MADISON, NJ - According the latest poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™, 50 percent of New Jersey voters say they approve of the way the president is handling his job, while 42 percent disapprove. These numbers mirror the support expressed by New Jerseyans for their Republican governor, Chris Christie, as reported yesterday: 56 percent approve of the job Christie is doing, compared to 33 percent who disapprove.
“What’s interesting is the fact that these men are from different parties, during a time of sharp partisan division, and yet they garner about the same support,” said FDU political scientist and poll analyst Krista Jenkins. “Obama’s popularity in the Garden State doesn’t detract from Christie’s, and vice versa. Both clearly bring something to the table that works for New Jerseyans.”
When it comes to the all-important horserace, Obama bests the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, by fourteen points (50-36 percent). And behind those numbers, the gender gap is a sizable obstacle for Romney to overcome. Although men are about equally divided in their support for the candidates (45% Obama; 42% Romney), the majority of women say they’d vote for Obama if the election were held today (54%-31%). Women are also significantly more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance (55%) than men (45%).
“What we’re seeing in New Jersey confirms what’s going on nationally,” said Jenkins. “Judging by the size of Romney’s deficit with women voters, gender is going to play a sizable role in the outcome of this election.”
However, the gender gap doesn’t hold up when the question turns to perceptions of the direction in which the country is headed. The majority of respondents (56%) believe the country is on the wrong track, and men (57%) and women (55%) are about equally pessimistic.
“When we step back and look at what these numbers are telling us, it’s that New Jersey women are just as unhappy with where this country is headed, but draw a completely different conclusion than men about the choice of candidates and the solutions they’re offering,” said Jenkins.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 797 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from April 30 through May 6, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.