Poll: New Jerseyans say Christie ‘has accomplished little’
With his eyes on a potential run for the White House in 2016, Gov. Chris Christie has gotten mixed reviews on his tenure from New Jersey voters in the latest statewide Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll.
Garden State residents who participated in the survey said they felt conditions in the state have either stayed the same or have gotten worse since Christie took office. Only 20 percent said the Christie years have been good for the average resident.
"On economic issues, the economy and taxes and spending we find that by a fairly sizable margin people believe the conditions in the state have actually worsened," said Krista Jenkins, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and director of PublicMind.
Forty-two percent of respondents said the economy has grown worse, and half (52 percent) said the same about taxes and spending. Thirty-two percent said they have stayed the same.
"On ethics and honesty in state government, the state's reputation and the lives of citizens opinion is largely divided among those who believe things have stayed the same or things have actually grown worse,'" Jenkins said.
Slightly over 4 in 10 (42 percent) said ethics and honesty in the state have worsened or remained the same (39 percent). Thirty-nine percent believe the state's reputation to outsiders has gotten worse while 36 percent said it has stayed the same. Roughly 4 in 10 said the lives of people in the state are no better or worse.
"I'd say that some of these numbers must hurt especially since he (Christie) has worked to establish himself as a leader on fiscal restraint, on tax reform and economic growth as well as creating an environment that is open and honest," Jenkins said.
In terms of the state's transportation system, environment and the condition of the state's major cities little has changed in the eyes of New Jersey residents. Forty-seven percent gave that response for the state's transportation system, 50 percent for environmental conditions, and 41 percent for the state's major cities.
Residents were also asked to compare Christie to previous New Jersey governors.
"Again, by a pretty sizable margin we find that most people say he's somewhere in the middle. He's neither the best nor the worst, but he's kind of average," Jenkins said.
Specifically, 64 percent said Christie falls somewhere in the middle, with 13 percent who said he's among New Jersey's best, and 21 percent who placed him at the bottom.
The poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 5 through Jan, 11 using a randomly selected sample of 805 adults aged 18 and older in New Jersey. Jenkins said one can be 95 percent confident that the error attributable to sampling has a range of +/- 3.5 percentage points.