A favorite theme of left wing politicians of both parties is that the fiscal conservatism and smaller government espoused by the Tea Party movement are so unpopular that they will lead to the political death of any politician who tries to implement them. A Quinnipiac University poll of New Jersey voters released today proves that theme wrong.
As soon as the fiscally conservative Chris Christie was elected Governor, he began to make the tough fiscal positions to bring New Jersey back from the brink of financial collapse. He alienated unions with his straight talk and his refusal to veer away from his goal, but according to Quinnipiac, he is gaining support among NJ voters.
Two months ago, Christie’s approval rating was barely positive (44-43%), after his skirmishes with the teacher’s union, budget cuts and his bill to limit property taxes his approval jumped to a 51 (vs 36% disapproval). By the same (44-43%) margin two months ago voters said that Christie was a leader rather than a bully, today leadership wins by a 51 – 39% margin. The only bad mark on his record is by a 46 – 43% margin voters say he is “confrontational” rather than “honest and refreshing,” but these numbers are much more positive than two months ago when the margin was 52 – 38%.
In today’s survey, Christie gets a 75 – 13 percent thumbs up from Republicans and a 61 – 29 percent approval from independent voters. Democrats disapprove 63 – 24 percent.
There is a lesson here that Republicans should keep in mind. Voter’s appreciate when a politician makes the tough decisions and sticks by those decisions. Voters understand that governments cannot keep spending and taxing, or as Governor Christie said, “We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.”
The conservative values, espoused by groups like the tea party movement are good for the country, but more than that, Americans frustrated with high taxes, fiscal irresponsibility, and big government will support a conservative straight talker who actually does what he says he will do. Even in a very blue state like New Jersey.