STATE – Even as Gov. Jon Corzine’s approval rating plummets to a record low, liberal Republican Christopher Christie is watching his chance to become New Jersey’s next governor shrink away, according to the latest poll released by Quinnipiac University.
New Jersey voters disapprove 54 – 37 percent of the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing, the highest disapproval ever measured for a New Jersey governor, according to Quinnipiac University. Corzine’s disapproval is up from 50 – 40 percent in a March 12 poll. He had a 52 – 38 percent disapproval June 11, 2008. Former Gov. James McGreevy also hit a 52 percent disapproval once.
In this latest survey, Democrats approve of Corzine 61 – 28 percent, but he gets negative scores of 83 – 13 percent from Republicans and 62 – 32 percent from independent voters.
Voters disapprove 58 – 32 percent of the way Corzine is handling the economy and 50 percent of voters say things in New Jersey are worse since he was elected Governor.
In a possible primary, Christie still tops conservative Republican Steve Lonegan, but his margin of victory is shrinking rapidly. In the latest poll, Christie leads 46 – 37 percent among likely Republican voters, with 14 percent undecided. In March, Christie had a 21 point lead.
“Christopher Christie’s lead over Steve Lonegan in the Republican primary shrinks as we shift from registered voters to likely voters. These Republican loyalists are less impressed by a political newcomer than a party veteran,” Richards said.
In his bid for a second term, Corzine trails Christie 45 – 38 percent, compared to Christie’s 46 – 37 percent lead March 12. Today, Democrats back Corzine 73 – 12 percent, while Christie leads 90 – 3 percent among Republicans and 50 – 31 percent among independent voters.
Lonegan ties Corzine 41 – 41 percent, leading 81 – 7 percent among Republicans and 45 – 32 percent among independent voters, while Corzine leads 77 – 10 percent among Democrats.
“The economy is killing Gov. Jon Corzine’s approval rating in New Jersey,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“It will be hard to win the election when a majority of voters think things have gotten worse in New Jersey since Gov. Corzine was elected and six out of 10 disapprove of his handling of the economy,” Richards added. “But Corzine has a great potential equalizer in this campaign – the millions he will spend to get his message across.”
From April 14 – 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,222 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points. The survey includes 486 Republican likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points, and 460 Democratic likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.