Governor has Good Will Heading into Budget Season
The percentage of New Jerseyans who say the country is headed in the right direction has reached a new low of 26%, down from 31% in January. According to the most recent results of Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll, only half of New Jersey Republicans (49%) say the country is headed in the right direction, while two-thirds of independents and four of five Democrats, and 62% of all registered voters in the state say the country is on the wrong track.
New Jerseyans' views of the president are likewise dim with just 29% rating the President's job performance as good or excellent, down from 34% in January and the lowest in his presidency.
At the same time, 43% of the state's registered voters rate the president's performance as “poor,”—a record high—up from 38% in January.
“There is no doubt this president's second term has been much more difficult than his first,” said Peter Woolley, director of the poll. “As the White House lurches from one bad news day to another,” said Woolley, “what voters seem to doubt is whether things will improve.”
New Jersey voters are not happy about the direction of their state, but they are not blaming their new governor. Just 34% say the state is headed in the right direction, while 47% say the state is on the wrong track, numbers essentially unchanged since January when the new governor took office.
Corzine himself, however, remains in good standing with 95% name recognition and half of those who recognize him saying they have a favorable opinion of him. Another quarter say they have not developed an opinion of him and only 22% say their opinion of the new governor is unfavorable.
Rating the governor's job performance, just 8% say the governor is doing a “poor” job, and one in four voters (26%) say they don't know yet. Meanwhile, 31% give the governor a cautious rating of “only fair” and 36% rate the governor's job performance as good or excellent.
Asked simply whether they approve or disapprove of the job Jon Corzine is doing as governor, 38% say they don't know at this point or have a mixed opinion, while 47% of voters say they approve, including a three out of five Democrats, and only 24% say they disapprove. “The numbers are pretty good for a New Jersey governor heading full tilt into an unprecedented budget crisis,” said Woolley. “He is going to need some of that good will to get through the budget season.”
Back in the State Senate but still popular is former acting governor Dick Codey who maintains a stratospheric 5-to-1 ratio of favorable to unfavorable opinion.
The PublicMind poll of 601 randomly selected registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone from February 27 through March 6 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
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Copyright © 2006, Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved. FDU PublicMind Poll [Latest update 060308]