Election Day is only nine days away, and the polling is coming in fast and furious. Rutgers alone published three polls last week bearing on New Jersey's gubernatorial contest between Chris Christie and Barbara Buono, which I'm reposting here as an update to Election news for Food Day. Follow over the fold for these stories I originally included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (NASA back from shutdown).
Rutgers University: Christie: More ‘Fighter’ than Bully and a Smart, Strong Leader
Friday, October 25, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – While opponents have often tried to label Gov. Chris Christie a “bully,” most of New Jersey’s registered voters have a different take. By more than a 2 to 1 margin (72 percent to 34 percent), respondents in the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll agree that the governor’s self-description as a “fighter,” fits “very well” and is more apt than bully.Rutgers University: Christie’s Overall Ratings Remain High but Voters Unhappy About How he Handles Economy and Taxes
“Whether or not they all mean it in the same way, it is the single word most applied to Christie by New Jersey voters,” said David Redlawsk, director of the poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. He added that since he started polling about the governor’s character traits in 2010, this is the first time fighter has been included in the list of descriptors.
The latest survey also shows that about two-thirds of registered voters see Christie as a “smart,” “strong leader.” Voters started to identify those traits more frequently following Superstorm Sandy’s assault on the state a year ago. “This perception of Christie as a strong leader has not only driven his high overall ratings, but has sustained their heights much longer than expected,” Redlawsk said.
About half of voters also ascribe “effective” and “independent” as key Christie characteristics, saying they fit him very well; 43 percent say “trustworthy,” 40 percent “fair” and 30 percent “reformer.”
Buono still largely unknown just weeks before the election
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As Election Day approaches, New Jersey’s registered voters continue to give incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie high overall ratings, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Christie’s favorability remains steady at 61 percent. He is viewed unfavorably by 28 percent of voters. Similarly, his overall job grade and approval are strong: 60 percent grade the governor B or higher and 67 percent approve of the overall job he is doing.Rutgers University: Voters Agree as Christie Drops Same-Sex Marriage Appeal and Strongly Support Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples
Voters remain persistently negative toward Christie’s efforts on what they perceive as the two most important issues facing the state, the economy and taxes. Only 42 percent approve of his handling of the economy and jobs, which more than a third say is the biggest problem facing New Jersey. Similarly, 38 percent approve of his performance on taxes, the top problem for 25 percent. But, as earlier polls have found, Christie’s overall support is not hurt by disapproval on specific issues.
Christie continues to benefit from Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono’s lack of a statewide profile – 43 percent of respondents have no real impression of her. Among those with an impression, negative views now outweigh positive, 29 percent to 28 percent, a seven-point increase in negative ratings since early September. This slippage reflects Christie’s continued and mostly unanswered TV ads attacking his opponent.
“For a major party challenger, Sen. Buono has had very low visibility throughout this campaign,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Her lack of resources and unwillingness of many Democratic leaders to promote her have hampered her messaging. Christie could have been vulnerable on the issues voters care about, but not without the presence of a visible, viable alternative.”
Monday, October 21, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – As wedding bells ring for the first same-sex marriages in the Garden State, a majority of New Jersey voters agrees with today’s decision by Gov. Chris Christie to drop the state’s appeal of the ruling that made New Jersey the 14th state to adopt marriage equality, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.It looks like Christie is going to win in a 20-point blowout, in part because he's defused some key issues, in part because the Democrats in New Jersey have not helped his opponent. If so, he is in good shape for his future plans.
Reflecting continuing changes in public opinion, support for legalizing same-sex marriage is now at 61 percent, versus 27 percent who oppose and 12 percent who are unsure. For the first time, a plurality of Republicans supports allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Opinion on the appeal is somewhat less lopsided; 53 percent say the state should accept the decision, while 40 percent side want it appealed to the state Supreme Court.
“Beliefs about same-sex marriage have shifted rapidly,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Fully one-quarter of today’s supporters tell us they were previously opposed. Not long ago, a ruling like this would have created a significant backlash. Now most voters agree with it.”