Heading into primary election day and the final weeks of negotiations over the state budget, the Democratic governor of New Jersey maintains healthy approval ratings. According to the latest survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, 50% of voters approve of the job Jon Corzine is doing as governor compared to 27% who disapprove, a 2-to-1 ratio that has been fairly consistent over his 18 months in office.
New Jersey households involved in the public pension system continue to give the governor exceptionally high ratings, 60% approving and 17% disapproving, a 3 to 1 ratio. Even more than a third of Republicans (38%) say they approve of the governor.
Using another job performance scale ranging from excellent to poor, the governor also comes off well. Only 14% of voters rate the governor's job performance as “poor,” including just one in 20 Democrats (6%) and just one in four Republicans (28%). “It's hard to find candidates in either party running squarely against the governor,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.
By contrast, little more than a third of New Jersey voters (36%) say the state is headed in the right direction, while half (50%) say the state is on the wrong track. “Jersey voters are typically grumpy about the direction of the state, so the question is who do they blame,” said Woolley. “And they're not blaming the governor.”
The only other statewide elected officials are the two US Senators. Frank Lautenberg maintains a rating of 48% favorable compared to 28% unfavorable, almost a 2:1 ratio exactly a year before the next primary election for his US Senate seat. On the other hand, Bob Menendez, appointed to Corzine's vacated Senate seat before he won on his own in a bruising election last year, gets favorable ratings from just one in four voters who recognize him (26%) and unfavorable ratings from more than a third (36%).
Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind poll of 602 randomly selected registered voters statewide was conducted from May 29 through June 3 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
Contact: Peter Woolley 973.670.3239 or Dan Cassino 973.896.7072
For more information, please call (973) 443-8661.