New Jersey’s registered voters think Gov. Chris Christie is “stubborn,” but they also see him as “independent” and “smart,” according to a Rutgers Eagleton poll. About 4 in 10 Garden Staters think these words describe Christie “very well,” while fewer than 2 in 10 say they do not describe him at all. Given a set of four positive and four negative character traits, slightly more voters say the positive traits describe Christie very well.
According to the poll, Christie’s favorability among registered voters has returned to February’s level (46 percent), but his unfavorable rating during the same stretch has increased 13 points to 39 percent. Only 15 percent of respondents today say they don’t have an opinion of Christie, down from 29 percent in February. At the same time, though almost half the voters say they have a favorable opinion of the governor, a majority think Christie is doing only a fair or poor job. Thirty-nine percent say he is doing a good job, but 33 percent say he is doing a fair job and 25 percent rate him poor. The state budget is the issue that most strongly influences attitudes toward Christie – 63 percent of voters think more could have been done to alleviate program cuts. Only 30 percent say they support the budget as passed.
The telephone poll of 751 registered voters statewide was conducted Aug. 5 to 8 and has a margin of error of +/-3.6 percentage points.
“New Jerseyans describe the governor as a smart leader, but they are also quite willing to call him stubborn,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science. “Many who say he isn’t doing a good job, describe him in positive terms.”