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FDU Poll: Christie Popularity Still Strong in NJ

Favorable rating remains unchanged from October.

Headed into his annual State of the State address, New Jersey’s governor continues to turn in strong public approval numbers, according to the latest recent statewide poll by PublicMind.

According to the FDU poll, 53 percent of Garden State voters approve of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor, while 37 percent disapprove, a net advantage of 16 percentage points and virtually identical to his standing a year ago before his 2011 State of the State address.

“That’s the way any office-holder wants to begin the new year,” said Peter Woolley, director of the poll. “But in this economic climate, many aren’t.”

Even do not make a dent in the governor’s standing. Households that pay daily tolls are less likely to say the state is headed in the right direction than they are to say the state is on the wrong track (40-51), while those who don’t pay daily tolls split on the right track/wrong track question (46-45). But daily toll payers are statistically just as likely as others to approve of the governor’s job handling (50-41) and to rate his performance as “excellent” or “good” (44 percent).

“As the year wears on and the higher tolls take their toll, some voters may change their minds,” Woolley said.

Familiar patterns are found underneath the governor’s top line: men strongly approve (63-30), while women edge to disapproval (42-45): non-public employee households approve strongly (60-31) in mirror opposite to voters in public employee households (31-58): those who prefer to cut the state budget rather than raise taxes approve heartily (65-27) in contrast to those who say taxes should be increased to support state programs (31-59).

The governor’s favorable rating remains unchanged from the poll’s : 50 percent say they have a somewhat or very favorable opinion of him; 38 percent say their opinion is somewhat or very unfavorable.  Among the governor’s actual or potential Democratic rivals, Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker registers 39-8 percent favorable to unfavorable opinion; former Gov. Dick Codey 32-11 percent; Sen. President Steve Sweeney, who is hinting at running for U.S. Senate, just 13-14 percent, and state Sen. Barbara Buono barely registers at 5-4 percent.

Three of five voters (59 percent) continue to say the state should hold the line on spending rather than raise taxes to support state programs (25 percent).

“Of course, most candidates for governor or any other office claim they’ll get the budget under control and avoid new taxes,” said Woolley. “Many in the public seem pleasantly surprised that someone stuck to it.”

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 800 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from Jan. 2 through Jan. 8, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.

Note: This post is shared among multiple Patch sites serving communities in Morris, Somerset and Sussex counties. Comments below may be by readers of any of those Patch sites.

Maxim Sapozhnikov January 10, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I don't remember Christie being offered a VP slot by Romney. Care to reveal your insider sources?
Maxim Sapozhnikov January 10, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Safe money says Christie won't take a VP slot from Romney; being on a losing ticket would destroy his chances in 2016 or 2020, and Romney needs a Southerner VP anyway. However, saying it out loud would be a blow to Romney, and black ingratitude for all the help Romney's PAC provided him in 2009. Now, the matter of charter schools and vouchers *is* the critical one; even taxes are a minor one compared to it. You'd know it if you had school age kids, and cared whom they are going to vote for in 2020 and beyond.
Maxim Sapozhnikov January 10, 2012 at 05:46 PM
If there is a Washington slot Christie wouldn't mind, it's probably DOJ or Atty Gen. Unlike running for VP, it's a safe jump, and a good starter for 2020.
Greg Toombs January 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM
How nice of you to cowardly hide your religious bigotry behind an anonymous pseudonym.
Maxim Sapozhnikov January 10, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Mr. Toombs, I may sharply disagree with this guy on pretty much any issue but it's his inalienable Internet rights to hide his identity. If you want an open identity forum, go to a bar.

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