NEW BRUNSWICK — While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has had recent legislative successes, including dramatic changes in public employee pension and health benefits, more New Jersey registered voters say their opinion of the governor had “gotten worse” since he took office, than say they feel better, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released today.
While one-third of Garden Staters say there has been no change in their opinion of the governor, 38 percent say they have a worse opinion now and 28 percent say their opinion has gotten better. Favorability ratings over time also show an increase in negative feelings. In February 2010 right after his inauguration, 45 percent of voters had a favorable impression of the governor, while only 26 percent felt unfavorable. In this poll, 45 percent still have a favorable impression, but 47 percent now say they feel unfavorable, an increase of 21 points.
“Most leaders find their ratings slipping over time, often as they put their priorities in place,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “While people often start out willing to give the benefit of the doubt to new officeholders, as decisions get made, more people begin to feel either positive or negative about them. In this case, Gov. Christie has generated strong feelings, and thus polarized opinion.”
Results are from a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of 615 registered voters conducted among both landline and cell phone households from Aug. 9 – 15, with a margin of error for the full sample of +/- 3.9 percentage points.
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