Poll: Christie’s Approval Rating Upside Down
For the bulk of his first term, Gov. Chris Christie enjoyed positive poll numbers that made most other governor's numbers pale in comparison. Things have changed since the Bridgegate scandal.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) PublicMind poll released Thursday shows more New Jersey voters than not disapprove of the job Christie is doing now.
"Christie has approval numbers that are upside down with more voters saying they disapprove of his job performance than saying they approve," said Krista Jenkins, director of the poll and professor of political science at FDU. "Right now, 47 percent disapprove with 41 percent who offer a more optimistic appraisal."
In a Sept. 9 survey by PublicMind, Christie had a positive job approval rating of 46 percent to 40 percent. Those numbers were close to where he was when his numbers first began to drop in January when 48 percent said they approved of his job performance, a 13 percent decline from the pre-Bridgegate era.
Jenkins said the governor is facing voter fatigue, something many second term incumbents face. But that's not all the Christie has working against him.
"We also find the governor continues to polarize the electorate more than bring people together. About equal numbers say they like everything (32 percent) about him as they dislike (35 percent) everything about him," Jenkins explained.
It is a positive for the governor that in a state with 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, one-third of voters like everything about him, Jenkins noted. A negative for Christie is that voters' confidence in the health of the state has lagged.
"Right direction-wrong track numbers are upside down with 37 percent of voters who say they're optimistic about the direction the state's headed and 49 percent who say they're pessimistic," Jenkins explained. "People are clearly looking around and not liking what they see."
The poll was conducted by telephone from Oct. 13 through Oct. 19 using a randomly selected sample of 1,107 registered voters who live in New Jersey. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.9 percentage points.