November 9, 2010 - New Jersey's Christie Gets Good Grades For First Year, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Voters Say 2-1 He's Not Ready For White House

Word format

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie gets decent grades from voters as he nears the end of his first year in office, with a 51 - 38 percent approval rating, higher than President Barack Obama or any other statewide leader, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Assigning letter grades to the governor's performance, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds:
  • 17 percent of New Jersey voters give Christie an A;
  • 31 percent give him a B;
  • 20 percent give him a C;
  • 16 percent give him a D;
  • 15 percent give him an F.
Christie is more of a leader than a bully, voters say 50 - 42 percent. But 48 percent say he is "confrontational," while 43 percent say he is "honest and refreshing."

His first year in office has been mainly a success, 52 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say it's been mainly a failure. Christie is doing a better job than expected, 32 percent say, as 23 percent say he is doing a worse job and 42 percent say he is doing about as well as they expected.

"We like our in-your-face governor, Christopher Christie, and think he's a real Jersey guy - sometimes a bully, often confrontational, but getting a fair number of A's and a lot of B's in his first year," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But all that Christie-for-President chatter in the national news media? New Jerseyans think it's more political gossip than a serious possibility. Only one in five think he might run and most doubt that he's ready for the White House."

New Jersey voters say 61 - 24 percent that Christie would not make a good president. Even Republicans say only 45 - 36 percent that their governor is ready for the White House. Christie will not run for president in 2012, voters say 60 - 21 percent, and speculation that he will is just political gossip, 67 percent of voters say.

Still, Christie outscores President Obama, who gets a negative 46 - 50 percent approval rating in the Garden State, down from a 47 - 47 percent split in an August 19 Quinnipiac University poll and Obama's worst score ever in the state.

Other New Jersey elected officials don't do much better:
  • Voters disapprove 28 - 20 percent of the way the State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney is doing his job, with 52 percent undecided;
  • Voters disapprove 22 - 19 percent of the job Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is doing, with 59 percent undecided;
  • Voters approve 31 - 18 percent of the job Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is doing, with 50 percent undecided;
  • Voters disapprove 51 - 28 percent of the State Assembly;
  • Voters disapprove 53 - 29 percent of the State Senate.
Voters are evenly divided on New Jersey's two U.S. Senators, giving Sen. Frank Lautenberg a split 43 - 44 percent approval rating and giving Sen. Robert Menendez a slightly negative 38 - 41 percent score.

"Just about everyone has an opinion on Gov. Christie, but it looks as if New Jerseyans don't pay attention to Trenton. We don't know much about Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney or Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver," Carroll said.

"Sen. Robert Menendez is said to be getting into gear for his 2012 campaign. He'd better. Not only did Democrats lose Bergen County, right next door to Menendez' Hudson County home, on Election Day; he gets a slightly negative job approval measure.

"Only overwhelming support among black voters keeps President Barack Obama's job approval from tanking. He trails badly among white voters in a state that still looks pretty blue."

From November 3 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,362 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 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%    79%    22%    56%    58%    45%    58%    14%
Disapprove           38     12     68     32     31     45     33     71
DK/NA                10      9     10     12     11     10      9     15
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              39%    47%    59%    50%    61%
Disapprove           51     43     28     41     29
DK/NA                10     10     13      9     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              51      51      44
Disapprove           38      36      43
DK/NA                10      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              20%    19%    24%    17%    23%    18%    20%    19%
Disapprove           28     27     20     34     33     23     29     21
DK/NA                52     54     55     48     44     60     51     60
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              17%    17%    16%    32%    20%
Disapprove           22     28     27     29     31
DK/NA                61     55     57     40     49
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Stephen Sweeney is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2010    2010
 
Approve              20      17
Disapprove           28      28
DK/NA                52      55
 
 
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%    15%    23%    19%    18%    20%    18%    24%
Disapprove           22     23     18     27     27     18     22     20
DK/NA                59     62     60     54     55     62     60     56
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              21%    21%    15%    19%    17%
Disapprove           19     22     24     15     29
DK/NA                59     57     61     67     54
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheila Oliver is handling her job as Assembly Speaker?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2010    2010
 
Approve              19      19
Disapprove           22      19
DK/NA                59      63
 
 
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%    27%    31%    26%    23%    32%    28%    27%
Disapprove           51     48     50     56     58     44     51     53
DK/NA                21     26     20     19     18     24     21     21
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              30%    27%    31%    28%    24%
Disapprove           54     52     44     52     52
DK/NA                16     21     24     20     24
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state assembly is handling its job?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2010    2010
 
Approve              28      28
Disapprove           51      45
DK/NA                21      27
 
 
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              29%    27%    32%    28%    27%    31%    30%    20%
Disapprove           53     53     50     57     58     49     54     53
DK/NA                18     20     18     15     15     20     16     26
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              25%    28%    34%    31%    27%
Disapprove           52     56     43     54     57
DK/NA                24     15     22     15     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state senate is handling its job?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2010    2010
 
Approve              29      30
Disapprove           53      46
DK/NA                18      24
 
 
6. 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              43%    22%    65%    40%    36%    48%    41%    58%
Disapprove           44     66     19     47     53     36     48     21
DK/NA                13     12     16     13     11     16     11     21
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              51%    46%    40%    42%    33%
Disapprove           28     42     46     43     57
DK/NA                21     11     14     15     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator? (*High approve also 55% Sep 1999 & Jul 1999)
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Nov 09  Jun 17  Jan 20  Nov 24  Jul 27  Feb 20  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2000*   2008    2010
 
Approve              43      40      46      40      55      39      40
Disapprove           44      47      42      41      22      31      47
DK/NA                13      13      12      20      23      29      13
 
 
7. 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              38%    20%    57%    37%    35%    41%    37%    45%
Disapprove           41     58     17     48     50     34     46     24
DK/NA                20     22     26     15     15     25     18     30
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              48%    43%    34%    39%    29%
Disapprove           26     41     41     39     55
DK/NA                27     16     26     23     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Nov 09  Jun 17  Jan 20  Nov 24  Feb 4   Feb 20  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010    2009    2009    2008    2010
 
Approve              38      38      41      36      42      30      38
Disapprove           41      43      41      37      30      31      43
DK/NA                20      18      17      27      28      39      18
 
 
8. 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              46%    12%    85%    42%    41%    51%    36%    92%
Disapprove           50     84     13     55     56     45     61      3
DK/NA                 4      4      2      4      3      4      2      5
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              65%    46%    39%    52%    35%
Disapprove           30     50     58     47     60
DK/NA                 5      4      3      1      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 17  Jan 20  Jun 10  Nov 09  Nov 09
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010    2010
 
Approve              46      47      50      55      68      46      46
Disapprove           50      47      46      40      25      50      50
DK/NA                 4       6       4       5       7       4       4
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Kim Guadagno is handling her job as Lieutenant Governor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              31%    36%    26%    31%    33%    30%    30%    37%
Disapprove           18     10     23     22     20     17     18     25
DK/NA                50     53     50     48     47     53     52     37
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              33%    30%    24%    28%    42%
Disapprove           17     18     15     22     20
DK/NA                51     52     61     50     38
 
 
10. 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        4%     8%     3%     3%     5%     4%     5%     2%
Smwht satisfied      28     44     19     25     30     26     31     21
Smwht dissatisfied   32     25     38     32     32     32     31     31
Very dissatisfied    35     22     40     39     32     37     32     46
DK/NA                 1      2      -      1      1      1      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        4%     4%     4%     3%     6%
Smwht satisfied      19     29     36     28     27
Smwht dissatisfied   30     35     33     31     30
Very dissatisfied    44     32     28     37     36
DK/NA                 2      1      -      2      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
                     Nov 9   Aug 19  Jun 17  Jan 20  Nov 24  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010    2010    2009    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        4       3       2       2       1      10       2
Smwht satisfied      28      30      22      26      24      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   32      37      36      33      31      21      36
Very dissatisfied    35      29      39      38      42       7      39
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
11. Would you say that Christopher Christie is doing a better job as governor than you expected, a worse job, or about what you expected?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better               32%    51%    11%    35%    40%    25%    38%     6%
Worse                23      9     38     21     20     26     20     41
Expected             42     36     49     42     38     45     39     52
DK/NA                 3      5      3      2      2      4      3      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better               22%    33%    35%    30%    38%
Worse                32     25     20     24     16
Expected             43     40     41     46     42
DK/NA                 3      3      4      1      4
 
 
12. Since Christopher Christie became governor in January 2010, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better               27%    49%     5%    27%    34%    20%    31%     5%
Worse                31     11     53     28     25     37     27     61
The same             41     38     42     44     40     42     41     34
DK/NA                 1      2      -      1      1      1      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better               15%    26%    31%    26%    33%
Worse                46     35     25     34     20
The same             38     38     43     40     47
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      -
 
 
13. 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                42%    15%    68%    41%    35%    47%    35%    79%
Leader               50     78     22     53     57     45     58      8
DK/NA                 8      7     10      6      8      8      6     13
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Bully                54%    41%    38%    45%    34%
Leader               33     52     54     48     59
DK/NA                13      7      9      7      6
 
TREND: Would you describe Governor Christie as being more of a bully or more of a leader?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Bully                42      39      43
Leader               50      51      44
DK/NA                 8      11      13
 
 
14. Would you describe Governor Christie as being confrontational or honest and refreshing?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Confrontational      48%    23%    73%    47%    41%    54%    42%    76%
Honest/Refreshing    43     70     15     45     49     38     50     10
DK/NA                 9      7     11      8     10      8      7     15
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Confrontational      59%    51%    43%    48%    40%
Honest/Refreshing    26     43     45     44     52
DK/NA                16      5     12      8      8
 
TREND: Would you describe Governor Christie as being confrontational or honest and refreshing?
                     Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2010    2010    2010
 
Confrontational      48      46      52
Honest/refreshing    43      43      38
DK/NA                 9      12      10
 
 
15. As Governor Christie closes out his first year as Governor, would you say it has been mainly a success or mainly a failure?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Success              52%    79%    25%    56%    60%    45%    60%    13%
Failure              35     13     62     31     31     40     30     70
DK/NA                12      8     13     13      9     15     11     17
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Success              32%    52%    59%    50%    62%
Failure              55     37     28     36     26
DK/NA                13     11     13     15     12
 
 
16. 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                    17%    35%     2%    16%    21%    14%    20%     -
B                    31     40     19     35     37     26     35     13
C                    20     14     25     19     16     23     17     34
D                    16      4     24     18     14     17     14     22
F                    15      4     28     12     11     18     13     29
DK/NA                 1      3      2      -      1      2      1      2
 
TREND: What letter grade would you give him for the job he has been doing as governor; A, B, C, D, or F ? (* Included reference to 6 months)
                     Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2010    *2010
 
A                    17      15
B                    31      32
C                    20      20
D                    16      16
F                    15      14
DK/NA                 1       2
 
 
17. Do you think Christopher Christie would make a good President or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  24%    45%     5%    24%    28%    21%    30%     2%
No                   61     36     87     61     57     65     54     94
DK/NA                15     20      9     15     15     14     17      4
 
 
18. Do you think Christopher Christie will run for President in 2012 or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes, will run        21%    16%    28%    22%    20%    23%    21%    23%
No, will not run     60     65     55     61     64     56     62     56
DK/NA                18     19     17     17     16     21     17     20
 
 
19. Do you think the Christie-for-President talk represents a serious political movement or just political gossip?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Political movement   25%    29%    21%    26%    23%    27%    28%    15%
Gossip               67     61     68     69     70     63     64     78
DK/NA                 8      9     10      5      6     10      8      7
 
 
20. As you may know, Christopher Christie traveled to other states to campaign for Republican candidates in the 2010 elections. Does this make you think more favorably of Christie, less favorably of Christie, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More favorably       16%    34%     3%    11%    19%    13%    18%     1%
Less favorably       21      6     37     20     19     24     20     41
Doesn't make diff    62     58     60     69     62     63     62     56
DK/NA                 -      1      -      -      1      -      -      2