Poll: Christie Negative Ratings Rise Among NJ Voters

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 06:37 AM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s ratings turned increasingly negative this month as voters giving him low job-performance scores climbed to the highest proportion since he took office in January 2010, according to a new survey.

Christie, a first-term Republican, is doing a fair or poor job according to 60 percent of voters queried, up from 55 percent last month, according to a PublicMind poll released today by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

While 40 percent held a “favorable” opinion of the 48- year-old governor, down from 47 percent in April, 45 percent had an “unfavorable” view of him, up from 41 percent last month and the highest since he took office, the poll shows.

“May may be good for flowers, but it’s not so good for the governor,” Peter Woolley, director of the university’s PublicMind polling institute, said in a statement. “May is budget tensions in Trenton, budget battles in towns and budget disappointments in school districts.”

The telephone survey was conducted May 16-22, when lawmakers were deliberating Christie’s proposed $29.4 billion spending plan for the 2012 fiscal year, which starts in July.

Approval Split

Those polled gave the governor split job-approval ratings, with 44 percent saying they approved and the same proportion disapproving of his performance, the poll shows. That compares with 51 percent who approved and 41 percent disapproving in an April survey, the school said. It was Christie’s biggest disapproval rating since he took office.

The shift was most pronounced among women, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance, while 36 percent of men gave him a similar rating. Woolley said the difference presented a “dramatic contrast” in the views of the two groups.

Voters who said the state should cut programs rather than raise taxes dropped to 54 percent from 64 percent in April. Those who said the state should raise levies first slipped to 25 percent from 26 percent.

Researchers questioned 804 registered voters statewide, producing a survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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