NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly three in five registered voters in New Jersey do not think their governor, Republican Chris Christie, would make a good U.S. president, according to a poll released on Thursday.
Christie, who is seen as a potential candidate in the 2016 election, has twice won the governor’s office in New Jersey, where nearly twice as many voters are registered as Democrat than Republican.
In a putative presidential election between Christie and Hillary Clinton, 52 percent of New Jerseyans polled by Quinnipiac University said they would vote for the Democratic former U.S. secretary of state, including 11 percent of registered Republicans.
Overall, 57 percent of the registered voters polled said they did not think Christie, who prides himself on his blunt, sometimes combative speaking style, would make a good president. That included nearly a third of registered Republicans, 78 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents.
It is unusual for candidates to win the presidency while losing their home state, although James Polk, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon managed the feat, in 1844, 1916 and 1968, respectively.
Just over half of those polled said they had an unfavorable opinion of Christie, whose popularity was dented over revelations that officials in his administration ordered closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 that resulted in traffic jams in a town whose mayor had not endorsed the governor in his re-election bid.
Christie has said he had no knowledge of the lane closures, and several inquiries have found no evidence to contradict this.
Christie, 52, has not declared a bid for the presidency, but has discussed national themes in recent speeches and will be in Iowa, a key state in the primary elections, this weekend for a summit attended by influential Republican activists.
The poll was conducted with 1,211 registered voters in New Jersey over the last week, and it and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.
Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Mohammad Zargham