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New Jersey Endorses Christie as GOP Keynote

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More say governor helps than hurts Garden State’s image


Governor Chris Christie’s public job approval rating remains above 50 percent, even though the third budget of his term hasn’t generated strong support.  The latest Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll  also found that Garden State residents give a big thumbs up to their governor being the keynote speaker at next month’s GOP convention.

Currently, Governor Christie earns a 52% approve to 36% disapprove job rating among all Garden State residents.  Among registered voters, his rating stands at 53% approve to 35% disapprove.  The governor’s positive ratings among Garden State voters have consistently ranged between 50% and 55% since last August.  Christie earns a strong 82% approve to 10% disapprove rating among his fellow Republicans and a 57% to 31% rating among New Jersey independents.  Democrats continue to disapprove, though, by a negative 60% to 26% margin.

Published reports last week suggested that Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President, would offer Chris Christie the coveted keynote speaker slot at the party’s nominating convention.  New Jersey voters strongly endorse giving their governor this high profile position, with 61% who say it is a good idea to just 24% who say it is a bad one.  Even Garden State Democrats (49%) are more likely to see it as a good rather than bad idea, joining 62% of independents and 82% of Republicans in their endorsement of a Christie keynote.

“Governor Christie as the GOP keynote speaker is a slam dunk, at least as far as his current constituents are concerned,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Overall, 42% of New Jerseyans think that Chris Christie helps the national Republican Party’s image compared to just 14% who say he hurts the GOP brand.  Another 37% say he has no impact on the party’s image.  Among Garden State Republicans, 67% say Christie helps their party’s image compared to just 7% who say he hurts it.

If the governor does take the stage in Tampa, he will almost certainly talk about his success at promoting bipartisanship at home.  His current constituents may have a different take on that, though.  Only 31% of New Jerseyans say that Christie and Democratic leaders have been working well together.  A majority (53%) say they have not.  When asked who is to blame for the discord, 58% blame both sides equally, 24% lay the blame on Christie and 15% say it is the Democrats’ fault.  These findings have been fairly consistent in polls going back to the first year of Christie’s term.

“The governor can certainly claim some key wins with the Democratic legislature since he took office.  But he has also suffered some stinging partisan defeats recently, such as the hold-up of his tax cut plan and the unprecedented rejection of two Supreme Court nominees,” said Murray.

Regardless of the partisan bickering at home, 41% of state residents say their governor helps New Jersey’s image around the country, while 29% say he hurts it.  Another 25% say he has no impact on the state’s reputation.

Governor Christie recently signed the third budget of his term.  Among the 7-in-10 New Jerseyans who followed the budget process at least a little, few have strong feelings about it.  Just 18% say they are satisfied with the budget and 24% are dissatisfied.  The majority (53%) say they aren’t particularly satisfied, but they can live with it.  These sentiments are very similar to opinion on the governor’s first budget in 2010 when it was 16% satisfied, 30% dissatisfied, and 51% could live with it.

The poll also found that 73% of residents are aware that no deal was reached on a proposed tax cut.  Most of these residents (54%) place responsibility for the lack of agreement on both the governor and legislative Democrats equally.  Another 22% blame the Democrats more and a similar 19% blame Christie more.

Among all residents, though, 54% say that it is better to see if enough revenues come in to support a tax cut first while 37% say it is better to pass a tax cut now.  A majority of Democrats (64%) and independents (54%) prefer a wait and see approach.  Republicans (53%) prefer to make the cuts now.  Among those who had heard at least something about the negotiations, 51% say it is better to wait.  This number is higher (64%) among residents who were not following the news about the tax cut debate.  [ Note:  the poll question did not attach either of these positions to Christie or legislative Democrats, suggesting that knowledge of the governor’s position may serve to increase public support for an immediate cut. ]

The poll also found that the state legislature’s job rating is still under water, at 35% approve to 43% disapprove.  The approval number has ranged between 35% and 38% over the past year, while the disapproval number has ranged between 38% and 47%.

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll  was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from July 18 to 22, 2012.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  3.5 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Asbury Park Press and its sister publications (Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune).

DATA TABLES

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Approve 52% 53% 44% 26% 57% 82% 58% 45% 41% 55%
Disapprove 36% 35% 38% 60% 31% 10% 32% 40% 47% 33%
(VOL) Don’t know 12% 12% 17% 14% 12% 8% 10% 15% 12% 12%
TREND: All adults July
2012
April
2012
Feb.
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011
Feb.
2011
Sept.
2010
July
2010
April
2010
Feb.
2010
Approve 52% 51% 52% 54% 48% 47% 47% 45% 44% 41% 33%
Disapprove 36% 35% 38% 38% 42% 49% 40% 38% 44% 44% 15%
(VOL) Don’t know 12% 14% 10% 9% 9% 5% 12% 17% 12% 15% 52%
Unwtd N

803

804 803 817 802 807 801 801 801 804

803

TREND: Registered voters July
2012
April
2012
Feb.
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011
Feb.
2011
Sept.
2010
July
2010
April
2010
Feb.
2010
Approve 53% 50% 55% 55% 50% 46% 49% 44% 45% 42% 31%
Disapprove 35% 38% 37% 37% 41% 49% 41% 40% 43% 44% 15%
(VOL) Don’t know 12% 12% 9% 8% 8% 5% 9% 16% 12% 13% 53%
Unwtd N

678

692 709 693 730 725 718 726 747 719 716
  1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job the state legislature is doing?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Approve 35% 34% 37% 37% 32% 36% 32% 37% 30% 36%
Disapprove 43% 45% 37% 40% 46% 45% 48% 38% 44% 43%
(VOL) Don’t know 22% 21% 26% 24% 22% 19% 20% 24% 26% 21%
TREND: All Adults July
2012
April
2012
Feb.
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011
Feb.
2011
July
2010
April
2010
Feb.
2010
July
2009
Feb.
2009
Sept.
2008
July
2008
April
2008
March
2008
Oct.
2007
Feb.
2007
Approve 35% 38% 35% 35% 35% 33% 30% 24% 20% 26% 30% 25% 29% 27% 29% 28% 33% 35%
Disapprove 43% 38% 39% 43% 47% 47% 44% 49% 56% 46% 47% 52% 47% 45% 53% 50% 41% 40%
(VOL) Don’t know 22% 24% 26% 22% 19% 20% 26% 27% 24% 28% 23% 23% 23% 28% 18% 22% 26% 25%
Unwtd N

803

804 803 817 802 807 801 801 804 803 923 803 808 1004 803 805 801

801

TREND: Registered Voters July 2012 April
2012
Feb.
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011
Feb.
2011
July
2010
April
2010
Feb.
2010
July
2009
Feb.
2009
Sept.
2008
July
2008
April
2008
March
2008
Oct.
2007
Feb.
2007
Approve 34% 37% 34% 33% 35% 32% 29% 25% 19% 24% 31% 23% 29% 27% 28% 25% 32% 34%
Disapprove 45% 41% 42% 45% 48% 48% 45% 49% 57% 49% 48% 55% 50% 47% 55% 53% 43% 42%
(VOL) Don’t know 21% 23% 24% 22% 17% 20% 26% 26% 24% 27% 22% 22% 21% 26% 17% 22% 25% 23%
Unwtd N

678

692 709 693 730 725 718 747 719 716 792 721 709 889 720 719 688

681

  1. How much have you heard or read about the state budget Governor Christie signed last month – a lot, a little, or nothing at all?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

A lot 17% 19% 6% 14% 16% 22% 18% 15% 21% 15%
A little 54% 57% 41% 53% 53% 56% 57% 50% 60% 52%
Nothing at all 29% 23% 52% 30% 32% 21% 24% 33% 18% 32%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 1% 2% 2% 0% 1% 0% 2% 1% 1%

 

[The following question was asked only of people who have heard at least a little about the state budget: moe=+/-4.0%]

  1. How would you describe your reaction to the budget – would you say you are satisfied with it, not particularly satisfied but you can live with it, or you are definitely dissatisfied with it?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Satisfied 18% 19% 11% 10% 20% 26% 18% 18% 17% 18%
Can live with it 53% 53% 53% 47% 54% 58% 55% 50% 42% 56%
Dissatisfied 24% 24% 27% 37% 22% 9% 23% 25% 35% 20%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 5% 10% 6% 5% 7% 5% 7% 6% 5%

 

  1. In general, have Governor Christie and Democratic leaders in the legislature been working together well or not so well?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

  Yes No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes No
Well 31% 31% 31% 22% 33% 44% 33% 30% 26% 33%
Not so well 53% 53% 53% 60% 55% 40% 54% 52% 59% 51%
(VOL) Mixed/Depends 5% 5% 3% 5% 3% 8% 5% 5% 4% 5%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 10% 13% 13% 9% 9% 8% 14% 11% 11%
TREND: July
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011

Sept.
2010

Well 31% 32% 18% 22% 21%
Not so well 53% 54% 63% 66% 61%
(VOL) Mixed/Depends 5% 3% 9% 3% 4%
(VOL) Don’t know 11% 11% 9% 9% 14%
Unwtd N

803

817 802 807

801

[The following question was asked only of those who said “Not so well” to Q5, moe=+/-4.5%]

  1. Who is more to blame for this – Christie, the Democrats, or both equally?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Christie 24% 23% 24% 37% 16% 14% 19% 28% 34% 20%
Democrats 15% 17% 8% 4% 19% 32% 19% 11% 11% 16%
Both equally 58% 57% 63% 57% 62% 51% 57% 58% 54% 59%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 4% 5% 3% 4% 3% 4% 3% 1% 4%
TREND: July
2012
Oct.
2011
Aug.
2011
May
2011

Sept.
2010

Christie 24% 29% 19% 25% 26%
Democrats 15% 19% 16% 20% 17%
Both equally 58% 50% 61% 54% 54%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 2% 3% 1% 3%
Unwtd N

477

467 590 563

510

  1. Governor Christie and the Democratic legislature have been unable to agree on a tax cut plan. Have you heard a lot, a little, or nothing at all about this?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

A lot 21% 24% 9% 18% 22% 24% 24% 19% 26% 19%
A little 52% 54% 45% 49% 50% 60% 52% 52% 57% 51%
Nothing at all 26% 22% 45% 32% 28% 14% 24% 28% 17% 29%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 1% 0% 0% 0% 2% 0% 1% 0% 1%

 

[The following question was asked only of people who said at least a little in Q7: moe=+/-4.0%]

  1. Who is more responsible for the lack of agreement on a plan – Christie, the Democrats, or both equally?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

  Yes No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes No
Christie 19% 20% 16% 35% 13% 9% 18% 21% 28% 17%
Democrats 22% 23% 17% 8% 25% 37% 27% 17% 18% 24%
Both equally 54% 53% 61% 52% 59% 51% 51% 58% 52% 55%
(VOL) Don’t know 4% 4% 6% 4% 3% 3% 4% 4% 2% 4%
  1. Do you think it would be better to pass a tax cut now or better to wait to see if enough revenues come in to support it?

TOTAL

REGISTERED VOTER PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Better to pass now 37% 37% 34% 26% 37% 53% 40% 33% 34% 37%
Better to wait 54% 53% 59% 64% 54% 39% 53% 55% 56% 54%
(VOL) Don’t know 9% 10% 8% 10% 9% 8% 6% 12% 10% 9%
  1. Thinking nationally, does Chris Christie help or hurt New Jersey’s image around the country, or does he make no difference to the state’s image?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Help 41% 44% 31% 20% 46% 67% 45% 38% 38% 42%
Hurt 29% 28% 34% 45% 27% 9% 24% 35% 36% 28%
No difference 25% 25% 25% 30% 23% 21% 27% 23% 21% 26%
(VOL) Don’t know 5% 3% 10% 5% 4% 3% 5% 4% 5% 4%
  1. Does Chris Christie help or hurt the national Republican Party’s image, or does he make no difference to the party’s image?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes

No

Help 42% 45% 32% 27% 43% 67% 46% 39% 36% 44%
Hurt 14% 15% 12% 19% 15% 7% 12% 16% 18% 14%
No difference 37% 35% 47% 46% 38% 23% 38% 37% 38% 37%
(VOL) Don’t know 6% 5% 8% 8% 4% 3% 4% 7% 8% 5%

 

  1. Do you think having Chris Christie as the keynote speaker at the Republican convention next month is a good idea or bad idea?

TOTAL

REGISTERED
VOTER
PARTY ID GENDER

PUBLIC
WORKER

 

Yes

No Dem Ind Rep Male Female Yes No
Good idea 61% 61% 61% 49% 62% 82% 63% 59% 49% 64%
Bad idea 24% 22% 30% 33% 23% 11% 23% 25% 31% 22%
(VOL) Both 2% 3% 0% 2% 3% 0% 2% 3% 1% 2%
(VOL) Don’t know 13% 14% 8% 17% 12% 6% 13% 13% 18% 11%

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on July 18 to 22, 2012 with a statewide random sample of 803 adult residents, including 603 contacted on a landline telephone and 200 on a cell phone.  Live interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, Inc. and the telephone sample was obtained from Survey Sampling International.  Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

35% Dem 48% Male 28% 18-34

63% White

44% Ind 52% Female 40% 35-54

12% Black

22% Rep   32% 55+

16% Hispanic

     

      9% Asian/Other

Registered Voter Sample (weighted)

34% Dem 47% Male 21% 18-34

70% White

43% Ind 53% Female 43% 35-54

11% Black

23% Rep   36% 55+

11% Hispanic

     

  8% Asian/Other

It is the Monmouth University Polling Institute’s policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect the state.  Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with all tables