New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) enjoyed widespread popularity during his first year in office, but a poll released Tuesday shows that his approval rating is beginning to slip.
Voters in the Garden State split over Christie's performance, with 46 percent giving him a positive approval rating and 44 percent giving a negative rating. Forty-seven percent approve of his governing style opposed to 48 percent who disapprove, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
Elected in 2009 on a reform agenda, Christie has vaulted into national political stardom in part through blunt, off-the-cuff speeches that have become online hits. New Jersey's governor was featured prominently in a "60 Minutes" story Sunday night on measures state governments have taken to reduce budget deficits. Christie has battled public service unions since taking office.
The new governor helped raise money for political candidates and state Republican parties during the 2010 midterm elections, and some speculated that he could run for president.
Christie has repeatedly said he will not run for president in 2012, stating recently, "Short of suicide, I don’t really know what I’d have to do to convince you people that I’m not running."
But the poll indicates he still has to shore up his support at home before a potential reelection run in 2013.
Seventy-four percent of Republicans approve of Christie, compared to 48 percent of independent voters. Forty-one percent of independents disapprove of Christie, as well as 65 percent of Democrats.
Voters are unhappy with his efforts to change the makeup of the state's "historically liberal Supreme Court," according to the poll, and gave him slightly negative ratings overall on education.
The governor recently caught some flak for canceling a long-planned $8.7 billion rail tunnel project between New Jersey and New York City in part due to its cost, but voters agreed with the decision 46 percent to 38.
"Overall, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie still gets a split decision. Democrats don't like him at all; Republicans like him a lot. His 'Jersey-guy' in-your-face governing style? An even split," Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Director Maurice Carrolll said.