April 20, 2011 - Obama Tops Christie On Every Measure In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Big Gender Gap Leaves Governor's Approval Under 50%

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New Jersey voters do not believe Gov. Christopher Christie's claim that he would beat President Barack Obama in a 2012 White House run and back the president over the governor 52 - 39 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. President Obama also tops Gov. Christie in job approval and likeability.

Gov. Christie's split 47 - 46 percent job approval compares to a 52 - 40 percent job approval in a February 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In today's survey, men approve of Christie 56 - 38 percent as women disapprove 53 - 38 percent. Christie gets an 80 - 16 percent approval from Republicans and a 55 - 36 percent approval from independent voters. Democrats disapprove 75 - 17 percent.

Obama gets a 51 - 45 percent job approval. Garden State voters like Obama more than they like his policies. Given four options:
  • 46 percent like Obama as a person and like most of his policies;
  • 29 percent like him as a person but dislike his policies;
  • 2 percent dislike him as a person, but like his policies;
  • 20 percent dislike him and his policies. Christie does not do as well:
  • 38 percent like Christie as a person and like most of his policies;
  • 15 percent like him as a person but dislike his policies;
  • 8 percent dislike him as a person, but like his policies;
  • 34 percent dislike him and his policies.
"Forget the White House for now, Gov. Christopher Christie says, and New Jerseyans pretty much agree with him as they back President Barack Obama by a hefty margin," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Voters don't believe Gov. Christie 60 - 33 percent when he says he can beat President Obama. They do believe Christie 53 - 41 percent when he says he's not running," Carroll added.

"How about at home in Trenton? Christie's job approval numbers are only narrowly positive. And there's a real gender split over this 'Jersey guy' governor: Men like him a lot; women don't," Carroll added.

Other Approval Ratings

Gov. Christie has a higher approval rating than other elected officials:
  • Voters approve 44 - 42 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg is doing, a tie;
  • Voters approve 42 - 40 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is doing, a tie;
  • Voters disapprove 31 - 26 percent of the job State Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney is doing, with 43 percent undecided;
  • Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver gets a split 22 - 21 percent approval rating, with 57 percent undecided.
Voters disapprove 53 - 26 percent of the job the Assembly is doing and disapprove 55 - 30 percent of the State Senate, the highest disapproval ratings ever for both bodies.

"New Jerseyans don't know - and don't much approve of - their Legislature and its leaders," Carroll said. "Sen. Robert Menendez has started cranking up for his 2012 re-election campaign and it's not too soon. His job approval is a low split."

"Bully," "arrogant," "good," "aggressive" are among words offered when voters are asked, with no suggestions given, to describe Gov. Christie in one word. Answers include:
  • Bully - offered by 140 voters
  • Arrogant - offered 41 times
  • Good - 41
  • Aggressive - 39
  • Strong - 35
  • Tough - 34
  • Determined - 30
  • Honest/Honesty - 28
  • Excellent - 27
  • Bold - 16
  • Courageous/Courage - 16
  • Trying - 15
  • Effective - 13
  • Forceful - 12
"Quinnipiac University polls last year found New Jersey voters trying to decide whether their new governor was a bully or an effective leader," Carroll said. In a June 17, 2010, survey, 44 percent called him a leader and 43 percent called him a bully.

From April 12 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,532 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 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              47%    80%    17%    55%    56%    38%    58%     9%
Disapprove           46     16     75     36     38     53     36     85
DK/NA                 7      4      8      9      5      9      6      6
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Approve              35%    47%    60%    37%    53%    35%    46%
Disapprove           59     47     32     53     39     60     47
DK/NA                 6      6      7     10      7      5      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christopher Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 11  Aug 19  Jun 17
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              47      52      46      51      51      44
Disapprove           46      40      44      38      36      43
DK/NA                 7       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              26%    25%    26%    27%    26%    25%    24%    28%
Disapprove           31     29     29     31     36     27     30     39
DK/NA                43     46     44     41     37     49     46     33
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              23%    27%    29%    23%    25%
Disapprove           32     31     26     40     26
DK/NA                45     42     45     37     49
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Stephen Sweeney is handling his job as State Senate Majority Leader?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Approve              26      25      20      17
Disapprove           31      26      28      28
DK/NA                43      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%    29%    22%    21%    23%    19%    43%
Disapprove           21     22     12     27     27     16     22     18
DK/NA                57     64     59     51     52     61     60     38
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              27%    24%    19%    19%    22%
Disapprove           14     23     23     21     20
DK/NA                59     53     58     60     58
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Sheila Oliver is handling her job as Assembly Speaker?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2011    2010    2010
 
Approve              22      22      19      19
Disapprove           21      19      22      19
DK/NA                57      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              26%    25%    28%    24%    26%    25%    27%    24%
Disapprove           53     49     52     56     56     50     52     59
DK/NA                22     26     20     20     18     25     21     17
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              26%    26%    24%    28%    23%
Disapprove           47     55     55     54     50
DK/NA                27     19     21     18     27
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state assembly is handling its job?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              26      32      25      28      28
Disapprove           53      45      52      51      45
DK/NA                22      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              30%    30%    37%    25%    29%    31%    31%    32%
Disapprove           55     53     49     59     59     51     54     58
DK/NA                15     18     13     16     12     18     16     10
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              33%    29%    32%    32%    25%
Disapprove           51     56     54     54     58
DK/NA                17     15     15     13     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state senate is handling its job?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Aug 19
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010
 
Approve              30      34      31      29      30
Disapprove           55      46      50      53      46
DK/NA                15      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              42%    28%    65%    34%    37%    48%    37%    64%
Disapprove           40     54     19     48     50     31     43     15
DK/NA                18     18     16     17     13     22     19     21
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              51%    41%    41%    39%    44%
Disapprove           34     43     39     41     38
DK/NA                16     16     20     21     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
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Jun 17  Feb 09  Feb 20  Jun 17
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2011    2008    2010
 
Approve              42      44      38      38      44      30      38
Disapprove           40      36      42      43      36      31      43
DK/NA                18      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              44%    27%    68%    37%    38%    51%    41%    65%
Disapprove           42     62     19     48     51     34     47     20
DK/NA                14     11     13     14     12     15     12     15
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              47%    46%    38%    47%    43%
Disapprove           37     44     46     37     43
DK/NA                16     10     16     15     15
 
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
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Jun 17   Jul 27  Feb 20  June 17
                     2011    2011    2010    2010     2000*   2008    2010
 
Approve              44      45      42      40       55      39      40
Disapprove           42      40      43      47       22      31      47
DK/NA                14      15      15      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              51%    17%    84%    43%    44%    57%    42%    93%
Disapprove           45     81     13     52     53     37     54      5
DK/NA                 4      2      4      5      3      6      4      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              62%    49%    46%    58%    41%
Disapprove           33     45     52     39     54
DK/NA                 5      5      2      4      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                     APPROVE.......  DIS...
                                                     High    Low     High
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Aug 19  Jun 10  Nov 09  Nov 09
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2009    2010    2010
 
 Approve             51      55      50      47      68      46      46
 Disapprove          45      41      45      47      25      50      50
 DK/NA                4       4       5       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%     4%     1%     1%     2%     3%     3%     1%
Smwht satisfied      31     43     27     29     32     30     33     24
Smwht dissatisfied   34     30     37     36     34     34     33     44
Very dissatisfied    32     22     33     33     31     33     30     31
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      -      1      1
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Very satisfied        3%     2%     4%     2%     3%     2%     2%
Smwht satisfied      22     30     33     32     36     20     32
Smwht dissatisfied   39     35     35     29     31     31     33
Very dissatisfied    33     32     28     37     30     47     33
DK/NA                 3      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
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Dec 21  Nov 09  Jun 17  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2011    2011    2010    2010    2010    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        2       2       2       4       2      10       2
Smwht satisfied      31      34      30      28      22      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   34      37      36      32      36      21      36
Very dissatisfied    32      26      31      35      39       7      39
DK/NA                 1       -       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
10. What one word best describes your impression of Christopher Christie? NOTE: Based on registered voters: Figures shows the number of respondents who offered each response: these numbers are not percentages. This table reports only those words that were mentioned at least five times.
Bully                 140
Arrogant               41
Good                   41
Aggressive             39
Strong                 35
Tough                  34
Determined             30
Honest/Honesty         28
Excellent              27
Bold                   16
Courageous/Courage     16
Trying                 15
Effective              13
Forceful               12
Great                  11
Fat                    10
Leader/Leadership      10
Terrible               10
Okay                    9
Capable                 8
Fair                    8
Tenacious               8
Decisive/Decisiveness   7
Disapprove              7
Guts/Gutsy              7
Incompetent             7
Obnoxious               7
Pompous                 7
Satisfied               7
Conservative            6
Dislike                 6
Dissatisfied            6
Dynamic                 6
Forthright              6
Awesome                 5
Blowhard                5
Competent               5
Confident               5
Disappointed            5
Disappointing           5
Disgust                 5
Horrible                5
Inflexible              5
Mediocre                5
Opinionated             5
Overbearing             5
Realist/Realistic       5
Republican              5
Selfish                 5
Unfair                  5
Terrific                5
 
DK/NA                  83
 
 
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      38%    73%    12%    42%    46%    31%    47%     8%
Person/Not policies  15     10     20     14     13     17     13     28
Policies/Not person   8      5      7     10      9      7      8      3
Not Pol/Not person   34     10     57     27     28     39     28     55
DK/NA                 5      3      4      7      3      6      4      6
 
                                          Philly        Union  HvKids
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  HsHold PubSch
 
Person/Policies      22%    37%    47%    35%    48%    26%    37%
Person/Not policies  15     20      8     18     12     18     14
Policies/Not person   7      9     10      7      6      7     10
Not Pol/Not person   51     31     27     36     29     46     35
DK/NA                 4      4      8      5      4      4      5
 
TREND: 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?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09
                     2011    2011
 
Person/Policies      38      41
Person/Not policies  15      17
Policies/Not person   8       9
Not Pol/Not person   34      27
DK/NA                 5       6
 
 
12. Which one of the following statements comes closest to the way you feel about Barack Obama: A) I like Barack Obama as a person and I also like most of his policies B) I like Barack Obama as a person but I don't like most of his policies C) I don't like Barack Obama as a person but I do like most of his policies D) I don't like Barack Obama as a person and I also don't like most of his policies
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Person/Policies      46%    10%    79%    37%    37%    53%    37%    86%
Person/Not policies  29     45     12     36     35     23     33      7
Policies/Not person   2      2      3      1      2      2      2      5
Not Pol/Not person   20     40      4     23     24     18     26      0
DK/NA                 3      2      2      4      2      3      3      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Person/Policies      58%    45%    37%    52%    39%
Person/Not policies  20     32     32     25     32
Policies/Not person   3      2      -      5      1
Not Pol/Not person   15     19     29     17     24
DK/NA                 4      2      2      2      4
 
 
13. Looking ahead to the 2012 election for President... If the 2012 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Christopher Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                52%    11%    89%    42%    43%    59%    40%    94%
Christie             39     79      7     44     49     30     50      2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      2      1      4      3      3      3      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      2      1      4      2      3      2      2
DK/NA                 5      5      2      6      4      5      5      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Obama                68%    50%    39%    60%    43%
Christie             23     41     48     31     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       4      3      2      1      4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      3      3      2
DK/NA                 3      4      8      5      4
 
 
14. Christopher Christie has said that he will not run for President in 2012, do you believe him or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  53%    67%    43%    56%    60%    47%    58%    37%
No                   41     28     51     38     35     47     36     58
DK/NA                 6      5      6      6      5      6      6      5
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  47%    53%    58%    50%    56%
No                   49     42     36     41     38
DK/NA                 4      5      6      9      6
 
15. Christopher Christie has said that if he did run for President in 2012 he would beat Barack Obama? Do you agree or disagree with Christie?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                33%    61%    11%    37%    39%    28%    40%     5%
Disagree             60     32     85     55     55     64     52     88
DK/NA                 7      7      4      8      6      8      8      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Agree                20%    35%    42%    29%    39%
Disagree             74     57     51     66     56
DK/NA                 6      9      7      6      6
 
 
16. 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
 
Democrat             47%     7%    91%    33%    40%    54%    39%    85%
Republican           39     88      6     41     49     30     49      3
DK/NA                14      4      3     25     11     16     12     12
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Democrat             68%    46%    31%    54%    41%
Republican           24     41     49     31     46
DK/NA                 8     13     20     15     14
 
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?
                     Apr 20  Feb 09  Jun 15  Sep 24  Jul 13  Jun 18  Apr 02
                     2011    2011    2005    2003    2003    2003    2003
 
Democratic Party     47      43      48      48      44      49      41
Republican Party     39      41      39      37      37      40      40
DK/NA                14      16      13      14      19      12      20