Donald Trump continues to have the support of New Jersey Republicans, who do not have the same feeling for native son Chris Christie.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released May 10 found that 40% of GOP voters would “definitely” support Trump compared with 25% of the cohort considering supporting the former New Jersey governor.
But for Christie, who has said he is mulling a run again in 2024 and has ramped up attacks on Trump recently, Republicans are more open to supporting Christie when asked about Trump’s legal challenges.
What Legal Troubles?
“Being indicted and subjected to multiple investigations that could lead to more indictments hasn’t hurt Trump’s standing in the party,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at FDU, and the director of the poll. “But that doesn’t mean that his legal problems aren’t helping potential challengers.”
The poll was taken before a jury found Trump guilty in a civil suit of sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll. But studies carried out since Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury campaign finance violations in regards to payments made to a porn star shortly before the 2016 Presidential Election have shown that his legal woes don’t seem to have hurt his standing among Republicans, a finding replicated in the FDU poll.
Republicans Believe in Trump
The legitimacy of the indictments are viewed largely through partition lines—78% of New Jersey Republicans say they are not while 90% of Democrats say they are. Independents are more split as 49% believe the charges are legitimate and 41% responded are not.
FDU asked the poll in such a way as to examine the effect of the indictments on a potential primary challenge from Christie. Half of the respondents were asked about the indictments before being asked about support for Christie or Trump; half were asked about the indictments only afterward.
The results were that 40% of Republicans (and Independents who say that they lean towards the Republican Party) say that they will “definitely” support Trump in a 2024 Republican Primary, and asking about the indictments beforehand doesn’t change this number at all.
Christie, Trump Background
“Partisans, both Republican and Democratic, are very good at ignoring inconvenient facts,” said Cassino. “If you’re supporting Trump, you have an incentive to ignore or counter-argue anything that would make you question that, including these legal issues.”
The poll comes as Christie has publicly stated he is considering another run to be the GOP nominee for President in 2024. He ran in 2016, but dropped out after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary and endorsed Trump.
The former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey would go on to serve as the head of Trump’s transition planning team and helped with debate preparation in the 2020 race. Christie has become a vocal opponent of Trump within the Republican Party stating that he will not endorse or support Trump again due to his action on Jan. 6.
Indictments Effect on Polling
As he considers running, Christie has centered his attack on Trump about the legal entanglements the former president finds himself in. FDU found that reminding Republicans and leaners about the indictment does have an effect, even if it doesn’t change support for Trump.
When GOP voters are asked about potential support for Christie before being asked about Trump’s legal issues, 21% say that they would consider supporting the former Governor. But among those who are reminded of the indictment, 29% say that they would consider supporting Christie.
“The indictments are making at least some Trump supporters open to supporting other candidates,” said Cassino. “Christie might not be the favorite candidate for that lane, and it might not be as wide as opponents might want, but the lane does exist.”
The order of questions about support for Trump and Christie was also randomly shuffled within the study. Support for Christie was lowest (18%) when Republicans were asked about Christie before being asked about Trump or the indictments, and highest when they were asked about the indictments first (29%) FDU pollsters found no difference between asking about Christie or Trump support first, when preceded by the question about the indictments.
Even here, Republicans put party over country, and Trump über alles.
I’m Jewish, gay, and elderly. I learned my history of the Third Reich. I lost what family remained in Europe in 1939.
We seem to be repeating it here under the TriumpGOP. At least Hitler knew not to brag about incestuous feelings about his older daughter.
Anyone that supports Trump is either an idiot, or ignorant. How many lies can you possible believe before the light goes on? It amazes me how people can follow this clown like sheep. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie and people just eat it up. Hey, I voted for this guy, but when the TRUTH came out, I was fooled, much like everyone else has been.
If you don’t care about ‘FACT CHECKING’ then you should not be allowed to vote. This non-sense about the election being stolen, even Trump has acknowledged is bogus. How many times and how many lawsuits do you have to lose before you wake up to this guys BS!
Are we this stupid as a population to see through this guys crap?
if NJ Republicans are behind Trump the TRAITOR , CRIMINAL AND LIAR…THEN WE IN NJ HAVE A GREATER CANCER TO REMOVE!!!!!!!!!!!
Trump helped the country, he loves America.Biden has done nothing but ruin everything and bring us closer to a dictatorship run by the WHO. His infrastructure bill is to set up the surveillance state. Open your eyes get over your TDS. Biden admin. Is the danger to America.
SO; This is a Good Thing!! President Trump is a better Man & He’ll stick around to do his Job!! Unlike this here Man Chris, whom almost ruined NJ & was hardly around!! AND; Thanks to Ole’ Chris, today NJ has a LT. Governor, to Governor while he was away sashaying & socializing on the People’s cuff!!//
Trump doesn’t love ANYTHING but himself and money.