NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A new poll shows Gov. Chris Christie continues to see a bounce from his handling of Superstorm Sandy, but residents are divided by party about how he's doing on the issues of jobs and taxes.
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Wednesday shows 85 percent or more of Republicans, Democrats and independents approve of Christie's post-Sandy recovery efforts, but only 41 percent of all voters approve of how he's handling economic issues.
"The post-Sandy 'rally around Christie' effect has continued much longer than we might have expected," said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. "By way of contrast, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also initially had sky-high ratings, has come back to earth in recent polls, down 20 points from his peak."
While Democrats and Republicans alike strongly back Christie's response to Sandy, they take opposing positions on how Christie has handled virtually every other issue.
Voters identified the economy and jobs (30 percent) and taxes (26 percent) as New Jersey's most important problems.
Only 41 percent approve his management of both, while 48 percent are negative
about how he has handled the economy and 50 percent fault his stance on taxes.
"Without having had the chance to show his strengths during and after Sandy, it seems clear that Christie would be back where he was before Sandy, with half the state approving and half disapproving," said Redlawsk. "Given the sizable split on nearly every specific issue we poll on, it is clearly his image as a strong leader in the aftermath of the storm that continues to make the difference."
The poll of 763 registered New Jersey voters was conducted from June 3-9 and has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.
Christie will face state Sen. Barbara Buono, a Democrat, in November's general election.
One of Buono's biggest challenges in the race is boosting her name recognition. She released a web video earlier in her campaign, taking a light-hearted approach in telling viewers how to pronounce her name.
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