Democrats in Trouble in Garden State
A majority of New Jersey voters disapproves of the way President Obama is handling his job, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released early Wednesday that also shows Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez facing headwinds going into his 2012 re-election campaign.
Just 44 percent of New Jersey voters approve of Obama's job performance, the lowest score ever recorded in the Quinnipiac poll, while 52 percent disapprove. In mid-June, half of New Jersey voters approved of Obama, while 46 percent disapproved. Garden State independents have turned sharply on Obama: Now, just 39 percent of independents approve of his job performance, while 57 percent disapprove.
A slight plurality (49 percent) also says that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, while 45 percent feel that he does deserve re-election. Matched up against a generic Republican candidate, Obama leads, 45 percent to 37 percent, but that is still well within the danger zone for the president. The poll did not test Obama against specific Republican candidates.
Menendez has also seen a drop in support over the past two months. Now, his approval rating stands at 39 percent, while slightly more voters, 42 percent, disapprove of his job performance. In mid-June, 45 percent of voters approved of Menendez's job performance, and 38 percent disapproved. A majority of independents (51 percent) now disapproves of Menendez.
Slightly more voters (43 percent) believe that Menendez does not deserve to be re-elected, versus those who do believe he deserves re-election (41 percent). Like Obama, Menendez earns the support of 45 percent of voters when matched up against a generic Republican opponent, who earns 39 percent of the vote. Quinnipiac did not test Menendez against any specific New Jersey Republicans.
Voters in the Garden State are also split on controversial Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Roughly equal percentages of voters approve (47 percent) and disapprove (46) of Christie's job performance. That represents a slight uptick from mid-June, when 44 percent of voters approved of Christie, while 47 percent disapproved.
Though Christie has a slightly higher job approval rating, when voters are asked which man is a better leader, 49 percent choose Obama, while 44 percent choose Christie.