August 19, 2010 - New Jersey's Christie Is More Leader Than Bully, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Gov's Approval Is Up While Obama's Score Is Down

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New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is winning the hearts and minds of New Jersey voters who approve 51 - 36 percent of the job he is doing and say 51 - 39 percent that the Governor is more a "leader" than a "bully," according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. But voters also say 46 - 43 percent that he is "confrontational" rather than "honest and refreshing."

That's an improvement on all three measures over a June 17 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University when voters split 44 - 43 percent in their job approval and 44 - 43 percent over whether he was a "leader" or a "bully." Voters in June said 52 - 38 percent that Gov. Christie was "confrontational" rather than "honest and refreshing."

In today's survey, Christie gets a 75 - 13 percent thumbs up from Republicans and a 61 - 29 percent approval from independent voters. Democrats disapprove 63 - 24 percent.

The Governor's approval rating is higher than for other players in Trenton:
  • Voters disapprove 28 - 17 percent of the way the State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney is doing his job, with 55 percent undecided;
  • Voters split 19 - 19 percent in their approval of Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, with 63 percent undecided;
  • Voters disapprove 45 - 28 percent of the State Assembly;
  • Voters disapprove 46 - 30 percent of the State Senate.
"New Jerseyans are getting used to their new Governor, Christopher Christie, as his job approval breaks the 50 percent mark. But familiarity hasn't helped him much with Democrats," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "A lot of voters still think Christie is a bully, but the victories he chalked up in the legislature earn him good marks for leadership."

"They are formidable in Trenton, but voters don't know much about Sen. Stephen Sweeney or Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver," Carroll added. "Overall, we don't think much of the legislature."

Most New Jersey voters give Christie passing grades after six months in office:
  • 15 percent give him an A;
  • 32 percent give him a B;
  • 20 percent give him a C;
  • 16 percent give him a D;
  • 14 percent give him an F.
A total of 66 percent of New Jersey voters are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the Garden State, an improvement on the 75 percent all-time high dissatisfaction rate June 17.

"A solid 'B' student-that's our Governor's mark after six months in command," Carroll said.

President Obama's Approval

President Barack Obama's approval rating has dropped to an all-time low in New Jersey, a split 47 - 47 percent, down from a 50 - 46 percent approval rating June 17. Democrats approve of the President 80 - 16 percent while Republicans disapprove 80 - 14 percent. Independent voters disapprove 53 - 41 percent, compared to a 52 - 45 percent disapproval June 17.

From August 9 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,190 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              51%    75%    24%    61%    63%    40%    58%    25%
Disapprove           36     13     63     29     27     44     30     64
DK/NA                13     12     14     10     10     16     12     11
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              38%    48%    61%    39%    66%
Disapprove           50     36     26     48     25
DK/NA                12     15     13     14      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                     Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010
 
Approve              51      44
Disapprove           36      43
DK/NA                13      12
 
 
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Stephen Sweeney is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              17%    16%    20%    16%    22%    14%    15%    28%
Disapprove           28     29     27     30     33     24     27     28
DK/NA                55     56     53     55     46     63     58     44
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              24%    16%    16%    21%    13%
Disapprove           28     23     31     35     26
DK/NA                48     61     53     44     61
 
 
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheila Oliver is handling her job as Assembly Speaker?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              19%    14%    26%    17%    19%    18%    15%    35%
Disapprove           19     21     15     21     25     14     19     18
DK/NA                63     65     59     62     56     68     66     47
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              26%    18%    17%    17%    16%
Disapprove           18     17     25     19     17
DK/NA                57     64     58     65     67
 
 
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state assembly is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              28%    25%    33%    25%    30%    26%    26%    35%
Disapprove           45     48     40     50     50     42     46     41
DK/NA                27     27     27     25     20     32     28     25
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              35%    26%    22%    33%    25%
Disapprove           44     45     51     40     49
DK/NA                22     29     27     27     26
 
 
5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state senate is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              30%    26%    36%    26%    32%    29%    28%    43%
Disapprove           46     48     40     53     52     42     49     29
DK/NA                24     26     24     20     17     29     23     28
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              37%    29%    26%    32%    27%
Disapprove           41     44     55     47     49
DK/NA                22     27     19     21     25
 
 
6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              47%    14%    80%    41%    40%    53%    38%    86%
Disapprove           47     80     16     53     56     40     57      7
DK/NA                 6      6      4      6      4      7      5      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              56%    53%    36%    54%    32%
Disapprove           35     41     61     40     63
DK/NA                 9      6      3      6      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Aug 19  Jun 17  Jan 20  Nov 24  Jun 10  Aug 19  Aug 19  
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2010    2010    
                                                                             
Approve              47      50      55      51      68      47      47      
Disapprove           47      46      40      42      25      47      47      
DK/NA                 6       4       5       7       7       6       6      
 
 
7. 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        3%     6%     3%     2%     4%     3%     3%     2%
Smwht satisfied      30     37     23     32     34     26     33     20
Smwht dissatisfied   37     33     42     38     33     41     36     41
Very dissatisfied    29     24     32     27     29     29     28     37
DK/NA                 1      -      -      1      1      -      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        7%     2%     2%     4%     3%
Smwht satisfied      22     28     31     27     40
Smwht dissatisfied   48     37     40     35     31
Very dissatisfied    23     33     26     34     26
DK/NA                 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? (*High also 71% Feb 1999)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Aug 19  Jun 17  Jan 20  Nov 24  Jul 15  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        3       2       2       1       3      10       2
Smwht satisfied      30      22      26      24      30      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   37      36      33      31      33      21      36
Very dissatisfied    29      39      38      42      33       7      39
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
8. Would you describe Governor Christie as being more of a bully or more of a leader?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Bully                39%    17%    64%    29%    30%    46%    32%    65%
Leader               51     76     23     62     62     41     58     23
DK/NA                11      7     13      9      8     13     10     12
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Bully                51%    39%    35%    47%    26%
Leader               38     51     59     41     61
DK/NA                11     10      7     12     13
 
TREND: Would you describe Governor Christie as being more of a bully or more of a leader?
                     Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010
 
Bully                39      43
Leader               51      44
DK/NA                11      13
 
 
9. Would you describe Governor Christie as being confrontational or honest and refreshing?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Confrontational      46%    22%    72%    38%    37%    53%    41%    71%
Honest/refreshing    43     66     17     53     52     35     47     24
DK/NA                12     12     12     10     11     12     11      5
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Confrontational      54%    47%    40%    54%    35%
Honest/refreshing    31     44     50     33     53
DK/NA                15      9     10     13     12
 
TREND: Would you describe Governor Christie as being confrontational or honest and refreshing?
                     Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010
 
Confrontational      46      52
Honest/refreshing    43      38
DK/NA                12      10
 
 
10. Christopher Christie has been governor for 6 months. What letter grade would you give him for the job he has been doing as governor; A, B, C, D, or F?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A                    15%    28%     3%    15%    21%    10%    17%     2%
B                    32     43     19     39     39     26     36     21
C                    20     14     24     21     18     22     18     24
D                    16      6     27     14     12     20     16     24
F                    14      6     26      9      9     19     10     30
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      1      3      3      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
A                     9%    12%    21%    15%    22%
B                    21     35     36     24     38
C                    20     23     20     15     19
D                    29     16     12     17     11
F                    20     11      9     26      9
DK/NA                 -      2      3      4      2