Christie Negative Ratings Rise to Record Among New Jersey Voters in Poll

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s ratings turned more negative this month as the percentage of voters giving him low job-performance scores climbed to the highest since he took office in January 2010, a survey found.

Christie, a first-term Republican, is doing a fair or poor job according to 60 percent of voters queried, up from 55 percent last month, according to a PublicMind poll released today by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.

Fewer people had a “favorable” opinion of the 48-year-old governor -- 40 percent, down from 47 percent in April. At the same time, 45 percent had an “unfavorable” view of him, up from 41 percent last month and the highest since he took office, the poll shows.

“May may be good for flowers, but it’s not so good for the governor,” Peter Woolley, director of the PublicMind polling institute, said in a statement. “May is budget tensions in Trenton, budget battles in towns and budget disappointments in school districts.”

The telephone survey was conducted May 16-22, when lawmakers were deliberating Christie’s proposed $29.4 billion spending plan for the 2012 fiscal year, which starts in July.

Approval Split

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, said in an e- mail that polls are “snapshots” and declined to comment on the findings.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed disapproved of his performance as governor, compared with 41 percent in an April survey, the school said. It was Christie’s biggest disapproval rating since he took office.

Christie’s disapproval rating also climbed in a Monmouth University survey released May 18. Forty-nine percent of residents disapproved of the governor, up 9 points since February and the most negative rating since he took office.

In the PublicMind poll, the shift was most pronounced among women, with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance and 36 percent of men giving him a similar rating. Woolley said the difference presented a “dramatic contrast” in the views of the two groups.

Voters who said the state should cut programs rather than raise taxes dropped to 54 percent from 64 percent in April. Those who said the state should raise levies first slipped to 25 percent from 26 percent.

Researchers questioned 804 registered voters statewide, producing a survey with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in New Jersey at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net

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