NJ voters: Christie would be bad vice president

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 22, 2011 12:36 PM
NJ voters: Christie would be bad vice president

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie doesn't want to be vice president and most voters in his state agree because they don't think he would do a good job, found a poll released on Tuesday.

Christie has been touted by some Republicans as a rising party star since taking office last year, but after saying he does not plan to run for president in 2012, the former prosecutor has been suggested as a potential running mate.

A Quinnipiac University poll found 2-1 New Jersey voters say Christie -- who pushes a lean government and low-tax agenda -- would not make a good vice president, reflecting a similar poll sentiment toward Christie running for president.

When it comes to his role as New Jersey governor, the poll found that 44 percent of voters approved of the job he is doing and 47 percent disapproved, driven by female dissatisfaction.

The telephone poll of 1,610 voters found that women disapprove of Christie's job 54 percent to 36 percent, while men approve of his job 53 percent to 39 percent.

"Gov. Christie is having a big problem with women, perhaps because they care more about schools and disapprove 60-34 percent of the way he's handling education," said Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director.

The state's highest court recently ruled that education cuts of about $1 billion last year were unconstitutional and shortchanged disadvantaged students. The court ordered the state to spend about $500 million more on its poorest schools.

Earlier this month, Christie announced a pilot program that would allow private companies to run public schools in some of the state's chronically underperforming school districts.

"Should the state spend more on poor schools? Most think so. A larger majority think ALL schools should get more state money. Narrowly, voters say the court was right to order the additional spending on poor schools," Carroll said.

"How to get the money? Cut spending, rather than raise taxes, voters say. But they'd go for a 'millionaire's tax,'" he said.

The poll was taken between June 14 and June 19 has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by Doina Chiacu)