Today’s latest FDU/Public Mind poll reveals that Governor Chris Christie’s job approval rating has slipped nine points in the last month to 43% approve to 32% disapprove.
“It’s a bad time to be governor of any state,” said Peter Woolley, the poll’s director. “You’re damned if you cut the budget and damned if you raise taxes.”
Sure it’s a bad time to be governor. As the economy continues to contract and state revenue slumps, decades of poor budgeting decisions are coming home to roost. All we need do is ask former Governor Jon Corzine, who addressed the challenge head on by introducing back to back budgets that reduced state spending but still found himself on the receiving end of voter anger last November.
Whether Christie intends to follow through on his promise to “turn Trenton upside down” remains to be seen, but this morning’s results make clear that many New Jerseyans do not ascribe to his trickledown theory of economics. 48% of respondents oppose Christie’s plan to break his campaign promise and end property tax rebates while an even larger 62% are in favor of increasing taxes on the very wealthy.
This morning’s news provides Democrats with an opening to highlight our own reform agenda that focuses on ending some of the gross excesses of government (e.g., bipartisan pension reform) while also opposing Republican efforts to enact fiscal policy favoring the super rich.
Democratic lawmakers are still adjusting to the reality of a Republican Governor. Yet New Jersey is still blue and the majority of state residents agree that key to our recovery will be support for the middle class. It may be a bad time to be governor, but for today at least, it’s not such a bad time to be a progressive.