By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — As New Jersey governor Chris Christie courts donors and supporters for an as-yet-unofficial presidential run, a poll of New Jersey voters suggests he has some pretty serious problems back home.

The latest numbers from the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll have never been so low for the once-popular governor.  It finds that among 800 voters sampled this month, impressions about him have dipped to 53 percent “negative,” and only 37 percent “positive.”

His job approval rating is at 52 percent “unfavorable,” against 42 percent “favorable.”

Poll director David Redlawsk says it’s not necessarily Republicans or Democrats who are jumping ship.

“Independents used to be very supportive (of Christie),” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “But over the last two months, favorable impressions fell what for us was a record-breaking 16 points, to just 31 percent.  And this drop is even larger than we found in the immediate aftermath of Bridgegate.”

That is just one reason respondents cited for their current feelings about Christie.  There was also the constant out-of-state travel recently, and some complained about his personality — which for Christie used to be a selling point.