What’s sauce for New Jersey …

A reminder to Republicans everywhere that you can cut spending, turn down federal money for transportation projects whose costs are spiraling out of control, and take on public-sector unions — and still remain widely popular, even in a historically blue state:

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie gets decent grades from voters as he nears the end of his first year in office, with a 51 – 38 percent approval rating, higher than President Barack Obama or any other statewide leader, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Assigning letter grades to the governor’s performance, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds:

* 17 percent of New Jersey voters give Christie an A;

* 31 percent give him a B;

* 20 percent give him a C;

* 16 percent give him a D;

* 15 percent give him an F.

Christie is more of a leader than a bully, voters say 50 – 42 percent. But 48 percent say he is “confrontational,” while 43 percent say he is “honest and refreshing.”

His first year in office has been mainly a success, 52 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say it’s been mainly a failure. Christie is doing a better job than expected, 32 percent say, as 23 percent say he is doing a worse job and 42 percent say he is doing about as well as they expected.

“We like our in-your-face governor, Christopher Christie, and think he’s a real Jersey guy – sometimes a bully, often confrontational, but getting a fair number of A’s and a lot of B’s in his first year,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The numbers are particularly interesting given that President Obama and New Jersey’s two Democratic U.S. senators are all underwater on their approval ratings in the state.

Does all this mean New Jersey voters consider him a strong candidate to be on the GOP ticket in 2012? Not so fast:

New Jersey voters say 61 – 24 percent that Christie would not make a good president. Even Republicans say only 45 – 36 percent that their governor is ready for the White House. Christie will not run for president in 2012, voters say 60 – 21 percent, and speculation that he will is just political gossip, 67 percent of voters say.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that Quinnipiac asked about Christie’s fitness to be president today or in 2012 — not whether he’d eventually make a good president, and not whether another governor who takes a similar approach to budgeting would make a good president.

(H/t: Jim Geraghty at National Review Online)

57 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

He’s better than what we have now, not trying to point out the obvious or anything.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 9th, 2010
12:16 pm

I suspect that Illinoisans in 2006 would not have magnified Chauncey as a potential president. Of course, they would have been right on the merits if wrong on the potentiality of an accident of history. I think Gov. Christie has much to commend him for a possible candidacy. I can conceive worse tickets than Christie – Rubio.

CJ

November 9th, 2010
12:22 pm

Wall Street Journal: “In a bigger shift from [Rand Paul's] campaign pledge to end earmarks, [Paul] tells me that they are a bad ‘symbol‘ of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork,…”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704353504575596591626268782.html

How do you like your TeaGOP candidates now?

jconservative

November 9th, 2010
12:24 pm

I agree with “I Report” that Christie is better, better than who Georgia just elected, for example.

Christie has been adamant that he will not even consider 2012.

Linda

November 9th, 2010
12:27 pm

Gov. Cristie & I have something in common. One does not have to wonder what we think. If it comes up, it comes out.

Correction: Cristie did not take on unions. He took on union bosses. Apparently, he ranks high with union employees.

Dumbocrook

November 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

Another big reason Dumbocrooks were voted out!

Emails Offer New Evidence Political Appointees at DOJ Ended Case against New Black Panther Party

http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2010/nov/explosive-justice-department-emails-offer-new-evidence-political-appointees-doj-ended-

HDB

November 9th, 2010
12:41 pm

Ragnar Danneskjöld
November 9th, 2010
12:16 pm

Rubio isn’t allowed to be on the ticket…..note that the President has to be NATIVE….not naturalized!! Constitutional requirements!!

BTW: Christie is under investigation because of supposed improprieties that happened when he was US Attorney in New Jersey….from the AP:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is raising his national political profile as a government cost-cutter, engaged in a pattern of abuse when he was U.S. attorney by billing taxpayers to stay at luxury hotels, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Monday.

Read more: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/11/08/1361538/ig-report-criticizes-christies.html#ixzz14oA6Jy8l

Read more: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2010/11/08/1361538/ig-report-

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
12:43 pm

Nothing like the classic video of Gov. Christie taking on the $125K/Year, whining, moaning, complaining member of the Teacher’s Union. The Governor’s famous words, “Well, you don’t HAVE to work here.” We need more like him.

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
12:46 pm

HDB

Marci Rubio was born in Miami. His Parents were born in Cuba. Get your facts straight.

Sheriff Lobo

November 9th, 2010
12:55 pm

Are you telling me that these are the ONLY options for cutting spending?

Jefferson

November 9th, 2010
1:05 pm

Look at what NJ pays in proerty taxes, is that what you folks want?

Jefferson

November 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

I’ve got a better idea, Kyle. Let talk about our new gov. and how he is going to balance the buget without help from DC.

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
1:12 pm

Gov Christie did not cause NJ property taxes to be at the current level. The Governor has been asking for a 2% CAP on Property Taxes.

Ayn Rant

November 9th, 2010
1:29 pm

My two dogs are smarter than the average American voter! They learn after making the same mistake only two or three times; American voters keep electing the same ilk of politicians hoping that alternating between Democrat incompetents and Republican incompetents will produce the wisdom and leadership we need. This is the sort of nonsense that gives democracy a bad name!

Now, voters favor politicians who proudly veto essential transportation projects that create good jobs in the present recession and foster economic expansion in the future. America was once the “land of hope”; we’ve become the “land of nope”!

Jefferson

November 9th, 2010
1:30 pm

Where will he get the money, IF they lower those taxes?

Scott

November 9th, 2010
1:36 pm

His abrupt cancellation of the NJ/NYC tunnel is the one thing that will come back to bite him, and my guess is those poll numbers where before that came out. He complains of NJ having to pay more, but NJ will benefit way more than any of the other players in this project. He has in this one decision wasted years of planning and billions already spent with construction already under way. He will also add 6,000 to the ranks of the unemployed with this decision. I really thought he was grandstanding for more funding…I didn’t think he would really pull the plug. It was a really stupid decision. That said, I would take him over crooked Deal any day, as he assembles his cronies as we speak

Kyle Wingfield

November 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Scott: Actually, the poll was conducted more than a week after he gave the final “no” to the tunnel project.

Linda

November 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

HDB @ 12:41, Your 2nd website doesn’t work. According to your 1st website, Cristie is being accused of spending $2,176 over allowances during a 2-year period. My goodness. Think he might have rented out the entire Taj Mahal for 2 or 3 days?

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
1:59 pm

Linda

I’m sure that’s no match for Michelle and friends “junket” to Spain a few months ago, huh?

get out much?

November 9th, 2010
2:01 pm

Well kudos to Gov. Christie for cutting spending and turning down federal transportation money. However, he still has to address the traffic capacity problem that the new tunnel was intended to address. My guess is that the problem will still be there when he leaves office (but even more expensive to fix at that point).

The Snark

November 9th, 2010
2:02 pm

“Wildly popular”? I don’t know much about Christie, but those numbers look pretty 50/50 to me.

And what exactly is the point of reporting on public approval polls?

Kyle Wingfield

November 9th, 2010
2:09 pm

It was “widely,” not “wildly,” Snark — and the numbers are explicitly 51-38, not 50-50. So, not to be too snarky, but you were 0-for-2 there.

In this case, I passed along the poll numbers because there’s a line of thinking out there that you can’t cut spending, pass on federal $$, take on unions, etc. and retain public approval. I thought this was a clear case where that line of thinking is completely wrong — and a case that’s instructive for any Republicans reluctant to do these things even though they campaign on doing them.

Linda

November 9th, 2010
2:20 pm

The tunnel was projected to cost $8.7 B. The fed. govt. & the Port Authority of NY & NJ had pledged $3 B each. NJ was to spend $2.7 B plus any overruns. Christie’s advisory committee projected that the project would cost $10.6 to $13.5 B, leaving the taxpayers of NJ holding the bag for any surprises for up to $3.8 B. Why should New Jersey taxpayers, rather than the fed. govt. &/or the port authority, be solely on the hook for overruns?

Marilyn

November 9th, 2010
2:37 pm

The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

How’s that working for ya ~ you betcha!!!

markie mark

November 9th, 2010
2:53 pm

Marilyn…..this is not a finite pie….it will expand as much as you have the ingenuity to make it….and as one who was selfmade millionaire, lost it, and it working for it again…..there aint a better system than the one we live in….

markie mark

November 9th, 2010
2:54 pm

and no, mine was not in banking or real estate….I owned liquor stores in florida, and the biggest chain in the state wiped me out last year….such is life.

carlosgvv

November 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

This just confirms what I have said in the past. Any political system or party is only as good as the people who are in charge of it.

markie mark

November 9th, 2010
3:05 pm

agreed carlosgvv….and all I ask of them is to keep the regulations to a reasonable amount, then get out of my way. Make my country, food, and water safe, and then give me the opportunity to try and build a better mousetrap.

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
3:21 pm

Marilyn

November 9th, 2010
2:37 pm

So, Marilyn, how about “From each, according to his ability, to each, according to his needs”. How’s that?

Linda

November 9th, 2010
3:30 pm

If I committed one of the seven deadly sins, I wouldn’t brag about it.

Roekest

November 9th, 2010
3:42 pm

Wow. That was a very Cynthia Tucker-esque article: 85% came from another media outlet, 15% contribution by person whose face is on the page. Wingfield, if you’re going to (seemingly) be the ONLY conservative the AJC is willing to publish, bring the A-game, dude. We can’t have our only voice on the AJC be a little whisper.

Roekest

November 9th, 2010
3:45 pm

@ Marilyn

If this was a “banana republic”, as you so eloquently put it, why do we have paved roads and indoor plumbing? 1% may take home all the wealth, but I’ll be first to say that most of them deserve it. Either they work hard for it, they have the brains to make it, or both. Don’t be mad because life gave you a shallow gene pool.

ronald

November 9th, 2010
3:59 pm

Great article, Kyle. I find it funny that some people think he’s too “confrontational.” Sometimes its necessary, especially when dealing with unions. God knows they are confrontational. I used to live in NY and the unions there would put giant inflatable rats in front of skyscrapers if those buildings hired non-union doormen or maintenance workers. We need more people like Christie who is willing to stand up to union thugs.

CJ

November 9th, 2010
4:08 pm

Steve Benen ( http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026556.php )

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a media darling and favorite of many Republican activists, has a penchant for complaining about wasteful government spending and public employees who abuse the system and fail to respect the taxpayers footing the bills.

In retrospect, Christie probably should have picked a different issue to focus on…

There were, to be sure, other officials who abused the system, but Christie appears to have been the worst. In Boston, for example, he stayed at a $449-per-night. In D.C., he stayed at and the $475-per-night Four Seasons. For both cities, the rate is more than double the government standard, but Christie nevertheless had taxpayers pick up the tab.

It wasn’t just lodging. In Boston, Christie could have taken a cab for the four miles between his luxurious hotel and the airport, but he instead took a $236 car service. In London, Christie’s drive to the airport cost $562. He had us pay for all of this, too.

It also doesn’t help that Christie, accused of this pattern of wasteful spending, ‘declined to speak with the inspector general’s investigators.’

I guess this is what passes for ‘fiscal conservatism’ in Republican politics nowadays?”

Linda

November 9th, 2010
4:15 pm

CJ @ 4:08, Your assertion has already been reported & squashed on this blog today. The complaint is over $2176, which, according to your favorite word, is nonsense.

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
4:16 pm

CJ

From World Net Daily:

It reads like a dream order for a wild frat party: Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer.

But that single receipt makes up just part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for “in-flight services” – including food and liquor, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trips on Air Force jets over the last two years. That’s almost $1,000 per week.

I wonder what the tab was today for her “Party for Accomplishments”…hell, I gues we should celebrate 680 Dems losing seats!

JDW

November 9th, 2010
4:19 pm

Roekest

November 9th, 2010
3:45 pm
” why do we have paved roads and indoor plumbing?”

Because Eisenhower and FDR used government dollars to fund infrastructure development…projects that the Republicans of today would call “handouts” and waste.

Kyle Wingfield

November 9th, 2010
4:21 pm

CJ: Christie’s opponent in the gubernatorial election already brought up this story, and NJ voters decided it didn’t matter. And, buried in most of the breathless news articles about the IG’s report, is the fact that the cumulative amount of overspending from 14 expense reports over a two-year period was about $2,000.

Does it look bad? Sure. But for a guy who is cutting billions out of his state budget, his opponents are going to have to do a lot worse than this.

JDW

November 9th, 2010
4:44 pm

Kyle, given what I have read it seems that “cutting” very often includes just pitching the expenses back to the local jurisdiction…in many cases more like welching than cutting.

For example:

$475 million cut in aid for school districts.

Skips $100 million state employee pension contributions.

$62 million cut to county colleges and four-year public colleges/universities.

$12.6 million cut from the charity care fund compensating hospitals to treat uninsured patients; all hospitals will lose about 4 percent of their subsidy.

CJ

November 9th, 2010
4:53 pm

NJ voters decided it didn’t matter…

I’m sorry Kyle, but a 51 percent approval rating does not mean that “NJ voters decided it didn’t matter.” Hell, it doesn’t even mean that 51 percent of NJ voters decided it didn’t matter.

And $2,000 of overspending (if that’s accurate) for many, if not most, employers–especially for five-star hotels and limos–would get you fired. The hypocrisy is off the charts, but as far as I can see, nothing a Republican does is outrageous to conservative voters.

Linda

November 9th, 2010
4:53 pm

JDW @ 4:19, If FDR’s policies worked, why did his Tres. Sec., one of his architects of his New Deal, testify before a House committee that “…after eight years of this adm., we have just as much unemployment as when we started…& an enormous debt to boot” & why did the New Deal not take us out of the Great Depression & why was the constitution amended after FDR to prevent any president ever again to serve as long as he did?

Some of the unemployed in the US, such as teachers, software managers, sales reps, seamstresses, & vet techs, don’t happen to want to or seem qualified to build infrastructure. Wouldn’t it be better to just let the economy work & stop trying to micromanage it to suit the left?

Avery

November 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

Lol. The wild west…oh, sorry, I mean the wet dream for red states, looks more and more hilarious every day. I would say it would be ironic when the finances implode and they rely on evil liberal states to fund their pipe dreams, but that is already the case. The median GOP stronghold is a net federal recipient and the median Dem stronghold a net federal donor.

Talk about your real world myth busters.

Kyle Wingfield

November 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

CJ: I’m not talking about the opinion poll; I’m talking about the election, because Corzine raised this subject and Christie won anyway. The only thing “off the charts” here is the excessive straining by some people to portray this as some sort of debilitating scandal.

I will, however, concede that “decided it didn’t matter” was not the best way to put it. If I were to write that comment again, I would say “… and NJ voters elected him anyway.”

Jason T

November 9th, 2010
5:04 pm

Avery

November 9th, 2010
4:54 pm

You obviously don’t know about the status of the “liberal states”, huh? Compare Michigan, New York, Ohio, Illinois, California with the “Red states”.
Your liberal state Gov’s are in big trouble.
There ya go—your “myth” is busted.

mini mi-mi

November 9th, 2010
5:15 pm

Republicans don’t cut spending, they merely shift it

j

November 9th, 2010
5:21 pm

kyle voters are dumb that’s why they vote in the first place. who really cares about their opinion? they are simply clueless. only politicians give a hoot about them.

do you know who chainsaw al is?

christie is a damn lawyer, which means he is only qualified to read and write at a high level.

that fat moron is clueless and in it to expand his waistline and pocket.

JDW

November 9th, 2010
5:22 pm

@Linda…and now with the benefit of history we see that he navigated America out of depression and through the Second World War and remains in the eyes of many the greatest president ever…unlike recent Republicans who rate near the bottom of the barrel…and o since you live in Atlanta you should thank him every time you flush…Lake Lanier and Corp you know.

Ayn Rant

November 9th, 2010
5:23 pm

Do some people actually believe the richest Americans got rich by creativity, hard work, brainpower? Well, a few actually earned it: you can count them on the fingers of one hand (Bill Gates, etc.)

There are three ways to get rich in America: 1. inherit wealth from the parents or grandparents who stole it; 2. become a CEO, appoint a bunch of patsies to your Board, and strip the assets of your company; 3. win the lottery. Way 1 is by far the most common.

The difference between the wealth a person accumulates in America and what he would accumulate in Somalia or Afghanistan is the amount he owes to the society, not to his creativity, initiative, and intellect. Our society allows wealth to be inherited without taxing the benficiaries on their unearned wealth. Equal opportunity be damned!

Linda

November 9th, 2010
5:59 pm

JDW @ 5:22, Could you not refute any of the 3 points I made? How many yrs. did FDR spend us into oblivion & how did the unemployment rate improve before the war started? FDR prolonged the Great Depression. Only the war got us out of it. The progressives, slowly, but surely, have changed & distorted the history books & that’s why we need to close the Dept. of Edu.

I had more sense than to remain a resident of the city of Atlanta. I am an Atlanta area resident.

I paid for all my indoor plumbing.

CJ

November 9th, 2010
6:11 pm

Kyle, “…NJ voters elected him anyway.

Florida voters elected Republican Rick Scott anyway. Georgia voters elected Republican Nathan Deal anyway. Louisiana voters elected Republican David Vitter anyway.

The fact that many voters elect such crooks and liars doesn’t undermine my assertion that these guys (and many of the people who vote for them) are hypocrites. Many of them are the same knuckleheads who parroted “rule of law…rule of law” in their sleep during the Clinton years–a phrase quickly abandoned by pundits and the press when Republicans took control.

By the way, if $2,000 isn’t enough, how much can a Republican politician bilk taxpayers for his own personal comfort before it becomes unacceptable to TeaGOP voters?