Poll: Only 3 percent back Christie naming himself senator

Poll: Only 3 percent back Christie naming himself senator
© Getty

New Jersey voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Gov. Chris Christie (R) potentially appointing himself to replace Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate ethics panel resumes Menendez probe after judge declares mistrial Judge declares mistrial in Menendez bribery case Menendez jury deadlocked, ordered to keep trying MORE (D-N.J.), if the lawmaker is forced to resign, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University poll found that only 3 percent of respondents believe Christie should appoint himself to fill Menendez's seat, in the event that the senior New Jersey senator resigns or is forced out following his corruption trial. 

A majority of respondents — 68 percent — said the governor should hold off on appointing a replacement for Menendez and should allow his successor to do so. Twenty-four percent said Christie should make the appointment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Menendez is currently on trial for bribery. Federal prosecutors allege that the New Jersey Democrat traded political favors for lavish gifts, vacations and political donations from Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor and friend of Menendez.

Melgen, who was convicted earlier this year on separate Medicare fraud charges, is also standing trial with Menendez. Both men have denied the charges, saying the gifts were part of their longtime friendship. 

No verdict has been rendered. But a conviction would not automatically force Menendez from the Senate, although he could choose to resign or be voted out by lawmakers.

If Menendez were to be removed from the Senate before January, Christie, a Republican who's in his final term as governor, would choose a replacement — likely a fellow Republican. 

Christie has rejected the notion of appointing himself to fill a potential Senate vacancy, telling Fox News's Neil Cavuto last month that he sees himself as "more of an executive branch kind of guy."

“I don’t see that happening,” he said. “I really do believe that some of us are built for executive positions and some of us are built for legislative positions."