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March 29, 2017

Just over two-thirds of New Jerseyans — 67 percent — believe the state is on the wrong track and only 24 percent believe it’s going in the right direction. This is according to a recent survey of registered voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll.

Voters don’t think much of government in the Garden State either. In fact, they have an overwhelmingly negative view of state government. Fifty-eight percent said they are frustrated with it, 21 percent said they are angry with it, and only 18 percent said they are content with it. Republicans were the most content (23 percent) while Democrats were the angriest (23 percent).

The chasm between voters and elected officials was graphically underlined by the answers given to a question on trust. A mere 1 percent said they always trust state officials to do what’s right. That bumped up to 11 percent when the standard of trust was broadened to include those who trust government “most” of the time.

Asked whether they regard state government as a friend or an enemy — on a 10-point scale, with one meaning an enemy and 10 indicating a friend — voters saw themselves as in the middle; the average response was a six.

With so little warmth toward government to be found in the Garden State, it is perhaps not surprising that 72 percent of voters expressed their disapproval of Gov. Chris Christie’s leadership with 20 percent approving; those numbers are statistically unchanged from January. The Republican governor could not even muster much approval in his own party; 52 percent of Republicans said they disapprove of the job he is doing and 40 percent approve.

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