Bully politics don't work.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that in the wake of Christie administration's political bulling, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's 2016 presidential prospects are down. Christie now trails Hillary 46 to 38 percent. Last month Christie was leading Hillary 42 to 41 percent.
As Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, put it:
"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie's 2016 presidential drive is stuck in traffic, sideswiped by Bridgegate, the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal."
The Q-Poll is full of bad news for Christie:
- He is losing Independents -- from 47 to 32 percent for Christie over Hillary last month, to 40 to 41 percent today.
- Voters are now divided 35 to 36 percent on whether Christie would make a good president. That's down from 49 to 31 percent last November.
- Seventy-three percent of voters have read or heard something about BridgeGate. Of those, 50 percent say the scandal damages Christie's 2016 White House hopes.
- The BridgeGate scandal makes 34 percent less likely to vote for Christie, and 56 percent saying it makes no difference.
The lesson here is that political bullying doesn't work. It doesn't matter whether it's President Obama being vindictive and sealing off open air monuments and national parks. Or whether it's Governor Christie disrespecting people, with whom he disagrees.
Bullying political opponents might make a candidate appear to be a tough guy and it may provide a certain appeal to a candidates core supporters, at least supporters from Chicago, New Jersey or New York. But I think it will backfire with most voters in fly over country where they expect civility and being nice is just a way of life. Ads like How It's Done or Callous which you can watch in the accompanying video.
Governor Christie's political opponents, be they fellow Republican Presidential contenders or the eventual nominee of the Democrat Party, have plenty of ammunition to fire at Christie. He is very fortunate that the BridgeGate scandal broke now, giving him a long time to overcome the bullying charge. I fear he is going to need all of it.