Without Christie, Romney trails Obama 49 to 39 percent, the poll finds.
There is a big gender gap with or without Christie. With Christie, men vote Republican 51 to 43 percent while women vote Democratic 55 to 35 percent.
New Jersey voters support 56 to 33 percent Christie’s proposed 10 percent tax cut. Support is 83 to 11 percent among Republicans and 54 to 34 percent among independent voters. Democrats are opposed 51 to 38 percent. Support for the tax cut rises with household income. Voters also say 55 to 31 percent the tax cut is fair to people like them. Democrats say unfair 48 to 38 percent.
“Governor Christopher Christie says he’d be a terrible vice-president and we may never find out,” Maurice Carroll, the poll’s director, said. “Putting him on the ticket helps the Republicans a little, but not enough, in New Jersey. If the measure of a vice presidential pick is carrying his or her home state, then Governor Christie comes up short. But voters continue to give the governor good marks on how he’s doing his job in Trenton.”
New Jersey voters approve 55 to 38 percent of the job Christie is doing as governor, compared to his all-time high of 58 to 38 percent in an October poll. Approval is 62 to 32 percent among men and 49 to 44 percent among women.
“No sooner did Christie propose his 10 percent income tax cut then legislative Democrats denounced it,” Carroll said. “But – so far – he wins with the voters. Even non-millionaires think the plan is fair to them.”
In other presidential matchups, without Christie: Obama tops former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum 52 to 34 percent, and the president buries former House Speaker Newt Gingrich 55 to 30 percent.
New Jersey voters approve 51 to 45 percent of the job Obama is doing, his best score in eight months, and say 51 to 44 percent he deserves four more years in the White House, also his best score so far.
Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez leads state Sen. Joe Kyrillos, his virtually unknown Republican challenger, 49 to 34 percent. Independent voters back the Democrat 44 to 33 percent.
Menendez gets a 48 to 31 percent job approval rating, his best score ever, and voters say 48 to 34 percent he deserves to be reelected, also his best score ever. By a 38 to 24 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Menendez while 36 percent don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
For Kyrillos, 82 percent of voters don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
“Sen. Robert Menendez’s numbers are only so-so, but nobody has heard of state Sen. Joe Kyrillos,” Carroll said. “He gets only the generic Republican vote.”
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) gets a 49 to 36 percent approval rating, his highest score since a 55 to 22 percent approval in July, 2000.
In the presidential primary, Romney tops Santorum among Republicans 38 to 24 percent, with 12 percent for Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and 9 percent for Gingrich.
From Feb. 21 through Monday, pollsters surveyed 1,396 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
– TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM