Patrick Murray: Governor May Be Escaping Voters Dissatisfaction With Property Taxes, Managing Expectations
By Art Gallagher
Governor Chris Christie’s polling numbers have improved significantly since May.
A Monmouth University/NJ Press Media(Gannett) poll released this morning indicates that 50% of New Jersey registered voters approve of Christie’s performance while 41% disapprove. A May18 poll by Monmouth University had the Governor with a 46% approval rating and a 49% disapproval rating among registered voters.
This is a HUGE 12 point swing in only 3 months.
Unfortunately, Monmouth Polling Director Patrick Murray’s narrative of the poll, and the subsequent mindless media coverage focused on the respondents dissatisfaction with property taxes and other issues, rather than their increasing satisfaction with Christie’s performance.
To his credit, Murray acknowledged as much in a candid phone interview with MMM.
When asked why the Governor’s numbers improved so much Murray said, “I don’t know. I wasn’t expecting such a big swing, we should have asked different questions.”
You’ve got to appreciate Patrick’s candor.
Murray noted that the Governor’s ratings had a similar trend last year, declining during the budget debate and bouncing back after the budget was settled. “It could be that once the crying over the budget cuts is finished, people are more positive.”
Murray speculated that Christie may be able to rise above New Jersey residents dissatisfaction with property taxes and manage their expectations better than his predecessors. “He seems to be managing people’s expectations of how much can be done about property taxes.”
This poll should have been should have been broken up and reported as 1) Voters satisfaction with Chrisite and 2) Voters concerns over the issues that Christie is dealing with. Voters concerns with property taxes, improving schools and the budget are ongoing issues that every governor deals with. This poll tells us that voters are responding favorably to Christie, despite their frustration with the issues. It doesn’t tell us why.
Elsewhere in the media you will read that voters are giving Christie only an average grade and that they are not happy with with how he is handling property taxes, education, etc.
The media is missing the story.