TRENTON, N.J. – Registered voters give Gov. Jon S. Corzine high marks after the budget crisis that froze New Jersey government for a week, but a new poll indicates they don't feel the same about lawmakers.
Corzine's 44 percent approval rating in a poll released Friday by Quinnipiac University is his best showing since he took office, according to Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the poll. Meanwhile, 71 percent said they disapprove of the way the Legislature is handling its job.
The state budget was adopted July 8, after a showdown between Corzine and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts. During the impasse, Corzine shut down government, suspending lottery sales and casino gambling, and idling 100,000 workers.
The budget fight focused on Corzine's proposal to raise the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to balance the budget and Roberts' insistence that the tax not be raised. The standoff ended when the two sides agreed on a compromise: raise the sales tax, but dedicate half the new revenue to property tax relief.
Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed by the poll blamed the Legislature for the delayed budget while 19 percent blamed Corzine. Fourteen percent blamed both.
The telephone poll of 985 registered voters was conducted July 8-12 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.