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Chris Christie Still Liked Among NJ Voters

Voters in the Garden State are none too happy about what’s going on in Washington as the federal government shutdown drags on, but they are still feeling good about Gov. Chris Christie according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind poll released today.

Governor Chris Christie
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

The statewide survey of registered voters finds that less than half (45 percent) approve of the job that President Barack Obama is doing, and not even a third say the country is headed in the right direction (30 percent). Here in New Jersey Christie receives an almost two-thirds (62 percent) approval rating and 57 percent of respondents believe the state is on the right track.

“The government shutdown and looming debt ceiling deadline are clearly fanning the flames of voter ire,” says Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind and professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “We’ve not seen this much discontent regarding events at the national level since Jan. of 2012, when barely a quarter of those polled said things were headed in the right direction. Gov. Christie, on the other hand, continues to remain largely immune to voter discontent in an environment that’s rife with disgust for all things political.”

The Governor’s appeal transcends partisanship for many voters. For example, 47 percent of Democrats approve of the Christie’s job performance. In President Obama’s case, party loyalties prevail. An overwhelming majority of Democrats (76 percent) approve of Obama and almost equal numbers of Republicans disapprove of his leadership (80 percent).

What do voters like and dislike about Christie? Almost half (46 percent) like everything about him in terms of his personality and his policies. Republicans are, not surprisingly, the most decisive (76 percent), but as many Democrats (28 percent) like everything as dislike everything about him (28 percent).

Women have less positive views of Christie as compared to men. Among women, 41 percent like his personality and his policies while about half (51 percent) of men say the same. Regarding job approval, a gap of eleven percentage points separates women from men. Two-thirds (67 percent) of men approve of his job performance compared with slightly more than half (56 percent) of women.

“We’ve seen this trend for some time,” explains Jenkins. “Although largely favorable toward the governor, women have consistently expressed less support for the governor, something that illustrates one of the few dents in the governor’s armor.”

The poll of 702 registered voters in New Jersey was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from September 30 through October 5, 2013, and has a margin of error of +/-3.7 percentage points.


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