NJ Governor Christie sees a bump in the polls

NEW YORK Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:49am EDT

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Friedman Prize dinner in Washington, May 4, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Friedman Prize dinner in Washington, May 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is more popular than he has been since taking office in January 2010, with half of state voters saying they have a favorable view of the Republican governor, a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll found on Tuesday.

Christie, a Republican party star who is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, has seen his popularity nationally overshadow his ratings among voters at home. But Christie's push for tax relief ahead of the state's July 1 budget deadline appears to be boosting his standing with voters.

Half of registered voters in New Jersey have a favorable opinion of Christie, up 4 percentage points since March, the poll found. Just under 40 percent of voters have an unfavorable opinion of the governor, while 11 percent hold no opinion.

"We think the improvement has a lot to do with his stance pushing for tax cuts," said poll director David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers.

Christie has proposed an across-the-board income tax cut of 10 percent. The state's Democratic leadership has pushed for property tax relief and a so-called "millionaires' tax," which would impose a new tax on the state's highest earners.

The survey of 1,191 adults was conducted from May 31 to June 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

(Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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