May 24, 2011 / 6:51 PM / 9 years ago

New Jersey Governor Christie popularity declines

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie arrives to be honored at the 2011 Time 100 Gala ceremony in New York April 26, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Approval ratings among New Jersey voters of Governor Chris Christie have slumped amid proposals from fellow Republicans in Washington which would tamper with Medicare, a new poll revealed on Tuesday.

Only 40 percent of Garden State voters have a favorable view of Christie, according to the poll by Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind, down from a 47 percent approval rating in April.

Nearly a third of those polled said Christie, who some Republicans want to run for president, is doing a poor job, an increase of 5 percentage points from last month.

The poll’s director Peter Woolley said a budget proposal by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans in Washington that includes a Medicare overhaul, weighed on Christie’s approval.

“It’s possible that national Republicans are actually affecting state perceptions of Christie,” Wooley said of the poll, which also showed 55 percent of voters believe the state is on the wrong track, an increase of 8 percent from April.

“Republicans are generally having a bad month,” Wooley said, citing the Medicare battle prompted by a proposal from U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Woolley said such changes do “not play well” with significant portions of the population.

The poll comes ahead of a meeting planned for later this month when Iowa donors will travel to New Jersey to appeal to Christie to run for the White House in 2012 despite his repeated assertion that he is not ready for the top job.

The New Jersey poll was taken from May 16-22 and is based on responses from 804 registered voters with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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