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FDU Poll: Christie Helped Himself More Than Romney

Governor of New Jersey's convention speech was best for the man himself, according to FDU's numbers.

Did Gov. Chris Christie gave a bigger boost to himself than to presidential hopeful Mitt Romney with his speech at the Republican National Convention?

According to registered New Jersey voters who took place in a recent poll, yes, he did.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind reports that 58 percent of registered voters with knowledge of the speech believe he was more successful at selling himself to the American public than advocating the Romney/Ryan ticket. According to the poll's results, only 23 percent said the speech was more effective at helping to convince the electorate to support Romney.

“Governor Christie’s speech was seen or heard by a national audience, many of whom were being introduced to the governor for the first time," said Krista Jenkins, director of the poll and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

"The tension between using this opportunity to establish his identity as a national figure versus advocating on behalf of Governor Romney came with the assignment. It’s notable that even among New Jersey Republicans, almost half–or 48 percent–evaluate his speech as more helpful to himself rather than the Republican ticket.”

New Jersey voters paid attention to the event, too. The poll said 71 percent of all registered voters in the state were aware of the speech, having watched it or heard it as it was delivered or in the days after.

Beyond the convention, however, Garden State residents continue to give the governor high marks for his job performance, according to the poll, with 51 percent of registered voters giving him their stamp of approval and 35 percent disapproving.

More than half of all respondents (52 percent) said the state is moving in the right direction, a number that continues to underscore the Republican governor's support in a state with more Democrats than Republicans. 

“These numbers have basically remained the same across polls conducted throughout the year,” Jenkins said. “Policy battles have come and gone, new ones have emerged, and the state continues to struggle with an unemployment rate that’s greater than the national average. Yet, Governor Christie remains in good standing with a broad cross-section of registered voters.” 

Fairleigh Dickinson University said the statewide poll of 901 registered voters was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from Sept. 6 through Sept. 12 and has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

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