Christie’s Low Ratings in New Jersey Continue; Approval on Taxes Hits Lowest Point Ever

Christie’s Low Ratings in New Jersey Continue; Approval on Taxes Hits Lowest Point Ever

Rutgers-Eagleton Poll finds Six in 10 Voters Say Garden State is on the Wrong Track
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Ashley Koning
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Steve Manas
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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Even a potential hurricane last week could not give Gov. Chris Christie much of a boost in his home state, where voters continue to feel largely negative toward him and the job he is doing, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Thirty-five percent of New Jersey registered voters have a favorable opinion of Christie; while up five points from August, this is still the second lowest rating he has ever received. Likewise, while unfavorable ratings have improved by four points, 55 percent remain negative toward the governor. Voters in the Garden State have been consistently more unfavorable than favorable toward him since October 2014.

Similarly, Christie’s overall job approval is not significantly different from August when it hit bottom; 39 percent now approve (up two points), while 56 percent disapprove (down three points). A majority has consistently disapproved of the job Christie is doing since February 2015.

Gov. Chris Christie
Gov. Chris Christie
“Christie recently had a solid GOP debate performance and scored some major Iowa donors for his presidential campaign, but things have yet to significantly pick up for him back home,” said Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University. “Even with some small signs of improvement this month, the bipartisan popularity he touts on the campaign trail no longer exists in New Jersey. Christie has lost support among virtually all Democrats, a large number of independents, and even many within his own party.”

Christie fares no better on individual issues. His rating on the perennially top issue of taxes continues to fall – just 25 percent approve in this latest poll, while 66 percent disapprove.

Voters continue to ding Christie on other issues, with performance on crime and drugs falling to 38 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove. Approval on the economy and jobs remains strongly negative at 31 percent approve, 58 percent disapprove. He continues to draw substantial disapproval for his efforts on the state budget (29 percent approve, 59 percent disapprove), the state pension fund situation (21 percent approve, 63 percent disapprove), and education (36 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove).

Sandy is the only issue where Christie’s ratings are positive, though voters are closely divided – 49 percent approve to 42 percent disapprove. This is the issue on which Christie has taken his biggest hit given that he commanded well over 80 percent approval on Sandy recovery through most of 2013.

Negativity toward Christie seems to go hand in hand with perceptions of the overall state of the Garden State, with 61 percent of voters now saying New Jersey has gone off on the wrong and just 32 percent saying it is going in the right direction. This is a complete reversal from two years ago, with such strong negativity not felt since October 2009.

Results are from a statewide poll of 935 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from October 3 to 10, 2015, including 781 registered voters reported on in this release. The registered voter sample has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points. Interviews were done in English and, when requested, Spanish.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: ATTENTION POLITICAL, ASSIGNMENT EDITORS, Poll Asst. Director Ashley Koning may be contacted at 908-872-1186 (cell), 848-932-8940 (office), or akoning@rutgers.edu until 11 p.m. Poll Director David Redlawsk may be reached at 319-400-1134 (cell), 848-932-8504 (office), or redlawsk@rutgers.edu. Find all releases at http://eagletonpoll.rutgers.edu, and visit our blog at http://eagletonpollblog.wordpress.com for additional commentary. Follow the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RutgersEagletonPoll and Twitter @EagletonPoll.

Media Contact
Ashley Koning
848-932-8940
908-872-1186
Steve Manas
848-932-0559