Has New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s image suffered nationally because of the controversy surrounding his administration’s role in the traffic tie-ups on the George Washington Bridge in September of last year? According to this NBC News/Marist Poll, while 69% of Americans say the political uproar has not had any effect on their opinion of Christie, close to one in five — 18% — likes him less because of it. Five percent like him more, and 8% are unsure. Among Americans who have heard about the bridge controversy, 24% say their dislike for Christie has grown.
“The question is can Chris Christie weather this political storm, or is this another in a list of considerable hurdles he will need to overcome if he wants to make a run for the White House,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
- Nearly seven in ten Republicans — 69% — report the political brouhaha has had no impact on how they view Christie. However, 16% like him less. Only 8% like him more, and 7% are unsure.
- Among Democrats, 61% report the issue has had no impact on their opinion of Christie. However, 28% say they like him less, and just 3% like him more. Eight percent are unsure.
- Looking at independent voters, 73% report the issue has had no effect on their impression of Christie. Still, 17% like him less, and 5% like him more. Five percent are unsure.
A plurality of Americans believes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s assertion that he played no role in creating traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge for political retribution. 44% of adults nationally say Christie is mostly telling the truth that he had no knowledge of the events that led up to the traffic tie-ups. However, a notable 33% report he is mostly not telling the truth, and an additional 23% are unsure.
Americans who have heard about the bridge controversy are more likely to think Christie is being honest. A majority of these Americans — 52% — thinks Christie is telling the truth compared with 34% who believe he is not. 15% are unsure.
- While 61% of Republicans think Christie is mostly telling the truth, 20% believe he is not being forthright. 19% are unsure.
- Not surprisingly, a plurality of Democrats — 41% — says Christie is not telling the whole truth. However, 34% report he is being honest with the public. 24% are unsure.
- Nearly half of independent voters — 47% — think Christie is telling the truth while 31% say he is not. 23% are unsure.
Do Americans know that members of Christie’s staff have been implicated in creating these traffic jams? Slightly more than seven in ten residents — 71% — have at least some knowledge of the political scandal. This includes 39% of Americans who know a lot about the story and 32% who have some awareness of the controversy. 30% report they know nothing about the issue. Do Americans think Governor Christie is a bully or a strong leader? Nearly half — 47% — say he comes across as a strong leader while 27% describe him as a bully. 26% are unsure.
- About seven in ten Republicans nationally — 71% — consider Christie to be a strong leader. 11% call him a bully, and 18% are unsure.
- There is little consensus among Democrats. 38% say he is a bully while 36% think he comes across as a strong leader. 27% are unsure.
- 47% of independent voters think Christie is a strong leader while 26% believe he is a bully. 27% are unsure.
No Clear Front-runner in Crowded GOP Field… One in Four Undecided
There has been much speculation about whether or not Christie will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016. How would Christie fare against his potential GOP opponents?
Among Republicans nationally including Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest stands:
- 16% Chris Christie
- 12% Paul Ryan
- 9% Rand Paul
- 8% Jeb Bush
- 7% Marco Rubio
- 6% Rick Perry
- 5% Rick Santorum
- 5% Ted Cruz
- 4% Scott Walker
- 3% Bobby Jindal
- 25% undecided
When Marist last reported this question in December, Christie had the support of 18% of Republicans and Republican leaning independents. Paul received the backing of 12% while Ryan — 11%, Cruz — 10%, and Bush — 10% followed closely behind. Sarah Palin garnered 8%, and Rubio had the backing of 7%. At the time, Walker and Santorum each received 4% while 3% supported Perry. 13%, then, were undecided.
How would the GOP contest look without Christie in the mix? Among Republicans nationally including Republican leaning independents, here is how the contest stands without Governor Chris Christie:
- 15% Paul Ryan
- 11% Rand Paul
- 11% Jeb Bush
- 10% Marco Rubio
- 7% Rick Santorum
- 6% Ted Cruz
- 6% Rick Perry
- 5% Scott Walker
- 4% Bobby Jindal
- 26% undecided
“The Republican field for 2016 clearly lacks a front-runner with or without Chris Christie,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Clinton Widens Lead over Christie in Hypothetical Contest
If Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie were to face off in the 2016 presidential election, Clinton would defeat Christie by double digits. Half of registered voters — 50% — would support Clinton compared with 37% for Christie. 12% are undecided. When Marist last reported this question in December, voters divided. 48% supported Clinton while 45% were behind Christie. Seven percent, at that time, were undecided.
- Most Democrats — 90% — would support Clinton compared with 3% for Christie. Seven percent are undecided. Last month, 85% were for Clinton while Christie garnered 10%. Five percent were undecided.
- More than three in four Republicans — 78% — would cast their ballot for Christie compared with 16% for Clinton. Six percent are undecided. In December, 89% of Republicans supported Christie compared with 6% for Clinton. Four percent, at that time, were undecided.
- Independent voters divide. 40% would support Clinton, and 40% would back Christie. 19% are undecided. When this question was previously reported, a majority — 52% — backed Clinton while 40% were for Christie. Eight percent, then, were undecided.
There is a gender gap. While a majority of women would support Clinton, men divide. Among women, 56% back Clinton while 33% are for Christie. 11% are undecided. Among men, 44% are for Clinton compared with 42% for Christie. 15% are undecided.
Half of Americans View Clinton Favorably… Christie Still Unknown to More than Four in Ten
50% of adults nationally have a favorable view of Clinton. However, 38% have an unfavorable impression of her. 12% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her. When it comes to Chris Christie, 28% of Americans have a favorable view of him while 30% have an unfavorable one. A notable 42% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
How do Americans currently rate President Barack Obama? Nearly half of residents — 48% — have an unfavorable impression of the president while 41% have a favorable one. 11% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him.
Looking at registered voters, there is no difference. 48% have an unfavorable view of President Obama while 41% have a favorable view of him. 11% have either never heard of him or are unsure how to rate him. In December, a slim majority of registered voters — 52% — had an unfavorable opinion of the president while 46% had a favorable one. Three percent, at that time, had either never heard of Mr. Obama or were unsure how to rate him.
5/8: Nearly Seven in Ten New Jersey Voters Applaud Christie’s Job Performance, Re-election Prospects Bright, But Not 2016
Six months after Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey residents are optimistic about their governor and the state in general. Nearly seven in ten — 68% — approve of how Governor Chris Christie is doing his job. 24% disapprove, and 8% are unsure. Registered voters share these views. 69% of registered voters give Christie a thumbs up as governor. 24% of voters disapprove, and 7% are unsure.
“The key elements are in place for Governor Christie’s re-election…his high approval ratings, voters’ upbeat mood about the direction of the state, and, of course, his efforts following Hurricane Sandy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “This makes it extremely difficult for his Democratic challenger.”
The governor is lauded by residents for his handling of New Jersey’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Eight in ten — 81% — approve of Christie’s hurricane recovery efforts. 13% disapprove and 5% are unsure. 56% also approve of how Christie is handling the state’s budget, and 33% disapprove. 11% are unsure.
Many New Jersey residents view the state as on track. 62% believe it is moving in the right direction. 31% disagree and say New Jersey is on the wrong path. Seven percent are unsure.
Christie Leads Buono by More than Two-to-One in Governor’s Race
In the contest for New Jersey governor, Republican incumbent Chris Christie — 60% — outpaces Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono — 28% — by 32 percentage points among registered voters. One percent supports another candidate, and 10% are undecided. Among the probable electorate, including voters who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, Christie has 62% to 28% for Buono. One percent supports another candidate and 9% are undecided.
- Party ID. Most Republicans — 94% — support Christie while only a slim majority of Democrats — 51% — back Buono. Among independent voters in New Jersey, 64% are for Christie while 22% are behind Buono.
- Intensity of Support. Among registered voters in New Jersey who have a candidate preference, 56% strongly support their choice of candidate. 30% are somewhat committed to their pick while 11% might vote differently. Three percent are unsure. Among Christie’s supporters, 57% are firmly behind him while 55% of Buono’s backers are strongly in her camp.
- Gender. Among men, 66% are for Christie while 24% support Buono. A majority of women — 56% — support Christie compared with 32% for Buono.
- Age. Christie is ahead of Buono among all age groups. Christie — 63% — leads Buono — 26% — among voters 60 and older. Christie — 58% — also outdistances Buono — 30% — among those 45 to 59. Looking at those 30 to 44, 60% support Christie compared with 29% for Buono. 63% of voters under the age of 30 are for Christie while 29% are behind Buono.
- Past Vote. Christie also receives notable support from those who voted for President Obama last fall. 42% of Obama backers support Christie while 46% support Democrat Buono. 32% of those who voted for Jon Corzine, the Democratic candidate in the 2009 gubernatorial race, now support Christie. 55% of Corzine voters plan to vote for Buono.
More than six in ten registered voters — 61% — are satisfied with the candidates running for governor in November while 28% are not satisfied with the candidates from which they have to choose. 11% are unsure.
Two-Thirds Have a Favorable Opinion of Christie…Buono Largely Unknown
Governor Chris Christie is perceived well by 67% of New Jersey residents. 28% have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 5% are unsure. Registered voters have similar impressions. 68% of voters have a favorable view of the governor, 27% have an unfavorable one, and 4% are unsure.
However, Buono is little-known in the state. Only 23% have a favorable view of Buono while 18% have an unfavorable impression of her. Most residents statewide — 59% — have either never heard of Buono or are unsure how to rate her. Buono is not much better known among registered voters. 24% of voters have a favorable impression of her, 18% have an unfavorable view, but 57% have either never heard of her or are unsure how to rate her.
Majority Says Christie Should Not Run for President in 2016
Despite his popularity, when talk turns to a possible presidential run, 55% of New Jersey registered voters do not want Christie to throw his hat into the ring. 34% believe Christie should run for president, and 12% are unsure.
- Among Republicans, 50% would like to see Christie run for President. 34% do not want him in the race, and 15% are unsure.
- 26% of Democrats want Christie in the presidential contest, but 64% do not. Nine percent are unsure.
- 32% of independents want the governor in the 2016 race. 56% do not, and 12% are unsure.
- Among Tea Party supporters, 34% support a Christie 2016 run, and 55% are opposed to it. 11% are unsure.
In fact, in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match-up with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Christie trails Clinton, 41% to 52% among New Jersey voters. Six percent are undecided.
Christie bests Vice President Joe Biden for president, 51% to 40%, among registered voters in the state. Eight percent are undecided.
45% Approve of Job Senator Menendez is Doing in Office, 38% Believe He Acted Unethically in Donor Dust-Up
A plurality of residents — 45% — approve of the job Senator Robert Menendez is doing in office. 31% disapprove, and 24% are unsure. Registered voters have similar opinions. 46% of voters in the state rate Senator Menendez positively, 32% rate him negatively, and 22% are unsure. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats — 65% — give the senator high marks, whereas 25% of Republicans and 39% of Independents say the same.
Opinion is divided about the investigation of Senator Menendez’ ties to a wealthy donor. 14% of New Jersey residents believe he did nothing wrong while 38% think he did something unethical but not illegal. 16% say he did something illegal. One-third — 33% — are unsure.
Majority of New Jersey Residents Approve of Obama, Democratic Party, But GOP Doesn’t Fare So Well
President Obama has the approval of 57% of New Jersey residents. 38% disapprove of the job the president is doing in office, and 6% are unsure. Similar proportions of registered voters share these views. 56% of voters approve of the president’s job performance, 38% disapprove, and 5% are unsure. Among Democrats in the state, 88% give Obama a thumbs up, and 8% disapprove. 78% of Republicans, however, disapprove of the President’s job, and 16% approve. Independents divide — 48% approve and 45% disapprove. 61% of residents view Obama favorably while 36% do not. Three percent are unsure. Registered voters agree. 60% approve of the job the president is doing, 37% disapprove, and 3% are unsure.
The Democratic Party is viewed favorably by a slim majority — 51% — of New Jersey residents. 42% have an unfavorable impression of the party, and 7% are unsure. Registered voters parallel these impressions. 50% of voters have a positive view, 43% have a negative one, and 6% are unsure.
The Republican Party is not highly regarded. 33% have a favorable view of the party while 58% of New Jersey residents view the party unfavorably. Nine percent are unsure. There is little difference in opinion among registered voters. 34% of voters have a favorable opinion, 59% do not, and 7% are unsure.
Sequester Cuts Not Affecting Most, Two-Thirds Want Stricter Gun Laws
Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents — 65% — report they are not experiencing much impact personally from the federal spending cuts triggered by the sequester on March 1st. Seven percent say they have been affected a great deal, and 8% have been affected quite a bit. 16% have only been affected some, and 4% are unsure.
A plurality of New Jersey residents — 42% — say the sequester cuts will hurt the economy. 29% believe the cuts will have no impact, and 18% think the cuts will be good for the economy. 11% are unsure.
Most New Jersey residents think laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. 67% hold this view while 24% say current gun laws are sufficient. Six percent say the laws should be less strict, and 3% are unsure. Registered voters share these views. Among gun owners, a plurality — 48% — believes gun laws should be kept as they are now, and 38% want stricter laws. 12% of gun owners think the laws should be less strict, and 2% are unsure.
As campaign 2006 heads into the homestretch, Robert Menendez receives the support of 50% of likely voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a candidate, compared with 42% who support Tom Kean, Jr. Eight percent remain undecided. There is an enormous partisan divide. 82% of Democrats support Menendez, and 81% of Republicans support Kean. The majority of independent voters back Menendez. He receives the support of 51% of independents likely to vote on Election Day compared with 39% for Kean.
Corzine narrowly leads Forrester with just one day to go: Democrat Jon Corzine edges Republican Doug Forrester by 5 points among New Jersey voters likely to vote on Tuesday including those who are leaning toward a candidate. Corzine receives the support of 51% of likely voters compared with 46% for Forrester. 3% remain undecided.
Corzine edges Forrester in New Jersey’s fierce battle for governor: Democrat Jon Corzine leads Republican Doug Forrester by 6 points among New Jersey voters likely to vote on Tuesday. Corzine receives the support of 48% of likely voters compared with 42% for Forrester. 10% are undecided.
When looking at the combined results from this two day poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Democrat Jon Corzine leads Republican Doug Forrester by 9 points among New Jersey voters likely to vote next Tuesday. Corzine receives the support of 49% of likely voters compared with 40% for Forrester. 11% are undecided.
Democrat Jon Corzine has pulled ahead of his Republican opponent Doug Forrester by 10 points among New Jersey voters likely to vote on Election Day. Earlier this month, Corzine and Forrester were neck and neck. Now, Corzine receives the support of 50% of likely voters compared with 40% for Forrester. One percent mentions another candidate, and 9% are undecided. When undecided voters are asked which candidate they are leaning toward, the margin separating the candidates remains at 10 points with 51% for Jon Corzine and 41% for Doug Forrester. 7% of likely voters are still undecided.
Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester are in a statistical dead heat among New Jersey voters likely to vote on Election Day. Corzine receives the support of 44% of likely voters compared with 43% for Doug Forrester. 13% are undecided. When undecided voters are asked which candidate they are leaning toward, the results become 47% for Jon Corzine and 45% for Doug Forrester. 8% of likely voters remain undecided.