New Poll: Current State of the State Is Not So Great
Hours before Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to deliver his fifth State of the State address before a special joint session of the legislature Tuesday, a new Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll was released showing that more Garden State residents disapprove of Christie's job performance than approve.
In addition, the poll shows that a large percentage said the state is headed in the wrong direction.
"A new statewide poll of registered voters finds that Gov. Christie faces a skeptical public as he delivers his State of the State Address today," said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind. "Regardless of what he says many in the state will receive his words with skepticism given their concerns over his leadership and the overall health of governance in New Jersey."
Thirty-nine percent of poll respondents approve of the job Christie is doing as governor, while 47 percent disapprove. The numbers are statistically unchanged from the last time PublicMind surveyed registered voters in October, when 41 percent approved of the job the governor was doing and 47 percent disapproved.
"The public is also increasingly concerned about the direction the state is heading. Almost half (49 percent) say it's headed down the wrong track with 36 percent who believe it's headed in the right direction," Jenkins said.
The right track/wrong track numbers are also nearly identical to those in October. The poll shows 37 percent feel the governor is on the right track and 49 percent feel he's on the wrong track.
Just over a third of women (34 percent) approve of Christie's job performance, with far more men saying the same (44 percent). In a January 2014 survey, 48 percent of both men and women said they liked the job the governor was doing.
The majority (53 percent) of voters in the new poll said they believed Christie is more concerned with running for president than he is in running the state (32 percent).
"In his State of the State Address he has to make a case not just for himself, but for New Jersey too because voter opinion is right now upside down on both," Jenkins said.
The survey of 721 registered voters in New Jersey was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from March 3 through March 9 of 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.6 percentage points.