Gov. Christie continues to be popular among New Jersey residents as he prepares for his second term, even as few people say they have a clear idea of what policies he will pursue, according to a Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press poll released Tuesday.
Sixty-five percent of Garden State residents approve of Christie, a Republican who won a landslide 22-point reelection last month, while 25 percent disapprove. Those ratings are similar to past surveys of Christie's job performance taken since Sandy.
Only 23 percent of residents say they have a clear idea of what Christie plans to do in his second term. Thirty-six percent have some idea, while 40 percent say they do not have much of an idea or have no idea at all.
"Gov. Christie's ratings are holding strong fresh off his resounding reelection victory. However, few New Jerseyans have a clear idea about what a second term holds in store," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Stellar approval ratings and no specific expectations from his constituents could give the governor a lot of leeway in carving out his political future."
The most important issues facing the state, residents say, are job creation (35 percent), property taxes (25 percent) and public education (21 percent). Concern about education is up from 10 percent in December 2012.
Recovery from Hurricane Sandy is mentioned by just 8 percent of residents as one of the state's most pressing issues, down from 23 percent in December 2012.
Garden State residents do not expect Christie to make significant progress on those issues over the next few years.
Seventy percent of residents expect the governor to make little or no real progress on the issues they identify as most important. Twenty-seven percent expect him to make a lot of progress.
The poll also found that President Obama had a 47 percent approve to 47 percent disapprove rating among registered New Jersey voters – his lowest marks since he took office in 2009.
Forty-seven percent of registered voters approve of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, while 27 percent disapprove.
Cory Booker, who was elected to the Senate in October, holds a 37 percent approve to 21 percent disapprove rating. Forty-three percent say they do not have an opinion.
The poll was conducted by phone with 802 New Jersey adults from Dec. 4 to 8. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.