Rutgers poll: Christie approval ratings remain high

NEW BRUNSWICK – Gov. Chris Christie maintains high job performance ratings, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Wednesday. 

On the one hand, Christie has a 70 percent approval rating of his job performance, and breakdowns are strong in various political leanings: Republicans (87 percent), Democrats (85 percent), and independents (88 percent).

However, the poll shows some division on partisan issues of the economy and taxes.

Forty-one percent of voters approve of Christie’s handling of these issues, with Democratic support just over 25 percent, and Republican support over 60 percent.

“The post-Sandy ‘Rally around Christie’ effect has continued much longer than we might have expected,” David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University, said in a release.

“By way of contrast, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who also initially had sky-high ratings, has come back to earth in recent polls, down 20 points from his peak. Christie, despite negative ratings for key issues, has seen very little long-term erosion in support.”

Results are from a poll of 888 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from June 3-9, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. The subsample of 763 registered voters reported here has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.

On education, approval ratings have dropped since April. Forty-five percent approve of Christie’s handling of that issue, down four points, while 46 percent disapprove, up two points, the poll showed.

Christie does better overall on crime and drugs: 51 percent approve of the job he is doing, 28 percent disapprove while 21 percent are unsure.

Christie also does well on the state budget: 51 percent approve of his performance, compared to 37 percent who disapprove and 12 percent who are unsure.

Christie’s handling of the cleanup from Sandy is key to his overall popularity, the poll showed.

Eighty-six percent approve while only 10 percent disapprove. He gets equally high marks from Democrats and Republicans, as well as from many of his usual detractors: those who view him unfavorably (73 percent approval), women (88 percent), black voters (81 percent) and public union households (87 percent).

New Jersey voters perceive him as a political moderate, according to the poll. Nearly 60 percent of voters see him that way, including more than half of Democrats and almost seven in 10 Republicans. Only 28 percent consider Christie to be conservative.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton