Thomas Kean is the most popular of New Jersey’s eight former governors with a 46%-9% favorable rating, according to a Monmouth University/ Gannett New Jersey poll released today. Jon Corzine, who left office on January 19, has an upside-down 31%-55% favor rating. The new governor, Christopher Christie, has favorables of 31%-17%.
“Nine living New Jerseyans can lay claim to the title of governor, but Tom Kean is clearly in a league of his own,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Roseland), who served as governor from 2004 to 2006 and was recently deposed as Senate President, has a statewide favorable rating of 34%-20%.
Besides Corzine, three other former governors are upside-down: James E. McGreevey (24%-52%), Donald DiFrancesco (10%-18%), and Christine Todd Whitman (35%-8%). Jim Florio, who was for a time one of the most unpopular governors in state history, is at 29%–27%.
“Until James McGreevey’s resignation in 2004, Jim Florio was universally viewed as the state’s least popular governor. It appears that some voters are now reappraising Florio’s pay-as-you-go approach in light of the ballooning debt and budget gimmickry that followed his tenure,” said Murray.
Another governor who struggled for voter approval at times, Brendan Byrne, is at 25%-12.