Obama Tops Christie in New Jersey Poll

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 08:36 AM

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New Jersey voters do not believe Gov. Christopher Christie’s claim that he would beat President Barack Obama in a 2012 White House run and back the president over the governor 52 – 39 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Obama also tops Gov. Christie in job approval and likeability.

Gov. Christie’s split 47 – 46 percent job approval compares to a 52 – 40 percent job approval in a February 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today’s survey, men approve of Christie 56 – 38 percent as women disapprove 53 – 38 percent. Christie gets an 80 – 16 percent approval from Republicans and a 55 – 36 percent approval from independent voters. Democrats disapprove 75 – 17 percent.

Obama gets a 51 – 45 percent job approval. Garden State voters like Obama more than they like his policies. Given four options:

• 46 percent like Obama as a person and like most of his policies;
• 29 percent like him as a person but dislike his policies;
• 2 percent dislike him as a person, but like his policies;
• 20 percent dislike him and his policies.
Christie does not do as well:
• 38 percent like Christie as a person and like most of his policies;
• 15 percent like him as a person but dislike his policies;
• 8 percent dislike him as a person, but like his policies;
• 34 percent dislike him and his policies.

“Forget the White House for now, Gov. Christopher Christie says, and New Jerseyans pretty much agree with him as they back President Barack Obama by a hefty margin,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Voters don’t believe Gov. Christie 60 – 33 percent when he says he can beat President Obama. They do believe Christie 53 – 41 percent when he says he’s not running,” Carroll added.

“How about at home in Trenton? Christie’s job approval numbers are only narrowly positive. And there’s a real gender split over this ‘Jersey guy’ governor: Men like him a lot; women don’t,” Carroll added.

Other Approval Ratings

Gov. Christie has a higher approval rating than other elected officials:

• Voters approve 44 – 42 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is doing, a tie;
• Voters approve 42 – 40 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is doing, a tie;
• Voters disapprove 31 – 26 percent of the job State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney is doing, with 43 percent undecided;
• Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver gets a split 22 – 21 percent approval rating, with 57 percent undecided.

Voters disapprove 53 – 26 percent of the job the Assembly is doing and disapprove 55 – 30 percent of the State Senate, the highest disapproval ratings ever for both bodies.

“New Jerseyans don’t know – and don’t much approve of – their Legislature and its leaders,” Carroll said. “Sen. Robert Menendez has started cranking up for his 2012 re-election campaign and it’s not too soon. His job approval is a low split.”

“Bully,” “arrogant,” “good,” “aggressive” are among words offered when voters are asked, with no suggestions given, to describe Gov. Christie in one word. Answers include:

Bully – offered by 140 voters
Arrogant – offered 41 times
Good – 41
Aggressive – 39
Strong – 35
Tough – 34
Determined – 30
Honest/Honesty – 28
Excellent – 27
Bold – 16
Courageous/Courage – 16
Trying – 15
Effective – 13
Forceful – 12

“Quinnipiac University polls last year found New Jersey voters trying to decide whether their new governor was a bully or an effective leader,” Carroll said. In a June 17, 2010, survey, 44 percent called him a leader and 43 percent called him a bully.



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