Just days after the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal erupted last January, Gov. Chris Christie entered the Assembly Chambers to deliver his annual State of the State address and announced that “mistakes were clearly made.”
The second-term governor will again offer his annual remarks Tuesday afternoon before the state Legislature in Trenton and, though a federal inquiry into the bridge scandal reportedly remains ongoing, the buzz surrounding Christie appears to have shifted away from Fort Lee as speculation mounts that he will soon announce his intention to run for president.
Christie has previously stated that he will look to make his decision about a potential bid for the White House in the early part of this year. With former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush already exploring a presidential run and other noteworthy candidates appearing poised to follow suit, many are wondering if and when Christie will look to join the growing field of Republican candidates.
But while a national audience may soon get its glimpse at candidate Christie, a new Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll released Tuesday ahead of his speech shows a majority of New Jersey voters, some 47 percent, disapprove of the job he’s doing as governor. That’s compared with just a 39 percent job approval rating, the poll found.
Another 49 percent of New Jerseyans are concerned about the direction of the state under Christie, according to the poll.
“This is the first time Gov. Christie faces a public with numbers like these in regard to his leadership,” poll director and FDU professor Krista Jenkins said. “Regardless of what he says, many in the state will receive his words with skepticism, given their concerns over his leadership and the overall health of governance in New Jersey. Voters’ increasing pessimism about the direction of the state mirrors their decreasing approval of the governor’s performance. In his State of the State address, he has to make a case not just for himself, but for New Jersey, because voter opinion is upside down on both.”
Last year, Christie used the speech to touch on a number of topics, ranging from pension reform to municipal consolidations to Superstorm Sandy recovery.
This year’s address may include many of the same themes and also discuss new challenges, such as the course of action for fixing the depleted Transportation Trust Fund and the state’s ongoing business attraction and retention efforts.
The speech is set for 2 p.m. and will available for streaming here on NJBIZ.com.
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