-By Jon Terbush
June 21, 2011- Troubled by Gov. Chris Christie's (R) deep cuts to education spending and his push to cut state employees' benefits, a plurality of voters in the Garden State now disapprove of the the governor's job performance, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday.
That finding comes as Christie and his allies in the state legislature are pushing through sweeping changes to public workers' benefits, including a big increase in the amount of money employees must directly pay toward pension and health programs. Those proposed changes prompted hundreds of people to protest outside the State House in recent weeks, and now, it seems they've also dragged down the approval rating of a governor who was once quite popular with his constituents.
In the poll, 47% of registered voters said they disapproved of Christie's job performance, compared to 44% who said they approved of it. Though Christie's approval rating is barely underwater, it's still the worst showing he's ever posted in Quinnipiac's surveys, continuing a downward trend that began most markedly at the start of this year when Christie began to push for deep budget cuts and sweeping changes to public employees' benefits.
According to the TPM Poll Average, 45.5% of Christie's constituents approve of his job performance, while 47.5% disapprove.