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)