Poll: Christie approval at 74%

Gov. Chris Christie’s approval ratings – and the percentage of voters who say he deserves re-election – remain high, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

A poll issued Wednesday puts Christie’s approval rating at a record-breaking 74 – 22 percent, the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac surveys.  Voters also say 71 – 23 percent that Christie deserves four more years in the Statehouse.

Christie’s job score is the highest of any governor in the seven states surveyed by the independent Quinnipiac University.

“How high is up?   New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie keeps soaring.  Most governors would kill for a 56 percent job approval rating.  Republican Gov. Christie gets that from Democrats!” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a release.

Christie leads his likely Democratic challenger, State Sen. Barbara Buono 62 – 25 percent, including 54 – 31 percent among women and 71 – 18 percent among men, the poll shows.  Backing the governor are Republicans, 93 – 4 percent, and independent voters, 68 – 18 percent, while Democrats back Buono by what Quinnipiac calls a mediocre 51 – 31 percent.

Worse for Buono, Democrats approve of the Republican governor 56 – 38 percent and say 48 – 43 percent he deserves re-election.

“State Sen. Barbara Buono is going to have to introduce herself to voters; no one knows her and Christie clobbers her,” Carroll said.

New Jersey voters give Christie a 69 – 22 percent favorability rating, including 47 – 38 percent among Democrats. For Buono, 83 percent don’t know enough about her to form an opinion, the poll showed.

In addition, having Buono at the top of the ticket will be bad for other Democratic candidates this year, 13 percent of voters say, while 8 percent say good and 77 percent offer no opinion.

But New Jersey voters say 47 – 40 percent that they want Democrats rather than Republicans to control the State Legislature.

“Coattails?  The crystal ball is cloudy.  Some voters think Buono would be a drag on Democratic candidates for the legislature,” Carroll said.

Presidential race

New Jersey voters favor Hillary Clinton 49 percent and 45 percent are for Christie.

Clinton leads 60 – 34 percent among women while Christie leads 58 – 35 percent among men.  He leads 90 – 7 percent among Republicans and gets 48 percent of independent voters to Clinton’s 44 percent.  Democrats go to Clinton 86 – 8 percent.

Christie tops New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 54 – 36 percent.

Minimum wage

New Jersey voters support raising the minimum wage 76 – 21 percent, including 55 – 41 percent among Republicans.  Support among all other party, gender, regional, age, income and education groups tops 68 percent.

And voters want to have a say. The minimum wage issue should be decided by a voter referendum to amend the state Constitution rather than by the Legislature passing a law, voters say 56 – 38 percent.

Following legislative votes, the question is now headed to the November ballot.

From Feb. 13 – 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,149 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.  

"New Jersey hasn’t heard the last of Brian Goldberg. Or maybe New Jersey will be hearing about him for the first time."
—NJ Media Advance for NJ.com's "The Auditor," on the Essex Republican's new PAC