As speculation about whether Gov. Chris Christie will enter the presidential race reaches new heights, voters in his own state of New Jersey are giving him higher marks, according to the Public Mind Poll released Tuesday by Farleigh Dickinson University.
The poll found that 54 percent of New Jersey voters approve of the way Christie is handling his job as governor, while just 36 percent disapprove. That’s a sharp tick up for Christie since May, when 44 percent said they approved of his job performance and an equal number said they disapproved.
But when asked to get specific, 46 percent of New Jersey voters say Christie’s performance as governor has been excellent or good, while 53 percent say it has been only fair or poor. That too, however, is an improvement for Christie since May, when just 36 percent said his job performance was excellent or good, and 60 percent called it only fair or poor. In particular, the number of voters who feel he is doing a poor job as governor has declined by eight points.
Voters are also more confident that the state is moving in the right direction. Forty-five percent said it was going in the right direction, compared to 47 percent who said it was on the wrong track. In May, just 36 percent said the state was moving in the right direction, while 55 percent said it was on the wrong track.
Christie is also seen in a slightly more favorable light since May. In May, 40 percent had a somewhat or very favorable view of the governor. In September, that number has grown to 49 percent, while the percentage of people with a somewhat to very unfavorable opinion of him has declined by four points.
A Monmouth University Polling Institute poll released in August found a similar trend of increasing approval of Christie, seeing the percentage of voters who disapproved strongly or somewhat of his job as governor declining by seven percentage points, while the percentage who approved increased one point.
Christie, who will speak at the Reagan Library on Tuesday, has repeatedly denied that he will run for president, but rumors have continued to fly.
The Farleigh Dickinson University poll is based on live telephone interviews with 800 registered New Jersey voters conducted from September 19 through September 25. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.