NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – New Jersey voters have become noticeably less positive about President Barack Obama, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released today. Obama's favorable rating has dropped to 44 percent, down 11 points from an April 2011 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, while another 44 percent view him unfavorably, up 12 points.
Over the same period, support for Gov. Chris Christie is mostly unchanged, at 45 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable, compared to 44 percent to 42 percent four months ago. Even so, this is the first Rutgers-Eagleton Poll to show feelings about Christie more negative than positive, though the difference is within the margin of error for the poll. Asked if they would vote to re-elect Gov. Christie or prefer someone else, 42 percent say they would vote for Christie, while 49 percent would support someone else.
"The debt ceiling mess in Washington, along with the general economic malaise, has clearly taken its toll on how Garden Staters view the President," said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. "Particularly significant are drops among both independents and Democrats. After having a mostly positive view of Obama, independents have shifted distinctly negative, while Democrats have become far less positive as well. Given his easy win in New Jersey in 2008, these results are even more striking. At the same time, Gov. Christie's prospects are also tough."
Results are from a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of 615 registered voters conducted among both landline and cell phone households from August 9 - 15, with a margin of error for the full sample of +/- 3.9 percentage points.