We’ll find out tomorrow night if Governor Chris Christie’s 11th push for coattails is working, but an FDU Public Mind Poll released this morning indicates that the Republican brand has been damaged by the antics of Congressional Republicans and that Christie’s personal popularity is not enough to overcome New Jersey’s Democratic tilt.
FDU surveyed 1206 registered voters last week on how they feel about the job Christie is doing in New Jersey, President Obama’s handling of the federal budget negotiations and Congressional Democrats and Republicans handling of the federal budget negotiations.
As has consistently been the case over the last year, Christie’s approval numbers are very strong. The governor’s approval rating is positive 61%-24%. Obama’s handling of the federal budget is disapproved of by 52% of NJ voters and approved by only 38%. Congressional Democrats got a negative rating from 57% with only 32% approving. 75% disapprove of how Congressional Republicans have handled the federal budget, including 79% of Independents and 58% of Republican voters. Only 14% of NJ voters, 33% of Republicans, approve of the job Congressional Republicans are doing on the budget.
FDU altered the order of their questions before asking participants their partisan identification. Those who were asked about Congressional Republicans immediately before being asked their party ID, were less likely to say they are Republican or that they would vote Republican.
FDU had a control group for the partisan ID question. The control group was asked about Jersey Farms, not about anything political, prior to the party ID question. When asked about tomatoes, 29% of voters said they were Republican. When asked about Christie before being asked their party ID, 28% said they were Republican. When asked about Washington before being asked their party ID, only 20% said they were Republican.
FDU political science professor Dan Cassino told MMM that the results indicate that Congressional Republicans are costing New Jersey Republicans support from 1/3 of their base.
What does this mean for the State Legislative races? Cassino says it means Republican legislative candidates will not enjoy coattails from Christie’s popularity.
It seems to me, that the poll means Republicans have a chance to pick up legislative seats if voters went pumpkin picking this weekend or are thinking about Chris Christie before they vote, but not if they are thinking of John Boehner or Ted Cruz before they vote.