One month after his landslide re-election victory, New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie continues to command an overwhelmingly positive job approval rating, but few have a clear idea about his agenda for the second term, a new poll has found.
According to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll
conducted Dec. 4-8 , 65 percent of adults approve of the job Christie is doing, compared to 25 percent who disapprove.
At the same time, just 23 percent of the 802 residents surveyed say they have a clear idea of what the governor plans to do in his second term, and only 36 percent say they have some idea.
"Gov. Christie's ratings are holding strong, fresh off his resounding re-election victory. However, few New Jerseyans have a clear idea about what a second term holds in store," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
"Stellar approval ratings and no specific expectations from his constituents could give the governor a lot of leeway in carving out his political future."
Respondents in the poll were also asked to identify the state's most pressing issues. Thirty-five percent said job creation was the most important while 25 percent listed property taxes and 21 percent said public education.
At the same time, just 27 percent say they expect Christie to make a lot of progress on their top issue, while almost half — or 48 percent — feel there will be little progress and 22 percent say they expect no real progress.
"Gov. Christie's re-election campaign was centered on past accomplishments, particularly around his handling of Superstorm Sandy. He was never really pushed, by voters or by his Democratic opponent, to address future plans on these major issues. It shouldn't be too surprising then, that residents expect little more than incremental change in these areas," Murray said.
For his part, Christie recently told New Jersey's 101.5 FM's "Ask the governor" show that he intends to focus on cutting taxes and education reform.
Christie, who won 60 percent of the vote in November against Democratic state senator Barbara Buono, was recently elected chairman of the Republican Governor's Association.
He is being widely suggested for a 2016 presidential run, and a number of recent polls suggest he would be a formidable opponent to every other potential Republican candidate and also to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
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