ICYMI: Despite, or because of, Christie's brash ways, N.J. voters still approve

In case you missed it, in Sunday's paper I looked at the governor's continued dust-ups -- and his continued high approval ratings:

He talks smack to hecklers, reporters, political opponents, constituents, and at least one Navy SEAL.

His state's leading liberal blog, Blue Jersey, published an article analyzing whether he was a "sociopath." The same blog matter-of-factly described him with a seven-letter anatomical word as though it were his nickname.

Mainstream media likewise recoil at the personality - although not necessarily the policies - of Chris Christie. Inquirer opinion writers have often pointed out his proclivity to pounce on opponents, while a Courier-Post editorial this month said the governor "represents our state just as poorly as the buffoons on the trashy reality TV shows filmed in the Garden State."

Opined Tom Moran, veteran Star-Ledger columnist: "He is not, by any stretch, a nice guy."

The people of the state don't necessarily disagree. Asked by Quinnipiac University pollsters to choose a word to describe their governor, New Jerseyans picked bully more than any other. A distant second was arrogant. A curse word was farther down the list.

And yet: This supposedly abhorrent creature remains uber-popular. His approval ratings in the state have exceeded 50 percent for a year, with 60 percent of independents approving of the job he's doing. He is already in second place in polls for the Republican Iowa presidential caucuses . . . in 2016.

How is that possible? How can voters approve of a guy they also seem to think is kind of, you know, as Christie would say, a jerk?

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