Quinnipiac: New Jerseyans ready to fire and furlough state workers; 59% view Corzine as a failure

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. 

Quinnipiac: New Jerseyans ready to fire and furlough state workers; 59% view Corzine as a failure