Rutgers poll: Christie approval rating dips, but remains high

NEW BRUNSWICK – A year after his response to Hurricane Sandy sent Gov. Chris Christie’s ratings into record territory, a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll finds New Jersey registered voters continue to embrace him, if not quite as strongly.  

Christie’s 66 percent positive job rating represents a drop of four points since June. During the same period, disapproval of Christie has increased six points to 31 percent, still well below its pre-Sandy highs.

“It was inevitable that the governor’s ratings would drop from their high point during the run-up to an election, but Christie continues to bask in broad support,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University.

Voters also pan his efforts on the economy and taxes.

Only 42 percent approve of Christie’s handling of the economy and jobs, unchanged since June, but the 34 percent approval of his performance on taxes is a seven-point decline over that period.

Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono does not benefit much from any Christie ratings slippage. More than half of voters still do not know or have an impression of her, even after a summer of campaigning.

Among those with an impression, her favorability has improved five points to 27 percent; her unfavorability has dropped two points since June to 22 percent.

Neither candidate’s running mate is well known. Among respondents, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is viewed favorably by a 2 to 1 margin, but 71 percent have no opinion. Milly Silva, Buono’s running mate, fares even worse: 79 percent of voters have no opinion of her, 13 percent feel unfavorable and only 9 percent are favorable.

Results are from a poll of 925 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Sept. 3-9. The subsample of 814 registered voters reported on here has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.