By Patrick Murray | June 29th, 2011 - 1:14pm
| More

A new player entered New Jersey’s crowded polling market and confirmed the recent decline in Governor Christie’s approval ratings.  The big story of this poll is his possible slippage among independents voters.

The latest poll was conducted for Bloomberg news by Selzer  & Co, a well-respected Iowa polling firm with a pretty solid track record polling their home state’s hard to pin down presidential caucus.

The poll found Christie has an “upside down” job approval rating among all adults – 44% approve to 51% disapprove.  This is in line with the Quinnipiac Poll’s 44% to 47% results earlier this month and the Monmouth University/NJ Press Media Poll’s 47% to 49% result last month.

One of the first things I look for with new polls that differ from other findings is the partisan composition of the sample.  Unfortunately, not every pollster releases this – although any reputable pollster should have no problem including this important information with their poll results.   Fortunately, Selzer did include this data (for both their weighted and unweighted samples no less – kudos to them!). 

Their weighted sample of partisan identifiers (i.e. “In politics as of today, do you consider yourself a D/R/I?”) splits 30% Democrat, 24% Republican and 44% independent.  That 6 point Democratic advantage is a much narrower gap than most other polls show.  My tracking of the party identification question over the past year finds it hovering somewhere between a 12 and 14 point Democratic advantage – similar to the partisan split on the registered voter rolls.  If anything, this latest poll should be more advantageous to the Republican governor.

So why the big dip in Christie’s approvals when compared to Monmouth and Quinnipiac?

The biggest difference in the three polls is an apparent erosion of support among politically independent residents.  [Note: there is some danger in comparing sub-samples across different polls due to different question wording and weighting techniques, but the results bear watching.]

In Monmouth’s May poll, Christie garnered positive reviews among this important voting bloc by a decent 53% to 41% margin.  In Quinnipiac’s poll a few weeks later, this edge was a much narrower 47% to 44%.  The Selzer poll now shows independents evenly divided on the governor’s job performance – 47% approve to 47% disapprove.

There are some caveats for those concerned only with how this will effect Christie's re-election chances.  These polls sampled all adults or registered voters.  The Selzer poll does include a breakdown for those saying they are very likely to vote in this year's legistaive election.  But since this "likely voter" group includes 62% of all adults as opposed to a more realistic 20-25% it doesn't deserve much attention.  At any rate, it's too soon to predict who is likely to vote in 2013 when Christie is up for re-election.

It’s also important to keep in mind that all these polls were conducted before the governor’s pension and benefit victory and a poll next week could produce very different results.  [Although just released, the Selzer poll was actually conducted last week.]

 But the bottom line is that Christie’s job approval has been wavering – in spite of Piers Morgan’s claims* to the contrary during his obsequious CNN interview – and independents hold the key.

[*By the way, check out the Star-Ledger’s terrific new PolitifactNJ fact checking site.]

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources