Chris Christie’s Approval Rating Remains High According To New Poll [AUDIO]
Garden State voters like Chris Christie. Democrats have been blasting the Governor's 10% income tax cut plan, but it might not be resonating with residents because they like that too.
These are the key findings in a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning.
Poll director Mickey Carroll says, "Voters continue to give the Gov. good marks on how he's doing his job in Trenton."
New Jersey voters approve 55 - 38 percent of the job Christie is doing as Governor. That's down just a bit compared to his all-time high of 58 - 38 percent October 12. Approval is 62 - 32 percent among men and 49 - 44 percent among women. 56 percent say they like Christie as a personw while 32 percent say they do not.
31 percent approve of the job Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno is doing. 19 percent disapprove and 50-percent don't know. 28 percent like the job State Senate President Steve Sweeney is doing. 26 percent disapprove and 46 percent don't know. 24 percent approve of the job Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is doing. 20 percent disapprove and 57 percent don't know.
Voters look less favorably upon the legislature. 44 percent disapprove of the way the Assembly is handing business while just 33 percent approve and 23 percent don't know. 46 percent disapprove of the job the Senate is doing. 36 percent approve and 19 percent don't know.
"No sooner did Christie propose his 10 percent income tax cut then legislative Democrats denounced it," explains Carroll. "But so far he wins with the voters. Even non-millionaires think the plan is fair to them."
Garden State voters support, 56 - 33 percent Christie's proposed 10 percent tax cut. Support is 83 - 11 percent among Republicans and 54 - 34 percent among independent voters. Democrats are opposed 51 - 38 percent. As most would expect, support for the tax cut rises with household income. Voters also say 55 - 31 percent the tax cut is fair to people like them. Democrats say unfair 48 - 38 percent.
The survey also asks Jersey voters their thoughts on the national political picture. With Christie as his running mate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner, cuts into President Barack Obama's lead in New Jersey, but still falls short, trailing 49 - 43 percent. Without Christie, Romney trails Obama 49 - 39 percent. There is a big gender gap with or without Christie. With Christie, men vote Republican 51 - 43 percent while women vote Democratic 55 - 35 percent.
Carroll says, "Governor Christopher Christie says he'd be a terrible vice-president and we may never find out. Putting him on the ticket helps the Republicans a little, but not enough, in New Jersey. If the measure of a vice presidential pick is carrying his or her home state, then Governor Christie comes up short."
Also without Christie on the ticket, Obama tops former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum 52 - 34 percent and the president buries former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55 - 30 percent.
New Jersey voters approve 51 - 45 percent of the job Obama is doing, his best score in eight months, and say 51 - 44 percent he deserves four more years in the White House, also his best score so far.
Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Menendez leads State Sen. Joe Kyrillos, his virtually unknown Republican challenger, 49 - 34 percent. Independent voters back the Democrat 44 - 33 percent.
Menendez gets a 48 - 31 percent job approval rating, his best score ever, and voters say 48 - 34 percent he deserves to be reelected, also his best score ever. By a 38 - 24 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Menendez while 36 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion. For Kyrillos, 82 percent of voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion.
"Senator Robert Menendez's numbers are only so-so, but nobody has heard of State Sen. Joe Kyrillos," says Carroll. "He gets only the generic Republican vote."
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg gets a 49 - 36 percent approval rating, his highest score since a 55 - 22 percent approval July 27, 2000.
From February 21 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,396 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones. The survey includes 446 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.