Forty percent of New Jersey voters say their votes last week were driven in part by Gov. Chris Christie, with just as many voters likely to support as to oppose the governor, according to this morning’s Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.
Voters also split over the issues that brought them to the polls, with jobs and unemployment cited as most important by 15 percent of those turning out. Voters named education and Christie’s governing style as motivators by 14 percent, while 12 percent cited government spending and 11 percent high taxes.
More voters (28 percent) said they were motivated by positive feelings toward the candidates or party they supported rather than issues. Given the results, 54 percent of all registered voters are happy Democrats retained control of the legislature and can act as a check on the governor, while 32 percent are unhappy with the outcome.
“Before the election, just over half of likely voters said their vote would be driven by their feelings about the governor,” said poll director David Redlawsk, professor of political science at Rutgers University. “While not quite that many actual voters said they voted to show support or opposition to Christie, it is still clear that he was a significant factor in the election, clearly as important as any specific issue.”
Results are from a survey of 753 respondents drawn from a list of New Jersey registered voters, including 383 respondents who voted in the Nov. 8 election, conducted from Nov. 9 – 12. The sample of registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points, while the voter sample has a margin of +/-5.0 percentage points.