Poll: Honeymoon over.

Rutgers-Eagleton has started releasing its latest New Jersey poll results and the first release focuses on Chris Christie and the budget. The poll is based on responses from 953 adults, but most results are for the 809 who claim to have “heard at least something about Gov. Chris  Christie’s proposed budget.”

First, the poll finds Christie has dropped 12 points to just 33% favorable with 37% unfavorable. Recall that the last FDU poll had him drop nine points to 43-32. Keep in mind though that “all adults” is surely a worse sample for him than “2009 actual voters” or “2010 likely votes.” Check the full PDF release for subsamples, where you’ll find the identified groups that like Christie are “Conservatives” (61-18) and “Income 150K+” (50-31).  

Meanwhile “Democrats in Trenton” and “Republicans in Trenton” languish at 26-35 and 25-37 respectively, so I’d guess this poll won’t dissuade Christie from confronting the legislature.

The budget is at 13% “very pleased”, 30% “somewhat pleased,” 21% “Somewhat displeased,” and 29% “very displeased.” The vast majority of people think the budget cuts will affect them.

The fun part is asking two different questions to half the poll sample each. Professor Redlawsk did a great job here:

[VERSION A] The Governor also proposed a constitutional amendment limiting property tax increases to two and a half percent per year. Would you support such a constitutional amendment?

[VERSION B] The Governor also proposed a constitutional amendment limiting property tax increases to two and a half percent per year. Massachusetts passed a similar law in the 1980’s which some say resulted in closing fire stations, libraries, and senior centers, and cuts in school programs. Would you support such a constitutional amendment even if it had those effects?

This is why campaigns–and negative campaigns in particular– matter. Lower taxes with no consequences [A] is supported 64-27, with every race, party, gender and income supporting it. Lower taxes with negative local consequences [B] gets just 34-57, eking out a win only with self-identified Republicans, conservatives, and the $150K+ crowd.

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