A new poll made public Tuesday finds Republican challenger Chris Christie leading Gov. Jon Corzine by 15 percentage points in the race for governor.
Of the three polls on the gubernatorial race released in the past eight days, the latest, conducted by Strategic Vision of Atlanta, finds Christie increasing his lead.
The poll finds the greatest problem Corzine must overcome as he seeks a second term is the outlook by New Jerseyans that the state is headed in the wrong direction. Sixty-two percent of the 800 people polled feel the state is headed down hill while 24 percent feel it is headed in the right direction. Fourteen percent were undecided.When asked if they approve or disapprove of Corzine’s job performance, 35 percent approved and 55 percent disapproved.
“The number of New Jersey residents who believe the state is headed in the wrong direction cuts across party lines and has increased since June,’’ said David E. Johnson, Strategic Vision CEO.
Of the New Jerseyans polled, 40 percent said they are Democrats, 28 percent said they are Republicans and 32 percent described themselves as independents.
The poll also found 50 percent of those polled approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 40 percent disapprove and 10 percent are undecided. When asked their outlook toward Obama’s handling of the economy, 47 percent approve and 45 percent disapprove.
When asked their view of the president’s handling of the war in Iraq, 52 percent approve and 32 percent disapprove. Fifty-three percent approve of his handling of foreign relations and 39 percent disapprove.
“The president has seen a dramatic decline in his support since our poll in June and this is the most dramatic among independent voters and can be related to the economy,’’ Johnson said. “We are seeing this swing among independents in other states as well. Interestingly, the president gets higher approval numbers for his handling of foreign affairs which was considered one of his weak spots then on the economy.’’
As a sidelight, the poll finds 51 percent of those polled approve of New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez’s job performance, while 38 percent disapprove. New Jersey Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a 48 percent approval and 42 percent disapproval job performance rating.