February 9, 2011 - New Jersey Voters Say Christie's First Year A Success, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Obama Approval Bouncing Back

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New Jersey voters approve 52 - 40 percent of the job Gov. Christopher Christie is doing and say 54 - 35 percent that his first year in office is a success, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a split 46 - 44 percent job approval in a December 21 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's survey, Republicans approve of Gov. Christie 82 - 11 percent and say 85 - 10 that his first year is a success. Independent voters also approve 55 - 36 percent and give him a 59 - 30 percent thumbs up for his first year. Democrats disapprove 66 - 27 percent and say 59 - 27 percent the governor's first year has been a failure.

Given four choices for their attitudes about Christie:
  • 41 percent like him as a person and like most of his policies;
  • 17 percent like him as a person but dislike his policies;
  • 9 percent dislike him as a person, but like his policies;
  • 27 percent dislike him and his policies.
"New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie is a real New Jersey guy and he stirs a lot of real New Jersey emotions," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"A lot of people like him and his policies and others who don't like his policies like him anyway. And then there are people who don't like him or his policies. Go figure. Or if you're a New Jersey guy, or a Jersey girl, and don't like to be told what to do - don't figure.

"Christie's job approval jumps up and his first year is rated a success, but Democrats still don't much like him.

President Obama's Approval

President Barack Obama's job approval rating is growing in the Garden State and now stands at 55 - 41 percent, up from 50 - 45 percent in a December 21 Quinnipiac University poll and a negative 50 - 46 percent November 9.

Democrats approve 90 - 8 percent and independent voters give him a narrow 49 - 45 percent thumbs up, but disapproval is 83 - 15 percent among Republicans. There is a gender split as men approve 50 - 46 percent while women approve 59 - 37 percent. White voters disapprove 50 - 45 percent while black voters approve 91 - 7 percent.

"A bit of an up-tick for Obama. Black voters approve enthusiastically and he gets a slight negative among white voters," Carroll said. "New Jersey women like the president a lot more than men."

New Jersey voters are feeling better about their two U.S. Senators, as well:
  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg gets a 45 - 40 percent score, up from a 42 - 43 percent split December 21;
  • Sen. Robert Menendez gets a 44 - 36 percent score, his highest approval ever and up from a negative 38 - 42 percent December 21.
Democratic legislative leaders in Trenton still trail Christie:
  • State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney gets a split 25 - 26 percent approval rating, with 48 percent undecided;
  • State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has a 22 - 19 percent approval, with 59 percent undecided.
Voters disapprove 45 - 32 percent of the way the Assembly is doing its job and disapprove 46 - 34 percent of the State Senate.

"New Jerseyans don't think much of their State Legislature and they don't know much about their legislative leaders," Carroll said.

From February 3 - 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,347 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation 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              52%    82%    27%    55%    58%    46%    57%    22%
Disapprove           40     11     66     36     35     44     35     71
DK/NA                 8      7      8      9      7     10      8      8
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Approve              31%    51%    68%    49%    57%    40%    44%
Disapprove           56     38     25     45     40     56     49
DK/NA                13     12      7      6      3      5      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 11  Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              52      46      51      51      44
Disapprove           40      44      38      36      43
DK/NA                 8      10      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              25%    23%    30%    23%    26%    25%    26%    32%
Disapprove           26     24     23     30     28     24     24     28
DK/NA                48     53     47     47     46     51     51     40
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              26%    21%    22%    36%    26%
Disapprove           29     25     25     25     28
DK/NA                45     54     52     40     46
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Stephen Sweeney is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?
                     Feb 09  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2010    2010
 
Approve              25      20      17
Disapprove           26      28      28
DK/NA                48      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              22%    14%    28%    22%    22%    23%    19%    39%
Disapprove           19     24     14     20     23     14     18     16
DK/NA                59     62     58     58     55     63     63     45
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              34%    20%    20%    19%    23%
Disapprove           15     19     18     21     19
DK/NA                52     61     62     60     57
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheila Oliver is handling her job as Assembly Speaker?
                     Feb 09  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2010    2010
 
Approve              22      19      19
Disapprove           19      22      19
DK/NA                59      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              32%    31%    34%    32%    33%    31%    32%    38%
Disapprove           45     49     42     47     49     42     45     44
DK/NA                22     20     24     22     18     27     23     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              34%    35%    27%    32%    33%
Disapprove           40     41     49     48     49
DK/NA                26     24     24     20     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state assembly is handling its job?
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              32      25      28      28
Disapprove           45      52      51      45
DK/NA                22      23      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              34%    33%    38%    33%    34%    35%    34%    37%
Disapprove           46     50     42     47     49     43     46     46
DK/NA                20     18     20     20     17     22     19     17
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              31%    38%    25%    36%    39%
Disapprove           47     41     52     46     45
DK/NA                22     21     23     18     16
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state senate is handling its job?
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              34      31      29      30
Disapprove           46      50      53      46
DK/NA                20      19      18      24
 
 
6. 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              44%    21%    63%    41%    42%    45%    42%    60%
Disapprove           36     58     17     39     41     32     39     13
DK/NA                20     20     20     20     17     23     19     27
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              56%    47%    40%    43%    32%
Disapprove           24     36     39     32     49
DK/NA                20     17     21     25     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS..
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Jun 17  Feb 09  Feb 20  Jun 17
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2011    2008    2010
 
Approve              44      38      38      38      44      30      38
Disapprove           36      42      41      43      36      31      43
DK/NA                20      20      20      18      20      39      18
 
 
7. 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%    22%    66%    43%    45%    46%    42%    67%
Disapprove           40     61     18     45     44     36     44     16
DK/NA                15     17     17     12     11     18     13     17
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              61%    45%    41%    45%    39%
Disapprove           21     44     42     37     49
DK/NA                18     11     17     18     12
 
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
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Jun 17   Jul 27  Feb 20  June 17
                     2011    2010    2010    2010     2000*   2008    2010
 
Approve              45      42      43      40       55      39      40
Disapprove           40      43      44      47       22      31      47
DK/NA                15      15      13      13       23      29      13
 
 
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              55%    15%    90%    49%    50%    59%    45%    91%
Disapprove           41     83      8     45     46     37     50      7
DK/NA                 4      3      2      6      4      4      4      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              73%    52%    48%    58%    48%
Disapprove           24     42     48     40     49
DK/NA                 3      6      4      2      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 10  Nov 09  Nov 09
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2009    2010    2010
 
Approve              55      50      46      47      68      46      46
Disapprove           41      45      50      47      25      50      50
DK/NA                 4       5       4       6       7       4       4
 
 
9. 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%     2%     2%     2%     3%     2%     2%     4%
Smwht satisfied      34     41     26     38     38     30     34     26
Smwht dissatisfied   37     32     43     35     35     40     38     40
Very dissatisfied    26     24     27     25     24     28     26     29
DK/NA                 -      -      1      -      -      1      -      1
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Very satisfied        1%     3%     1%     3%     4%     1%     1%
Smwht satisfied      30     34     41     32     31     31     39
Smwht dissatisfied   41     38     38     34     37     38     31
Very dissatisfied    27     25     20     31     28     31     28
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
                     Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19  Jun 17  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2011    2010    2010    2010    2010    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        2       2       4       3       2      10       2
Smwht satisfied      34      30      28      30      22      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   37      36      32      37      36      21      36
Very dissatisfied    26      31      35      29      39       7      39
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
10. Which party would you like to see control the New Jersey State Legislature after the elections in November the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Democratic Party     43%     2%    90%    30%    38%    47%    39%    73%
Republican Party     41     91      4     44     45     38     47     15
DK/NA                16      7      6     26     16     15     15     13
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Democratic Party     57%    43%    38%    50%    29%
Republican Party     24     41     48     38     52
DK/NA                18     16     14     13     19
 
TREND: Which party would you like to see control the New Jersey State Legislature after the elections in November -- the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?
                     Feb 09  Jun 15  Sep 24  Jul 13  Jun 18  Apr 02  Jul 03
                     2011    2005    2003    2003    2003    2003    2001
 
Democratic Party     43      48      48      44      49      41      46
Republican Party     41      39      37      37      40      40      38
DK/NA                16      13      14      19      12      20      16
 
 
11. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Christopher Christie; A) I like Christopher Christie as a person and I also like most of his policies B) I like Christopher Christie as a person but I don't like most of his policies C) I don't like Christopher Christie as a person but I do like most of his policies D) I don't like Christopher Christie as a person and I also don't like most of his policies?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Person/Policies      41%    76%    15%    41%    45%    36%    46%    13%
Person/Not policies  17      7     25     17     17     18     13     30
Policies/Not person   9      6     10      9     10      8     10      3
Not Pol/Not person   27      6     45     24     22     31     25     47
DK/NA                 6      4      5      8      6      7      5      7
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Person/Policies      25%    41%    51%    35%    47%    30%    34%
Person/Not policies  27     15     14     11     22     16     17
Policies/Not person   5      8     13     13      5      9     11
Not Pol/Not person   33     29     19     34     19     42     34
DK/NA                11      7      2      7      6      3      3
 
 
12. Do you think Christopher Christie's first year as governor has been mainly a success or mainly a failure?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Success              54%    85%    27%    59%    60%    49%    61%    22%
Failure              35     10     59     30     28     41     30     62
DK/NA                11      5     14     11     11     10      9     17
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Success              32%    55%    67%    50%    62%    42%    50%
Failure              51     33     25     38     30     49     43
DK/NA                17     12      8     11      7      9      7