked to improve his image this year, dedicating himself to the state and nation's opioid epidemic and opening up again to New Jersey's press corps. It hasn't worked. The AP reports his approval rating is among the lowest in history for any governor as he enters the final months of his last term. He is under attack by the leading Democratic and Republican candidates—including his top deputy—running to succeed him. Christie describes himself as "old news." Only 15% of voters approve of the Christie's job performance, and 81% disapprove, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. It's the worst gubernatorial approval rating surveyed by the poll in more than two decades.
Christie's meager popularity threatens his ability to score some wins to set his legacy before he leaves office. Experts link the governor's falling approval ratings to the 2013 George Washington Bridge scandal, which eroded voters' views of Christie as competent and credible. Christie returned to New Jersey in early 2016 after dropping out of the presidential race with approval ratings just under 30%. His approval tumbled by about 10 points shortly after the Bridgegate convictions. Christie might be able to recover a few points in polls before November, but the race to replace him is likely to remind voters what they don't like about him, political science professor Brigid Harrison said. "People are fed up and just want him out of office," she said. (Read more Chris Christie stories.)