Gov. Christopher Christie enters office with a 33%-27% approval rating and a go-ahead to cut state spending, layoff state workers and freeze their salaries, and continue his fight on corruption, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Former Gov. Jon Corzine, who left office yesterday, ended his four years as governor with an upside-down 34%-56% approval rating. Nearly six out of ten voters (59%) viewed Corzine’s governorship as a failure, while just 32% saw him as successful.
More than 70% of New Jersey voters are dissatisfied with life in the state, and 97% say New Jersey is facing serious budget problems. 63% say they are optimistic that Christie can help. 28% say that curbing state spending should be Christie’s top priority, while 25% say it should be to create jobs and 20% want Christie to tackle state corruption issues.
“New Jerseyans to Gov. Christopher Christie: We’ll hand you the axe, Governor, if you want to chop state spending. In a measure that’s all but unanimous, we agree the state is in terrible financial shape. That amounts to a chopping license,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “We don’t know a lot about Gov. Christie, but we’re optimistic that he’ll do a good job.”
By a 58%-35% margin, New Jerseyans support layoffs or furloughs of state workers. In union households, the total is 50%-44%. Freezing wages for state works also gets statewide support, 71%-23%, including 62%-38% among union households and 64%-30% among Democrats.
“Government workers are in the cross hairs. Most New Jerseyans, including union households, would okay layoffs. Almost three fourths would okay a wage freeze,” Carroll said. “New Jersey voters, 65 percent of them, expect Christie to get tough with state workers.”
From January 13 – 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,175 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.