February 4, 2009 - 12-Point Shift From Corzine To Christie In Gov Race, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; 9% Say Life In Garden State Got Better Under Corzine

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While few New Jersey voters know much about him, former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, a Republican challenger, leads Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine 44 - 38 percent in this year's Governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This reverses a 42 - 36 percent Gov. Corzine lead in a November 19 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Democrats support Corzine 72 - 10 percent while Christie leads 86 - 7 percent among Republicans and 49 - 24 percent among independent voters. Men back the Republican 51 - 32 percent while women go Democratic 42 - 38 percent. Black voters back Corzine 68 - 9 percent while white voters back Christie 52 - 32 percent.

In a Republican primary, Christie tops former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan 44 - 17 percent, with 5 percent for Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine and 2 percent for Assembly member Rick Merkt.

Voters disapprove 50 - 41 percent of the job Corzine is doing, continuing a six-month string of negative ratings. Independent voters disapprove 62 - 30 percent, matching the same 2-1 anti-Corzine margin from the election matchup.

"Republican Christopher Christie has broken out of the gate as a strong challenger to Gov. Jon Corzine. In less than four months, he has come from trailing the Governor by six points to leading him by six points - a 12-point shift," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"In that time, Corzine's approval rating has slipped only a couple of points, but Christie's favorability ratings have jumped by nine points," Richards added.

"Corzine suddenly has become the underdog in this race and history will surely repeat itself in New Jersey in 2009. The big question is whether Corzine will come back like Democratic Gov. Brendan Byrne did in 1977 or go down to defeat like Jim Florio in 1993."

New Jersey voters say 54 - 33 percent that Corzine does not deserve to be reelected. Democrats want him back 61 - 22 percent, while Republicans say no 87 - 8 percent and independent voters turn thumbs down 64 - 23 percent.

Corzine also gets a negative 49 - 41 percent favorability rating, with 7 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Christie gets a 31 - 7 percent favorability, but 61 percent of New Jersey voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion, down from 70 percent in November. For Lonegan, 78 percent don't know enough.

While Lonegan is largely unknown, he trails Corzine 42 - 36 percent in the race for Governor, leading the incumbent 40 - 28 percent among independent voters and 76 - 11 percent among Republicans. Democrats back Corzine 75 - 6 percent.

"Among independent New Jersey voters, Christie has gone from a narrow lead last November to a 2-1 lead over Corzine in the new poll," Richards said.

Only 9 percent of New Jersey voters say things have gotten better in New Jersey since Corzine became Governor, while 45 percent say they've gotten worse and 43 percent say they're the same, almost identical to results from a November 19, 2008, Quinnipiac University poll.

Only 31 percent of New Jersey voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 68 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied," also identical to November 19 results.

Voters approve 45 - 38 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is doing. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez gets a 42 - 30 percent approval rating.

From January 29 - February 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,173 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. The survey includes 385 Republicans, with a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally as a public service and for research.
For more data or RSS feed: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.
1. (If registered Republican) As you may know there will be an election for Governor in New Jersey this year. Thinking about the Republican primary for Governor, if the Republican primary were being held today, do you think you would vote for Former prosecutor Christopher Christie or some other Republican?
                     Rep
 
Christie             40%
Other Republican     21
DK/NA                39
 
 
2. (If registered Republican)If the Republican primary were being held today, and the candidates were Former prosecutor Christopher Christie, Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, Assemblyman Rick Merkt or Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine, for whom would you vote?
                     Rep
 
Christie             44%
Lonegan              17
Merkt                 2
Levine                5
DK/NA                32
 
 
3. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat and Christopher Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Corzine              38%     7%    72%    24%    32%    42%    32%    68%
Christie             44     86     10     49     51     38     52      9
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      1      3      2      2      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      1      2      1      1      1      2
DK/NA                16      6     16     23     14     18     13     20
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              51%    41%    31%    37%    28%
Christie             27     40     53     42     54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      3      -      4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      1      -
DK/NA                17     17     12     18     14
 
TREND: If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat, and Christopher Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2009    2008    2008    2008
 
Corzine              38      42      42      40
Christie             44      36      40      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       3       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       1       2
DK/NA                16      18      16      17
 
 
4. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat and Steve Lonegan the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Corzine              42%    11%    75%    28%    38%    45%    36%    73%
Lonegan              36     76      6     40     41     32     43      4
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      2      3      3      3      2      5
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      2      2      1      2      -
DK/NA                18      9     15     26     16     20     17     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              58%    45%    35%    42%    30%
Lonegan              22     33     42     33     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      2      5      2      4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      1      2      2
DK/NA                16     19     18     22     13
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            31%    49%    15%    34%    38%    24%    37%    11%
Unfavorable           7      2     13      6      8      7      7     15
Hvn't hrd enough     61     50     70     59     53     68     56     74
REFUSED               1      -      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            18%    29%    43%    24%    39%
Unfavorable          10      8      4      8      8
Hvn't hrd enough     72     63     51     68     52
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2009    2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            31      22      25      21
Unfavorable           7       6       7       7
Hvn't hrd enough     61      70      67      69
REFUSED               1       2       2       2
 
 
6. Is your opinion of -- Steve Lonegan favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            15%    31%     5%    14%    20%    10%    17%     5%
Unfavorable           6      2     10      6      7      5      7      2
Hvn't hrd enough     78     67     84     80     72     84     75     92
REFUSED               1      -      -      1      -      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable             9%    14%    21%     8%    22%
Unfavorable           7     10      3      3      4
Hvn't hrd enough     83     76     76     88     73
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      -
 
 
7. Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            41%    15%    68%    29%    38%    44%    37%    61%
Unfavorable          49     81     20     58     54     43     54     18
Hvn't hrd enough      7      2      9      8      5      9      6     16
REFUSED               3      2      3      5      2      4      3      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            50%    46%    31%    43%    32%
Unfavorable          40     44     59     43     60
Hvn't hrd enough      5      8      5      9      7
REFUSED               5      2      5      5      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2009    2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            41      42      42      39
Unfavorable          49      43      46      46
Hvn't hrd enough      7      11       9      10
REFUSED               3       4       3       5
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              41%    13%    68%    30%    39%    43%    38%    58%
Disapprove           50     82     22     62     56     46     55     27
DK/NA                 8      5     11      8      5     11      7     15
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              55%    45%    34%    42%    30%
Disapprove           41     47     59     44     63
DK/NA                 4      9      7     14      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Apr 18  Apr 26
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2006
 
Approve              41      43      40      42      38      51      35
Disapprove           50      46      51      48      52      36      42
DK/NA                 8      11       9      10      11      13      23
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              30%    14%    49%    21%    25%    34%    28%    40%
Disapprove           54     74     33     65     66     44     57     42
DK/NA                16     12     17     14      9     21     16     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              35%    33%    29%    32%    19%
Disapprove           51     50     61     49     65
DK/NA                14     17      9     18     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Jan 26  Jul 14
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2005    2006
 
Approve              30      28      24      25      25      44      20
Disapprove           54      51      58      59      57      31      71
DK/NA                16      20      18      16      18      25      10
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              45%    20%    67%    39%    40%    50%    45%    59%
Disapprove           38     69     13     43     47     30     42     22
DK/NA                16     12     20     17     13     19     14     19
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              47%    50%    35%    48%    42%
Disapprove           33     35     50     33     42
DK/NA                19     15     15     19     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator? (*also 55% on 9/23/1999 & 7/22/1999)
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Jul 27  Feb 20
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2007    2000*   2008
 
Approve              45      50      46      39      42      55      39
Disapprove           38      36      35      31      33      22      31
DK/NA                16      14      18      29      25      23      29
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              42%    22%    58%    38%    40%    43%    40%    51%
Disapprove           30     54     11     35     37     25     33     11
DK/NA                28     24     32     27     23     33     27     38
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              46%    43%    33%    48%    37%
Disapprove           30     29     36     23     36
DK/NA                24     28     31     29     27
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 4   Feb 20
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2009    2008
 
Approve              42      38      35      33      36      42      30
Disapprove           30      30      31      34      26      30      31
DK/NA                28      32      34      33      37      28      39
 
 
14. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        2%     1%     4%     -      1%     3%     2%     5%
Smwht satisfied      29     17     44     22     26     32     27     42
Smwht dissatisfied   36     30     36     41     37     36     37     31
Very dissatisfied    32     52     15     37     36     29     34     23
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      -      1      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        -      3%     1%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      47     31     23     28     19
Smwht dissatisfied   28     36     38     42     35
Very dissatisfied    25     30     38     28     42
DK/NA                 -      1      -      1      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*also 71% on 02/12/1999)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT....
                                                             High    Low
                     Feb 4   Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 26  Jun 16
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2000*   2006
 
Very satisfied        2       3       2       3       4      10       3
Smwht satisfied      29      32      30      29      29      61      27
Smwht dissatisfied   36      36      35      35      33      21      37
Very dissatisfied    32      29      32      33      33       7      32
DK/NA                 1       -       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
15. Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes/Deserves         33%     8%    61%    23%    30%    36%    29%    51%
No/Does not          54     87     22     64     62     46     59     25
DK/NA                13      5     17     14      7     18     11     24
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes/Deserves         42%    38%    25%    37%    23%
No/Does not          42     48     64     47     69
DK/NA                16     14     11     16      8
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Feb 20  Dec 11
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007
 
Yes                  33      37      37      37      32      44
No                   54      51      50      50      51      43
DK/NA                13      12      13      12      17      13
 
 
16. Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better                9%     3%    18%     5%     8%    11%     6%    25%
Worse                45     66     25     53     49     40     50     25
The same             43     30     53     38     40     45     41     43
DK/NA                 3      2      3      4      3      4      3      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better               13%    13%     5%     9%     5%
Worse                32     40     56     36     60
The same             52     44     35     49     33
DK/NA                 4      3      4      5      1
 
TREND: Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same? (*also 9% on 08/12/2008)
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Better  Better
                     Feb 4   Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 28  Feb 4
                     2009    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2009*
 
Better                9      10      10       9      10      20       9
Worse                45      44      39      39      39      15      45
The same             43      43      47      49      50      62      43
DK/NA                 3       3       4       3       2       3       3