TRENTON — Fifty-four percent of New Jersey’s registered voters disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor — his highest job disapproval ratings to date, according to a new survey from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. Just 41 percent approve of Christie’s job performance.
Christie’s stances on taxation and the budget also reached new depths in the eyes of voters. Fewer than one-in-three approve of his handling of the economy, and a vast majority think the state is headed in the wrong direction.
And the Republican governor’s handling of the state’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy has also hit record lows, with just 48 percent approving of his job — a seven point drop since February. That’s nearly a 40 point drop since April 2013, when 87 percent of Garden Staters approved of Christie’s handling of the recovery effort.
“Often, as the economy improves, voters feel more positive. But in this state there is now widespread feeling that things are on the wrong track,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. “While the governor continues to explore a national run, voters back home are expressing more and more concern about what’s happening in New Jersey and the governor’s performance in dealing with these issues.”
In March, Christie was dogged by Sandy protestors and displaced families in state and out: Hecklers disrupted his outing at an Iowa agricultural summit in Des Moines, and a Boy Scout pleaded for assistance to move out of a trailer and back into his family’s ruined home in Brick Township. Forty-four percent of voters currently disapprove his work on Sandy recovery.
On taxes and the state budget, a vast majority of voters disapprove of his policies. Just 26 percent approve of his taxation stance; 65 disapproved. Only 28 percent approve of his handling of the budget; 61 disapproved.
New Jersey is second to last in job growth for the nation, and the survey’s results reflected that grim reality: Only 31 percent approve of Christie’s handling of the economy and jobs.
Despite this, the governor’s personal unfavorable ratings have rebounded slightly since February, when 53 percent of voters held a negative view of him. In the new poll, Christie is viewed unfavorably by 48 percent.
The 38 percent who view him favorably is essentially unchanged from February, when 37 percent had a favorable view of him.
Sixty percent of voters say the Garden State is on the wrong track, the highest number since just before Christie’s first election in October 2009. Thirty percent say New Jersey is going in the right direction — a 10-point drop from December 2014 and half as many as the 61 percent who thought it was in June 2013.
Results were from a statewide poll of 860 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Mar. 27-Apr. 3, including 722 registered voters reported on in this release. The registered voter sample has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points. Interviews were done in English and, when requested, Spanish.