Yesterday, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll put out a release on New Jersey’s views on pension reform, and today they’ve got New Jersey’s views on federal issues from the same sample of 801 registered voters (3.5% margin of error.)
First up, President Barack Obama is at a 53% job approval rating (an improvement on the sub-50 showing last time). Disapproval is at 38%, so the the net +15 matches the margin he beat McCain by in 2008. His numbers with independents are 53-33.
On the other hand, the right track/wrong track numbers for the country are at 38-52, hardly surprising with 10% unemployment, massive deficits, and victory-less wars.
Democrats lead the generic ballot for U.S. Congress 47-39 with leaners. That doesn’t exactly suggest many Democratic incumbents will be swept away, though I don’t doubt NJ3 is a battlefield.
If the election were held today, Senator Bob Menendez would get 38%, a (hypothetical candidate) Tom Kean Jr would get 39%, Someone else gets 6%. Not the numbers we’d like to see, but not unfamiliar either. The pollster notes that Menendez did worse with the subgroup that was asked about him closer to the questions about health care reforms.
Senator Menendez is at 29-25, favorable-unfavorable, and Senator Frank Lautenberg is at 42-29. The negative ads of 2006 have been forgotten as Kean Jr is at 28-11. Kean was at 33-32 at the end of the last campaign, so you can see that campaigns matter.
As for health care reform, the numbers are lousy but not disastrous, as you know if you follow it in national polls. 37% think they will be better off and 42% think they will be worse off if health care reform passes. On the other hand, for the “country as a whole,” “better” leaads “worse” 45-40. No doubt the numbers are dragged down by strong Republican opposition, but the two sets for independents are 31-35 and 41-33. The numbers are very striking by race, because only 28% of “Whites” think they’ll be better off. Overall, 35% say they’d advise their memver of Congress to vote for a health care reform bill, 40% against, and 25% don’t know. That 25% is more Democrats and Independents, so they need to be won over, perhaps by the reality of the bill helping them. (Cough, cough, too bad some genius designed most of the benefits to start years from now.)