Why do half of his state’s residents want to leave? Strip away his antics, and there’s a devastating economic story

By Robert Hennelly

Chris Christie

Late last year a Monmouth University/ Asbury Park Press poll found that half of the New Jersey residents surveyed wanted to leave the state more than five years after Christie was first elected. In the survey of 802 adults 54 percent identified the state’s cost of living and tax burden as the primary driver for their desire to relocate.

Even more disconcerting for the state’s future is that those most likely to want to leave, according to the survey, are people still in their prime working years who earn over $100,000 a year. “Very little has happened over the past few years to change Garden State residents’ desire or ability to remain in the state,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute which has gotten similar results for the last seven years.

“We should be concerned that higher income residents are more prone to leave and that many will do so before they retire,” says Murray. “This would leave behind a depleted tax base coupled with a population in need of greater support. If these conditions come to fruition, the affordability anxieties that are driving people out of the state now will only get worse.”

We are already there.