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Is Gov. Christie Improving New Jersey’s Image? [AUDIO]

Governor Chris Christie
Tim Larsen, Governor's Office

Governor Chris Christie often boasts that New Jersey’s reputation around the country has dramatically improved since he took office almost two years ago. Is he a “super” ambassador for the Garden State or is the Governor overstating New Jersey’s renaissance? Because he often surveys nationwide, we asked FDU-Public Mind poll director Peter Woololey his thoughts.

“Among national Republicans New Jersey’s image has certainly improved because their image of Chris Christie is very favorable,” explains Woolley. “Chris Christie has certainly brought a favorable image to himself nationally, being from New Jersey. How much of that really rubs off on New Jersey is debatable….My own sense is that we would find that New Jersey’s image has improved, but I’m not sure I would attribute it to Governor Christie.”

In his November address to New Jersey’s mayor in Atlantic City Christie acted less like the bully some people accuse him of being and more like a cheerleader. He led a pseudo pep rally for New Jersey’s image.

Christie said New Jersey is no longer the go-to punch line for a late-night comedian’s joke nor is the Garden State known exclusively for The Sopranos, Snookie, the Situation or the Housewives.

Woolley actually thinks the MTV reality show, The Jersey Shore has helped promote the state, “Not because of the idiots on the show but because it highlights one of the state’s most valuable assets, the actualy Jersey shore.”

In 2010, the Governor first year in office, Woolley asked people across the country their views on New Jersey. By a better than 2-1 margin the opinions were positive, but Woolley says the favorability rating dropped by six points this year.

Christie says there is a prescription for turning New Jersey around.

“First, you have to have bold leadership,” said Christie in November. “You cannot wait for others to chart a course. We must chart the course ourselves knowing there’s no guarantee of victory, but that the surest guarantee of failure is to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

The Governor said everyone must also work together. He acknowledged differences he has had with Democrats on a number of different issues, but says compromise is vital. Christie says he never gets or expects to get everything he wants. He thinks the state is making progress.

“Now is not the time to stop,” explains Christie. “Now is the time to double-down. Now is the time to put our foot down harder on the accelerator. Now is the time, It is the time to make New Jersey greatness a reality again…..We have climbed out of the hole. It is now time to raise the flag high on the flagpole for New Jersey again.”

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