The most popular New Jersey Democrat is still Senate President Richard Codey, who has a 65%-20% approval rating in a statewide poll conducted by John Zogby for Garden State Equality. The former Governor’s approvals exceed Governor Jon Corzine (64%-27%), U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (56%-30%), and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (45%-35%). But the most popular people in New Jersey are a pair of New Yorkers: former President Bill Clinton (67%-28%) and New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (71%-18%).
With a 45%-30% approval rating, State Sen. Thomas Kean, Jr., who ran against Menendez for the U.S. Senate last year, is more popular among New Jerseyans than his former rival.
Two other statewide leaders have low name identification among rank and file voters, according to the GSE survey: More than six out of ten New Jersey voters have never heard of U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who is considered a likely candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in 2009. Christie has a 26%-13% approval rating. Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, wioth a 17%-20% approval rating, is unknown to 63% of New Jersey’s voters.
President George W. Bush remains upside-down in New Jersey, with a 40%-58% approval rating. Former Vice President Al Gore, who won New Jersey by fourteen points over Bush in 2000, has appovals of 64%-33%. Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani remains popular in New Jersey, with 64%-31% approvals — better than Demcoratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (56%-40%).