By substantial margins, New Jersey voters support layoffs, wage freezes and reduced pensions for state workers, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Voters approve 53 – 41 percent of the way Gov. Christopher Christie is handling the state budget, but split 47 – 48 percent in their approval of how he is handling education, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds.
New Jersey’s budget problems are “very serious,” 82 percent of voters say, while 15 percent say they are “somewhat serious.” To balance the state budget, 64 percent of voters say cut services, while 26 percent say raise taxes. Among measures voters support:
• 56 – 38 percent support layoffs for state workers. Democrats oppose layoffs 53 – 40 percent and voters with a union member in the household oppose layoffs 53 – 44 percent.
• 65 – 24 percent for furloughs for state workers, including 61 – 25 percent among Democrats and 61 – 28 percent in union households.
• 77 – 20 percent for wage freezes for state workers, including 72 – 23 percent among Democrats and 64 – 34 percent in union households.
• 66 – 29 percent for reducing pensions for new state workers, including 56 – 39 percent among Democrats and 57 – 42 percent in union households.
“As the reality of tough budgets begins to sink in – in New Jersey and everywhere else – voters are starting to get tougher on state workers,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Furloughs and wage freezes had won some approval in the past. Now voters approve even layoffs and reduction in pension benefits for new workers.”
New Jersey Democrats are getting on board with wage freezes and reduced state pensions? Forget Chris Christie for president; if he can perform miracles like this, it’s time for the Chris Christie for Sainthood buzz to begin.