Poll: Voters favor checks on Governor

New Jerseyans favor a Democrat-controlled Legislature as a check to Gov. Chris Christie’s power, a new Rutgers Eagelton poll shows.

With all 120 seats up in the Legislature this November, 54 percent of respondents said they preferred Democrats keep control of the Legislature, versus just 37 percent who said they’d like to see the GOP take control in the fall.

But while the majority of respondents say they want Democrats to remain in control, only 30 percent said they would vote for their current representatives.

“Though it’s early, voters are quite clear they prefer divided state government,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “They also show a limited understanding of the current environment, since throwing out incumbents would basically mean giving Republicans control in Trenton.”

And while 80 percent of partisan respondents say they want their party in control, independents favor a Democratic Legislature 48 percent to 38 percent with 13 percent unsure.

“While independents generally favor the governor, their good feelings are tempered by a wish that state government remain divided between the two parties,” said Redlawsk. “This seems to reflect a desire for bipartisanship and compromise between Republicans and Democrats, rather than strong endorsement of either side.”

Poll: Voters favor checks on Governor