Christie Takes Jab at Monmouth University Poll

On July 28, when asked about a poll released by Monmouth University’s own Polling Institute, Chris Christie held a very strong opinion about the results.

 The poll showed that Chris Christie had the support of only 4 percent of the voters asked in New Hampshire, while Donald Trump led with 24 percent and Jeb Bush  took second with 12 percent.  

“The Monmouth University poll was created just to aggravate me,” Christie said.  

“I’ve never paid attention to a Monmouth University poll. And, by the way, it’s a Monmouth University poll. Anybody really care? You think nationally, people are waiting on the edge of their seat waiting for the Monmouth University poll to come out? Stop.” 

Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said when asked for his reaction, “I am very proud of the work of our Polling Institute team.  Politicians being critical of your work simply means you are having an impact.” 

In 2010, Murray was named Pollster of the Year by and number 43 of its New Jersey Power List of 100 “Most Politically Influential People” in the state. 

“I think the fact that the governor, who is down in every presidential poll, took special notice of Monmouth’s poll is a sign of the influence we have in New Jersey’s political world.  We intend to make that same kind of impact nationwide.”

According to their website, Monmouth University Polling Institute’s mission is to “foster greater public accountability by ensuring that the voice of the public is part of the policy discourse.” 

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, explained, “Generally when candidates complain about polls, it’s usually a sign that they’re not doing well. And this is the case in Governor Christie’s presidential ambition. He’s not gaining any traction in most national polls, including Monmouth.”

“In the early key states of Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s not doing so well. It’s difficult at this point for him to gain traction and do well. Typically, a presidential candidate can go from doing really bad in the polls, and start doing really good if nobody knows you. In his case, he is really well known. The Republican party doesn’t seem to want him as their nominee.” 

This is not the first time Christie has backlashed a polling institute. A year after his reelection as governor, Christie learned of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll showing that 47 percent of New Jersey residents would not reelect him. He then said that he would refuse to comment on such a poll since “It’s never good, it’s never accurate.”

David Redlawsk, who runs the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, said that when politicians feel polls are inaccurate, they simply dismiss the results or “critique the polling organization’s methodology or track record.” 

“I can understand the level of frustration when you’re down in the polls, but one can be frustrated without turning it into personal attacks.”

This attitude has affected the thoughts of some Monmouth University students, a very important voting group in presidential elections. Gabriel Gerber, a junior Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy major, said “It is very disrespectful considering he is from New Jersey. We have a lot of professionals working hard there [Polling Institue] and we have been featured on many news channels.”  

Patten added, “I think that people are right to question whether a New Jersey Governor should criticize a New Jersey institution in another state. It causes one to question if one should be loyal to one’s state. And there is no reason for him to take that personally against our polling institute. It understandingly rubs people the wrong way.”  

INFORMATION COURTESY of the Monmouth University Polling Institute