January 21, 2015 - Bridgegate Takes One-Year Toll On New Jersey Gov, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 92 Percent Say Rail Tunnel Repair Is Important Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format


Sample and Methodology detail

One year after the Bridgegate scandal erupted, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie still can't get his job approval rating over the 50 percent mark as 46 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the job he's doing, while 48 percent disapprove, his worst overall score in almost four years, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Christie last topped the 50 percent mark with a 55 - 38 percent approval rating in a January 15, 2014, survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll.

Today, Republicans approve 74 - 21 percent while negative scores are 26 - 69 percent among Democrats and 43 - 50 percent among independent voters. Men are divided 48 - 47 percent, while women tip slightly negative 45 - 49 percent.

Christie gets negative grades for handling key issues:
  • 42 - 52 percent for the economy and jobs;
  • 40 - 53 percent for the state budget;
  • 40 - 52 percent for education.
"It's the traffic nightmare that never ends for New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie," said Quinnipiac University Poll Assistant Director Maurice Carroll. "He was doing fine until one year ago and then, WHAM! Bridgegate hit like a 10-car pileup on the George Washington Bridge and the governor has yet to recover."

New Jersey voters say 65 - 32 percent that Gov. Christie has strong leadership qualities, but say 50 - 46 percent that he is not honest and trustworthy and say 51 - 45 percent that he does not care about their needs and problems.

President Barack Obama also is in the weeds in the Garden State, with a negative 45 - 52 percent job approval rating, among his lowest scores ever in the state.

Voters approve 46 - 33 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez is doing and give U.S. Sen. Cory Booker a 51 - 25 percent approval rating.

Tunnel Repairs

While only 9 percent of New Jersey voters commute to work in New York City, a total of 92 percent of all voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" to repair the rail tunnel linking New Jersey and Manhattan. "Very important" responses range from 55 percent of voters in the South Jersey Philadelphia suburbs to 79 percent in the North Jersey urban areas.

A total of 62 percent of all New Jersey voters say it is "very important" or "somewhat important" to add a second rail tunnel to Manhattan.

Garden State voters, however, oppose 62 - 37 percent increasing the state's gas tax to pay for road and transit improvements. None of the listed groups support hiking the gas tax.

"The tunnel is the only rail link between New York and New Jersey, and the rest of the west, and New Jerseyans are overwhelmingly in favor of fixing it," Carroll said.

"There is less, but still significant, support for a new tunnel."

State Worker Benefits

Voters are divided 48 - 47 percent on reducing pension benefits for new state workers as a way to balance the budget.

But voters support 67 - 27 percent requiring state workers to pay more for their health care. Even Democrats support higher employee contributions 61 - 30 percent.

"Gov. Christie called health and pension costs 'insatiable,' but voters are mixed on solutions. Yes, they say, government workers should pay more for health care, but they're mixed on cutting pension benefits."

From January 15 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,211 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              46%    74%    26%    43%    48%    45%    45%    53%    42%
Disapprove           48     21     69     50     47     49     45     42     53
DK/NA                 6      6      4      7      5      7     10      5      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as Governor? (*High also 74% Jan 2013, **Low also 44% Jun 2010)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Oct 01  Aug 07  Apr 09  Feb 20  Jun 21
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2014    2013*   2011**
 
Approve              46      48      46      49      49      74      44
Disapprove           48      47      45      47      44      22      47
DK/NA                 6       6       9       5       7       4      10
 
 
15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              34%    40%    36%    31%    34%    35%    41%    39%    29%
Disapprove           52     50     42     58     55     48     49     49     54
DK/NA                14      9     22     11     11     17     10     13     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jun 17  Jan 26  Jun 17
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2010    2005    2010
 
Approve              34      33      30      36      19      44      19
Disapprove           52      49      52      48      62      31      62
DK/NA                14      18      17      15      19      25      19
 
 
16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              51%    26%    73%    51%    47%    55%    58%    52%    49%
Disapprove           25     45      8     23     32     19     27     27     22
DK/NA                24     29     18     26     21     26     15     21     29
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 06  Apr 09
                     2015    2014    2014    2014
 
Approve              51      48      47      47
Disapprove           25      22      27      25
DK/NA                24      29      26      28
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              46%    27%    65%    47%    45%    48%    43%    44%    49%
Disapprove           33     55     13     32     37     29     32     34     33
DK/NA                21     19     22     21     18     23     25     22     18
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 06  Apr 09  Apr 24  Nov 28  Feb 20
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2012    2008
 
Approve              46      44      45      43      44      56      30
Disapprove           33      31      34      39      32      29      31
DK/NA                21      24      21      18      24      14      39
 
 
18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              45%     8%    83%    41%    39%    51%    51%    40%    46%
Disapprove           52     91     13     56     58     47     46     57     51
DK/NA                 3      1      3      3      2      3      3      2      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 11  Aug 06  Apr 09  Jul 09  Jun 10  Oct 13
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2009    2011
 
Approve              45      46      44      49      53      68      43
Disapprove           52      50      52      48      41      25      52
DK/NA                 3       4       4       4       6       7       5
 
 
22. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very satisfied        3%     4%     1%     4%     3%     3%     1%     5%     2%
Smwht satisfied      47     64     39     42     48     46     55     49     43
Smwht dissatisfied   30     20     36     32     28     32     27     28     31
Very dissatisfied    20     12     23     21     20     19     15     18     23
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      -      2      -      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*High also 71% Feb 1999)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        3       5       4       5       9      10       2
Smwht satisfied      47      42      46      45      52      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   30      33      30      30      28      21      36
Very dissatisfied    20      19      20      19      11       7      39
DK/NA                 1       1       -       1       -       1       1
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - the economy and jobs?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              42%    66%    23%    43%    45%    40%    42%    51%    37%
Disapprove           52     31     70     51     50     54     53     45     56
DK/NA                 6      3      8      6      5      6      5      4      7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling the economy and jobs?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09
                     2015    2014    2014    2014
 
Approve              42      41      44      44
Disapprove           52      51      51      48
DK/NA                 6       8       5       8
 
 
24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - the state budget?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              40%    65%    21%    37%    45%    36%    35%    46%    37%
Disapprove           53     30     70     56     51     56     60     49     54
DK/NA                 7      4      9      6      5      9      5      5      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling the state budget?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 17  Apr 11  Jan 21  
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2012    2012    2015    
                                                                             
Approve              40      42      44      46      54      58      40      
Disapprove           53      48      48      45      39      35      53      
DK/NA                 7      10       8       9       8       7       7      
 
 
25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - education?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              40%    62%    23%    39%    43%    37%    36%    45%    37%
Disapprove           52     31     68     52     49     54     61     50     50
DK/NA                 8      7      9      9      8      9      3      5     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling education?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 17  Mar 01  Dec 10
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2012    2012    2014
 
Approve              40      39      42      44      48      50      39
Disapprove           52      50      49      47      45      43      50
DK/NA                 8      12       9       9       8       7      12
 
 
26. Would you say that Chris Christie - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  46%    74%    25%    43%    48%    44%    34%    53%    46%
No                   50     23     70     51     48     51     65     42     49
DK/NA                 5      3      5      6      4      5      1      4      6
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  46      47      46      43      51      42
No                   50      46      49      50      41      20
DK/NA                 5       7       5       7       8      38
 
 
27. Would you say that Chris Christie - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  45%    72%    23%    44%    45%    45%    41%    53%    41%
No                   51     27     73     51     50     52     55     44     55
DK/NA                 4      1      5      5      5      3      3      3      4
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  45      47      47      48      55      44
No                   51      48      49      48      41      23
DK/NA                 4       5       4       4       4      32
 
 
28. Would you say that Chris Christie - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  65%    86%    49%    62%    68%    63%    62%    76%    58%
No                   32     12     47     35     30     33     35     23     38
DK/NA                 3      2      5      3      2      4      3      2      4
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  65      66      68      69      74      48
No                   32      32      30      27      23      17
DK/NA                 3       2       3       3       3      36
 
 
30. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Excellent             1%     -      -      -      1%     1%     -      1%     1%
Good                 37     50     30     35     40     34     47     42     30
Not so good          43     38     46     42     40     45     34     44     45
Poor                 19     12     22     22     18     19     17     13     24
DK/NA                 1      -      2      1      1      1      2      -      1
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? (*Low also 7% Feb 2009)
                                                             EXCLNT+GOOD...
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Oct 18  Aug 12
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2001    2009*
 
Excellent             1       1       1       -       1       3       -
Good                 37      35      33      35      38      54       7
Not so good          43      44      46      47      44      37      46
Poor                 19      19      19      16      15       5      45
DK/NA                 1       2       1       2       2       2       1
 
 
31. Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Better               23%    32%    20%    20%    25%    21%    32%    26%    17%
Worse                19     13     21     23     19     20     13     17     23
The same             57     55     58     55     55     58     53     56     59
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      2      -      2
 
TREND: Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                             BETTER........
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Jul 10  Mar 11
                     2015    2014    2014    2014    2013    2013    2009
 
Better               23      20      20      19      33      33       3
Worse                19      20      23      17      14      14      61
The same             57      59      56      61      51      51      35
DK/NA                 1       2       1       3       2       2       2
 
 
32. To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose - reducing pension benefits for new state workers?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              48%    70%    30%    48%    53%    44%    45%    49%    48%
Oppose               47     26     63     47     44     49     51     47     45
DK/NA                 5      4      7      5      4      7      4      4      7
 
TREND: To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose reducing pension benefits for new state workers?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Apr 10  Apr 21  Feb 10
                     2015    2014    2014    2011    2011
 
Support              48      46      55      63      66
Oppose               47      45      40      32      29
DK/NA                 5       9       5       6       5
 
 
33. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - more state employee contributions for health care?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              67%    75%    61%    68%    67%    68%    70%    69%    65%
Oppose               27     22     30     27     29     24     24     27     28
DK/NA                 6      2      9      6      4      8      5      4      8
 
TREND: To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose more state employee contributions for health care?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10
                     2015    2014
 
Support              67      65
Oppose               27      27
DK/NA                 6       8
 
 
34. To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              37%    29%    44%    38%    39%    34%    38%    31%    41%
Oppose               62     70     54     61     59     64     62     68     57
DK/NA                 2      1      2      1      1      2      1      1      2
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Support              37%    39%    39%    37%    31%    47%    36%
Oppose               61     58     61     62     68     52     63
DK/NA                 2      3      1      -      1      1      2
 
TREND: To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax? (*High also 39% Jan 2010, Jan 2005)
                                                             SUPPORT.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Aug 11  Nov 10  Jan 20  Dec 10  Dec 11
                     2015    2014    2014    2010    2010    2014*   2007
 
Support              37      39      36      35      39      39      24
Oppose               62      58      63      63      59      58      74
DK/NA                 2       3       1       2       2       3       2
 
 
35. There is currently one rail tunnel carrying Amtrak and NJ Transit trains between New Jersey and Manhattan. How important do you think it is to repair the existing rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very important       63%    56%    71%    62%    58%    67%    59%    59%    68%
Somewhat important   29     35     22     28     32     26     30     35     24
Not so important      4      5      5      3      4      4      7      2      4
Not important at all  2      3      1      3      3      1      1      2      3
DK/NA                 2      1      2      3      3      1      3      2      2
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Very important       79%    66%    58%    55%    56%    84%    61%
Somewhat important   17     28     34     31     34     11     31
Not so important      1      3      5      8      4      2      4
Not important at all  1      1      1      5      3      2      2
DK/NA                 2      2      1      1      4      2      2
 
 
36. How important do you think it is to add a second rail tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very important       32%    19%    47%    30%    33%    31%    32%    29%    33%
Somewhat important   30     33     25     33     30     31     29     30     32
Not so important     22     28     16     22     22     22     21     26     20
Not important at all 10     15      8     10     11     10     15     11      9
DK/NA                 5      5      5      6      5      6      3      4      7
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Very important       50%    35%    24%    24%    24%    44%    30%
Somewhat important   24     31     35     28     34     30     31
Not so important     15     17     29     30     22     19     22
Not important at all  9     10      6     14     13      5     11
DK/NA                 2      8      5      4      6      2      6
 
 
37. Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                   9%     8%     8%    10%    11%     7%    13%    11%     5%
No                   91     92     92     90     89     93     87     89     95
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  13%    13%     7%     5%     4%
No                   87     86     93     95     96
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                     Jan 21  Dec 10  Nov 17  Dec 21  Nov 10
                     2015    2014    2011    2010    2010
 
Yes                   9      11      10      11      11
No                   91      89      89      89      89
DK/NA                 -       -       -       -       -