Stockton Poll: Obama and Christie converge again – this time at 43%

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama share something in common: only 43 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the job they’re doing, according to a Stockton Polling Institute poll released today.

A small majority feels positive about both leaders. Fifty-two percent view the governor favorably. That number is down from 56 percent in an Oct. 9 Stockton Poll, but is consistent with findings in a September Stockton Poll. Forty-six percent view Christie unfavorably. Obama is viewed favorably by 51 percent, an improvement over the 44 percent found in two previous polls.

But when asked to rate Christie’s and Obama’s job performance, both were rated positively by 43 percent. Fifty-six percent rated Christie’s performance as fair or poor, and 57 percent rated Obama’s performance as fair or poor.

The statewide survey of 806 likely New Jersey voters was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. Live interviewers on The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey campus called both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 18-22, 2014. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.

For the governor, 11.5 percent rated his performance excellent and nearly 32 percent as good. Twenty-nine percent rated it fair, and 27 percent as poor. Perceptions vary widely along party lines, with 26 percent of Democrats rating him positively compared to 75 percent of Republicans. Forty-eight percent of unaffiliated voters rate his performance as excellent or good.

For the president, 13 percent rate his performance excellent and 30 percent as good. Twenty-four percent rate his performance fair, and 33 percent as poor.

Voters identify the most important issues facing New Jersey as jobs (19 percent), property taxes (17 percent), the economy (15 percent), and taxes in general (11 percent).

Levels of support for two proposed Constitutional amendments on the New Jersey ballot remain consistent with two earlier Stockton Polls this fall. Seventy-eight percent support a proposal to allow judges to deny bail to defendants they think are likely to flee or pose a threat to the community. Fifteen percent oppose it, and 7 percent are unsure.

Another proposed Constitutional amendment would increase the percentage of the existing Corporation Business Tax that is dedicated to environmental programs from 4 percent to 6 percent on July 1, 2019. Fifty-nine percent support it, up from 55 percent in an Oct. 9 poll. Thirty-five percent oppose it, and 6 percent are unsure.

Methodology

The survey was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter). Live interviewers on the Stockton campus called both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 18 –22, 2014. The poll was conducted with 806 adults who are likely voters. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets. Data are weighted based on United States Census Bureau demographics for the New Jersey population.