New poll finds Obama approval up in NJ

President Obama’s approval rating among New Jersey voters has climbed since the fall, but there is not much enthusiasm for a second term, according to a new Monmouth University/NJ Media poll released Thursday.

Fifty-one percent of the state’s registered voters approved of the job Obama is doing, compared to 42 percent who disapprove. It is an improvement over the 47 percent to 46 percent approval/disapproval rating the president received in the same poll last October.

Yet only 47 percent say Obama deserves to be re-elected while 45 percent say it is time to give someone new a chance. Obama won New Jersey, a reliably blue state, by 15 percentage points in 2008.

It may not be time to declare New Jersey a battleground, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, which conducted the survey.

 “New Jersey is certainly not enthusiastic about President Obama, but he can probably count on its 14 electoral votes come November,” Murray said. “His saving grace is that the eventual Republican nominee is unlikely to win over lukewarm independent voters.”

The poll of 709 New Jersey registered voters was conducted by telephone between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, and the results are subject to a potential error margin of plus or minus 3.7 percent.