A new poll finds most New Jerseyans continue to disapprove of the job Gov. Chris Christie is doing.

And although Christie's made fighting New Jersey's opioid epidemic a priority for his final year, a significant majority believe those with substance abuse issues should not rely on the government to help them get treatment.

A just-released Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll findss only 18 percent of voters approve of his job performance, a number that is unchanged from last month and considerably lower than it was a year ago at this time, when it was at 31 percent.

Poll director Krista Jenkins noted the governor's recent State of the State address was a departure from previous speeches, in its bipartisan appeal to expand state assistance in helping those with substance abuse issues to recover, “however unfortunately for him the speech and its focus on this very important issue facing the state did little to help his approval among registered voters.”

Jenkins said “disapproval is widespread with majorities of both Democrats and Republicans rejecting his leadership. In fact not even half of Republicans approve of the governor’s job performance."

She said the poll also finds the governor is not the only one largely disfavored by the public.

“When we asked people if they approved the job the state Legislature is doing, only 28 percent offer their approval, with the vast majority, or 55 percent saying, they disapprove of the people who are representing us in Trenton," Jenkins said.

She added “even a majority of Democrats disapprove of the Democratically controlled Legislature, with Republicans and independents even offering stronger disapproval.”

The survey finds 51 percent of Democrats don’t think their lawmakers are doing a good job, while 53 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of independents turn thumbs down on the Legislature.

The poll also finds members of the public in the Garden State are concerned about the direction the state is headed.

“Only a fifth, or 20 percent, believe the state is headed in the right direction, with three quarters, or 73 percent, who say they’re worried about where the state is headed,” she said.

Jenkins said the poll also found many voters said they paid close attention to the governor’s proposals during the State of the State to expand statewide assistance to those facing substance abuse issues, but many were not enthusiastic about his plan.

“When posed with the question about who should be responsible for helping those seeking treatment, Garden State voters are pretty decisive. Three quarters, or 74 percent, believe individuals or their families should bear the most responsibility with helping addicts, with only a fifth, or 22 percent, who believe government should be looked to more often,” she said.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 25 through 29, among a random sample of 839 registered voters in New Jersey. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, including the design effect, according to PublicMind.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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