Although his standing could change in the near future if property taxes don’t lower, Governor Christie’s job rating currently stands at 47-40% among all state residents, and 49% to 41% among registered voters, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media Poll released this morning.
The poll gives Christie positive ratings from 80% of Republicans, 49% of independents, and 27% of Democrats, and represent an uptick from Monmouth’s September 2010 poll. Twenty-six percent strongly approve of Christie and 26% strongly disapprove.
In the area of controlling costs and cutting waste, 4-in-10 New Jerseyans give Christie an above average grade of A (18%) or B (23%), 27% give him a C, and 1-in-4 give him a poor grade of D (13%) or F (14%). One-in-3 give him good grades for improving schools (10% A and 22% B), 22% give Christie a C, and 4-in-10 say his work in this area needs improvement (15% D and 26% F). His grades for cost-cutting are about the same as they were in July, while the governor’s grades on schools are slightly higher than they were six months ago.
But the governor gets lower grades in the area of providing property tax relief. “Just 1-in-4 say Christie has earned a high grade of A (5%) or B (19%),” according to the poll. “Twenty-four percent give him a C, and more than 4-in-10 say he has some way to go on this pressing issue (18% D and 27% F).”
That’s a drop off from July of last year when 31% of residents gave him an A or B in this area.
“New Jersey’s highest in the nation property tax burden continues to shadow the governor. He’s built a reputation for getting things done, so he may suffer the most if relief doesn’t come soon,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Nearly half of New Jerseyans (48%) say they will blame the governor “a lot” if property taxes are not significantly lowered in the next few years. This is slightly lower than the number who will assign a lot of blame to the legislature (51%) and slightly higher than those who will similarly blame their local town governments (45%). However, when asked who they will blame the most if property taxes don’t go down, 35% tab the governor, compared to 19% for the legislature and 10% for local government.
“Among other possible culprits causing an impasse on property taxes, 10% will lay most of the blame on the teachers union, 5% will single out other public workers unions, and just 3% say they will hold their school district most accountable for a lack of property tax relief,” according to the poll.
Monmouth University Polling Institute conducted the poll of 801 adult residents from Feb. 2 to 7, 2011.