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First Term Report Card For Gov. Christie

Today in New Jersey, 61 percent of Garden Staters approve of the job Gov. Chris Christie is doing while just 24 percent disapprove according to a new Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press survey.

NJ Governor Chris Christie Holds Town Hall Meeting
NJ Governor Chris Christie Holds Town Hall Meeting (Jessica Kourkounis, Getty Images)

Among registered voters, his rating stands at 63 percent approve to 24 percent disapprove. The numbers reveal a drop from Christie’s post-Sandy high of 70 percent in February, but the governor’s job rating continues to be significantly higher than in any pre-Sandy poll.

“The governor continues to hold a strong post-Sandy standing among New Jersey residents,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “The only evidence of a dip comes from Democrats, and even that group remains relatively positive (47 percent approve, 37 percent disapprove).”

The never-ending issue of property taxes is the only area covered in the poll where the governor’s grades are more negative than positive. More residents give his administration a “D” (15 percent) or “F” (20 percent) than award him an “A” (7 percent) or “B” (20 percent). Another 29 percent give a “C.”

“Property tax relief is the only area where the governor’s grades have been consistently weak,” says Murray. “This has little impact on his overall job rating, though, because New Jerseyans place most of the blame for this problem on the legislature, past governors, and local entities.”

When it comes to controlling costs and cutting waste, a key plank in then-candidate Christie’s 2009 campaign, the administration gets good grades from 4-in-10 constituents – 12 percent give an “A” and 28 percent a “B,” while 1-in-5 give only a “D” (10 percent) or “F” (11 percent). Another 31percent give a “C.” The 40 percent who give positive grades on this issue is down from 54 percent in December and 47 percent in April 2012, but the new results are in line with earlier polls.

“After Sandy, the governor’s hallmark accomplishment is in the area of state spending,” explains Murray. “Public opinion isn’t quite as rosy as it was a few months ago, but this is still a strong suit for Christie.”

On the issue of education, almost 4-in-10 New Jerseyans give Christie an “A” (12 percent) or “B” (27 percent) for improving the state’s schools, while just over 1-in-4 say he has earned only a “D” (12 percent) or “F” (15 percent). Another 27% give him a “C.” The governor receives fewer positive grades on education than he did in December (45 percent).

The poll was conducted by telephone with 783 New Jersey adults from September 6 to 10, 2013. The margin of error is + 3.5 percent.


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