May 17, 2018 | Number of The Day
Percentage of New Jerseyans who think state is headed in right direction

Forty-five percent of New Jersey residents think the state is headed in the right direction; at the same time, 48 percent think it’s going down the wrong path. That might seem a small win for the pessimists. In fact, however, it’s the cheeriest we’ve been in a long time. In the waning days of Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, the nays had it by a wide margin. This new measure of Garden State positivity comes from the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

While noting the upswing in residents’ views on the state, Ashley Koning, assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, said, “…the degree to which they have improved varies across partisan lines.” She noted that two-thirds of Democrats have a positive outlook, up 26 points since last November. “Independents are much more skeptical, but positivity has grown by double digits among them as well. Three-quarters of Republicans feel just the opposite, though even among this group, positivity has ticked up 5 points since [Gov. Phil] Murphy’s November victory.”

Other poll results: It’s all positive for Sen. Cory Booker, who is the most popular politician in the state. More residents approve than disapprove of his job performance by a margin of 52 percent to 27 percent. The news is also good for Gov. Phil Murphy, with 46 percent approving of how he’s doing in his new job, 29 percent disapproving, and the rest giving no opinion. But the results for Sen. Bob Menendez are ho-hum, to say the least. Slightly more disapprove than approve of the job he’s doing by a margin of 37 percent to 33 percent, with a large number either undecided or with no opinion. Twenty-two percent say they have a positive impression of him; 35 percent have a negative view of him, while 42 percent are not sure.