November 19, 2008 - Corzine Leads Christie In First Look At '09 Gov Race, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; Most Say Governor Should Not Go To Washington

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In a first look at the 2009 election for Governor of New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine leads U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, a possible Republican challenger, 42 - 36 percent among registered voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Democrats support Gov. Corzine 75 - 10 percent while Christie leads 76 - 9 percent among Republicans and 38 - 32 percent among independent voters.

New Jersey voters disapprove 46 - 43 percent of the job Gov. Corzine is doing, his fifth negative score in surveys this year by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, but slightly better than earlier numbers. Voters say 51 - 37 percent that Corzine does not deserve to be reelected.

Voters also say 54 - 30 percent that they do not want Corzine to become Treasury Secretary in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama. Democrats favor the move 43 - 40 percent while Republicans oppose it 75 - 13 and independent voters say no 56 - 29 percent.

"The long coattails of Barack Obama have reached down into New Jersey and helped Gov. Jon Corzine's re-election prospects, at least for now," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Corzine leads potential GOP challenger Christopher Christie by six points after being virtually tied in August and September. And the Governor's approval rating, while still in negative territory, is his best in almost a year. A majority of voters still say Corzine does not deserve re-election, but the Governor is looking better, if indeed he decides to stay in Trenton for a second term.

Corzine also gets a negative 43 - 42 favorability rating, with 11 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Christie gets a 22 - 6 percent favorability, but 70 percent of New Jersey voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Voters approve 44 - 10 percent, with 46 percent undecided, of the job Christie has done as U.S. Attorney. They say 42 - 15 percent, with 42 percent undecided, that Christie should run for Governor in 2009.

And if Christie runs and Corzine does not seek reelection, 31 percent say they would vote for the Republican, while 34 percent would vote for an unnamed Democratic candidate, with 34 percent undecided.

"If Corzine does not run, voters are split three ways among Christie, a generic Democratic candidate and 'don't know.' One problem is that Christie, while having established a seven-year reputation for putting more than 100 corrupt New Jersey politicians out of work and behind bars, is still not well enough known for 70 percent of voters to have an opinion about him," Richards said.

Only 10 percent of New Jersey voters say things have gotten better in New Jersey since Corzine became Governor, while 44 percent say they've gotten worse and 43 percent say they are the same.

Only 32 percent of New Jersey voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 67 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 36 percent of voters say taxes are the biggest problem in New Jersey today, with 28 percent who list the economy and 9 percent who cite the state budget.

Voters split 45 - 45 percent over whether e-mail correspondence between Corzine and union leader Carla Katz, his former girlfriend, should be made public. This compares to a June 11 survey when voters said 52 - 39 percent that the e-mails should be kept private.

From November 13 - 17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,020 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 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 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              42%     9%    75%    32%    41%    43%    36%    73%
Christie             36     76     10     38     40     33     43      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      3      1      4      3      2      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      2      1      1      2      1      2
DK/NA                18     12     13     25     14     20     17     17
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              63%    47%    31%    41%    28%
Christie             19     33     49     36     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      4      2      4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      2      -      2      1
DK/NA                17     17     16     18     20
 
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?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Corzine              42      42      40
Christie             36      40      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       1       2
DK/NA                18      16      17
 
 
2. 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            42%    14%    66%    34%    42%    41%    36%    67%
Unfavorable          43     72     18     51     47     40     50     17
Hvn't hrd enough     11     11     12     11      8     14     10     15
REFUSED               4      3      4      4      2      5      5      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            61%    47%    31%    36%    30%
Unfavorable          25     42     56     42     52
Hvn't hrd enough     13      8      9     16     14
REFUSED               1      3      5      6      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            42      42      39
Unfavorable          43      46      46
Hvn't hrd enough     11       9      10
REFUSED               4       3       5
 
 
3. 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            22%    42%    10%    22%    29%    16%    25%     6%
Unfavorable           6      1      9      5      7      5      6      7
Hvn't hrd enough     70     56     79     72     63     77     68     86
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      1      3      2      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            17%    23%    28%    12%    28%
Unfavorable           8      5      6      5      5
Hvn't hrd enough     72     70     65     81     65
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            22      25      21
Unfavorable           6       7       7
Hvn't hrd enough     70      67      69
REFUSED               2       2       2
 
 
4. Would you like to see Christopher Christie run for Governor in 2009 or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  42%    67%    24%    46%    48%    38%    46%    22%
No                   15      4     26     11     15     15     13     31
DK/NA                42     29     50     43     37     47     41     47
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  35%    39%    47%    46%    47%
No                   19     16     10     16     14
DK/NA                46     45     43     39     39
 
 
5. If Jon Corzine does not run for re-election next year, do you think you would vote for Christopher Christie, the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Christie             31%    75%     4%    30%    34%    28%    36%     3%
Democrat             34      3     69     19     30     37     27     64
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      2      2      1      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      1      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                34     21     26     48     34     34     35     33
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Christie             21%    30%    39%    23%    38%
Democrat             50     36     24     37     25
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      1      -      -      -
DK/NA                28     32     36     38     35
 
 
6. 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              43%    16%    66%    38%    42%    44%    38%    62%
Disapprove           46     74     24     51     51     42     51     24
DK/NA                11     10     10     11      7     14     11     14
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              61%    49%    34%    38%    30%
Disapprove           29     42     57     49     57
DK/NA                10      9      9     14     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Apr 18  Apr 26
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2006
 
Approve              43      40      42      38      37      51      35
Disapprove           46      51      48      52      52      36      42
DK/NA                11       9      10      11      12      13      23
 
 
7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              28%    14%    42%    25%    26%    30%    25%    39%
Disapprove           51     65     35     58     58     46     55     37
DK/NA                20     21     23     18     16     24     20     24
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              35%    32%    21%    31%    20%
Disapprove           40     47     60     52     61
DK/NA                25     21     19     17     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Jan 26  Jul 14
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2005    2006
 
Approve              28      24      25      25      26      44      20
Disapprove           51      58      59      57      54      31      71
DK/NA                20      18      16      18      20      25      10
 
 
8. 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              50%    25%    70%    47%    47%    53%    48%    58%
Disapprove           36     63     15     38     40     32     41     21
DK/NA                14     12     14     15     13     15     12     22
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              63%    53%    42%    46%    45%
Disapprove           19     35     47     35     41
DK/NA                17     11     11     19     14
 
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
                     Nov 19  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 27  Feb 20
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2000 *  2008
 
Approve              50      46      39      42      42      55      39
Disapprove           36      35      31      33      34      22      31
DK/NA                14      18      29      25      24      23      29
 
 
9. 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%    18%    51%    39%    38%    38%    36%    41%
Disapprove           30     49     16     31     37     24     32     18
DK/NA                32     33     34     31     26     38     33     41
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              49%    44%    32%    28%    31%
Disapprove           24     28     39     28     33
DK/NA                28     28     29     45     36
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator? (* also 39% on 3/20/06)
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 7   Feb 20
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2006 *  2008
 
Approve              38      35      33      36      30      39      30
Disapprove           30      31      34      26      31      37      31
DK/NA                32      34      33      37      39      24      39
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as United States Attorney for New Jersey?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              44%    64%    31%    48%    52%    37%    48%    33%
Disapprove           10      3     16      8     11     10      8     16
DK/NA                46     33     53     45     37     53     43     52
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              41%    47%    49%    38%    46%
Disapprove           10      9      8     13     12
DK/NA                49     45     43     49     43
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              18%    45%     2%    15%    19%    16%    21%     -
Disapprove           78     48     96     80     76     79     75     95
DK/NA                 4      7      2      5      5      4      4      5
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve               9%    14%    24%    20%    23%
Disapprove           84     82     71     77     73
DK/NA                 6      4      5      3      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Nov 19  Jun 12  Feb 21  Dec 13  Sep 26  Oct 18  Nov 19
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2001    2008
 
Approve              18      22      26      26      27      90      18
Disapprove           78      74      70      67      68       7      78
DK/NA                 4       3       5       7       5       3       4
 
 
12. Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            64%    25%    93%    60%    60%    67%    55%    93%
Unfavorable          21     50      3     21     22     20     27      2
Hvn't hrd enough     11     19      3     13     13      9     13      3
REFUSED               4      7      1      6      5      4      5      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            76%    68%    50%    66%    56%
Unfavorable          11     18     31     19     29
Hvn't hrd enough      9     11     13     12     10
REFUSED               3      4      7      3      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Nov 19  Jun 12  Feb 21  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Favorable            64      56      58      50      49      48      42      41
Unfavorable          21      32      21      23      21      15      11       9
Hvn't hrd enough     11      11      19      25      29      34      45      49
REFUSED               4       2       3       2       1       2       2       1
 
 
13. Would you like to see Jon Corzine become Treasury Secretary in the Obama administration or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  30%    13%    43%    29%    30%    30%    26%    39%
No                   54     75     40     56     56     53     60     38
DK/NA                16     11     18     15     14     17     15     24
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  36%    36%    22%    24%    28%
No                   46     49     62     60     59
DK/NA                18     15     16     16     13
 
 
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        3%     1%     5%     2%     3%     3%     2%     4%
Smwht satisfied      29     15     43     24     29     29     26     41
Smwht dissatisfied   35     34     35     36     32     37     36     35
Very dissatisfied    32     49     16     37     34     31     34     19
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      1      -
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        6%     4%     1%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      34     35     25     26     21
Smwht dissatisfied   39     33     33     36     35
Very dissatisfied    20     27     40     36     41
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?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28  Dec 6
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006
 
Very satisfied        3       3       2       3       4       3       3       2
Smwht satisfied      29      32      30      29      29      35      37      34
Smwht dissatisfied   35      36      35      35      33      32      34      38
Very dissatisfied    32      29      32      33      33      30      25      25
DK/NA                 1       -       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         37%    11%    61%    31%    37%    37%    32%    54%
No/Does not          51     81     26     58     53     48     56     30
DK/NA                12      9     14     11     10     14     12     16
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes/Deserves         54%    44%    27%    35%    21%
No/Does not          33     47     62     50     63
DK/NA                13      9     10     15     16
 
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?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Feb 20  Dec 11
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007
 
Yes                  37      37      37      32      44
No                   51      50      50      51      43
DK/NA                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               10%     3%    18%     6%    11%     9%     7%    15%
Worse                44     61     26     51     46     42     48     30
The same             43     34     52     41     41     44     42     55
DK/NA                 3      3      5      2      2      5      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better               19%    11%     6%     7%     4%
Worse                28     42     49     49     53
The same             49     44     42     39     39
DK/NA                 3      3      3      5      4
 
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?
                     Nov 19  Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Better               10      10       9      10      10      14      20%
Worse                44      39      39      39      35      25      15
The same             43      47      49      50      53      59      62
DK/NA                 3       4       3       2       2       2       3
 
 
17. What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?
                             Tot
 
Taxes Total                  36%
 Taxes general               12
 Property tax                24
 
Economy Total                28%
 Economy general             12
 Unemployment/jobs           12
 Cost of living               3
 Business leaving/
  Outsourcing                 1
 
Budget Total                  9%
 Budget general               2
 Budget cuts/Cuts in service  1
 Budget deficits              3
 Gov too big/Gov spending     2
 Budget priorities            1
 
Politicians Total             5%
 Politicians/
  Campaigns general           1
 Political corruption         3
 Governor/State leadership    1
 
Education Total               2%
 Education general            1
 Funding education            1
 
Healthcare Total              2%
 Healthcare/Costs/Ins/HMO's   2
 
Crime Total                   2%
 Crime/Violence general       1
 Gangs/Youth crime            1
 
Mass Transit Total            1%
 Highway tolls                1
 
Gas prices                    1%
Poverty/Homeless              1%
Housing general               1%
Environment/Pollution         1%
 
Other                         2%
DK/NA                         4%
 
TREND: What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?
                                   Nov 19  Feb 28  Dec 6   Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16
                                   2008    2007    2006    2006    2006    2006
 
Budget/Spending Total               9%      4%      3%      7%      7%     10%
 Budget general                     2       1       1       3       3       4
 Budget cuts/Cuts in services       1       -       -       -       -       -
 Budget deficits                    3       1       1       2       2       4
 Government too big/Gov spending    2       1       1       1       1       1
 Lack of/Late budget                        -       -       -       -       -
 Budget priorities                  1       1       -       1       1       1
 
Crime Total                         2%      1%      4%      4%      1%      4%
 Crime/Violence general             1       1       2       1       1       2
 Gangs/Youth crime                  1       -       1       2       -       1
 
Economy Total                      28%      5%      6%      7%      7%      5%
 Economy general                   12       1       -       2       2       1
 Unemployment/jobs                 12       2       3       2       2       2
 Cost of living                     3       2       2       2       3       2
 Businesses leaving/Outsourcing     1       -       -       -       -       -
 
Education Total                     2%      6%      5%      6%      7%      6%
 Education general                  1       2       3       3       4       4
 Funding education                  1       2       2       2       3       2
 
Energy costs Total                  1%      -       -       1%      3%      1%
 Gas prices                         1       -       -       1       3       1
 
Environment/Pollution               1       1       1       3       2       2
 
Healthcare Total                    2%      3%      2%      3%      2%      3%
 Healthcare/Costs/Insurance/HMO's   2       3       2       2       2       3
 
Housing Total                       1%      1%      1%      1%      1%      1%
 Housing general                    1       -       -       1       -       -
 
Politicians/Campaigns Total         5%      6%      8%      7%      8%      7%
 Politicians/Campaigns general      1       -       1       1       1       1
 Political corruption               3       6       6       6       6       5
 Governor/State leadership          1       -       1       -       1       1
 
Poverty/Homeless                    1       -       1       -       -       1
 
Taxes Total                        36%     56%     53%     46%     41%     38%
 Taxes general                     12      14      15      19      20      14
 Property tax                      24      42      38      26      21      24
 
Transportation/DMV Total            1%      1%      1%      1%      -       -
 Highway tolls                      1       -       -       -       -       -
 
Other                               2       4       3       3       5       4
DK/NA                               4       4       2       3       5       3
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the current economic situation?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              31%    11%    50%    26%    31%    31%    29%    41%
Disapprove           51     75     32     55     53     50     55     40
DK/NA                17     13     17     19     15     19     16     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              44%    36%    23%    29%    22%
Disapprove           39     49     58     54     59
DK/NA                17     15     20     17     19
 
 
19. A judge ruled that e-mail correspondence between Governor Corzine and union leader Carla Katz, his ex-girlfriend, should be made public. Corzine is appealing the ruling. Do you think these e-mails should be made public or kept private?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Public               45%    65%    33%    47%    49%    43%    48%    28%
Private              45     27     58     43     41     48     42     64
DK/NA                10      8      9     10     11      9     10      8
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Public               31%    45%    55%    45%    50%
Private              57     47     31     46     43
DK/NA                11      8     14      9      7
 
TREND: A judge ruled that e-mail correspondence between Governor Corzine and union leader Carla Katz, his ex-girlfriend, should be made public. Corzine is appealing the ruling. Do you think these e-mails should be made public or kept private?
                     Nov 19  Jun 11
                     2008    2008
 
Public               45%    39
Private              45     52
DK/NA                10      9