December 10, 2014 - New Jersey Voters Want Rail Tunnel, But No Gas Tax Hike, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Christie Approval Rating Stuck In Traffic Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format

New Jersey voters support 53 - 37 percent building a new rail tunnel between the Garden State and Manhattan, with support from every region in the state, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Support for a new rail tunnel ranges from 47 - 44 percent among voters in the Philadelphia suburbs to 60 - 33 percent among suburban voters. Support is 62 - 30 percent among Democrats, 51 - 40 percent among independent voters and 47 - 41 percent among Republicans. Among the 11 percent of New Jersey voters who commute to New York City for work, support for the tunnel is 68 - 27 percent.

The rail tunnel is "very important" or "somewhat important" to the New Jersey-New York regional economy, 62 percent of voters say.

Voters oppose 58 - 39 percent increasing the gasoline tax to finance road and mass transit improvements, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Opposition to a gas tax hike ranges from 53 - 41 percent among voters in the Philadelphia suburbs to 62 - 35 percent among urban voters.

"Last time, Gov. Christopher Christie didn't want New Jersey to be stuck for most of the cost of a rail tunnel that 'ended in Macy's basement.' This time, voters support the tunnel and say it will be good for the economy. We'll have to see what sort of plan the governor will go for," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"The other transportation issue, how to bail out the broke transportation trust fund, crosses the double white line for a head-on collision with a cardinal rule of New Jersey politics: Don't hike the gas tax."

Opposition is 69 - 27 percent among Republicans and 59 - 39 percent among independent voters. Democrats support a tax hike 51 - 46 percent. Opposition to the gas tax hike is 54 - 46 percent among commuters and 58 - 38 percent among those who don't commute.

Gov. Christie's Approval

New Jersey voters give Gov. Christopher Christie a mixed job approval rating, as 48 percent approve and 47 percent disapprove. This compares to a 46 - 45 percent approval rating October 1 and continues an 11-month slump which began when the Bridgegate scandal broke.

Approval is 82 - 12 percent among Republicans and 51 - 45 percent among independent voters, while Democrats disapprove 74 - 20 percent.

The governor gets negative grades for handling key issues:
  • 41 - 51 percent for handling the economy and jobs;
  • 42 - 48 percent for handling the state budget;
  • 39 - 50 percent for handling education.
"Gov. Christie's job approval numbers continue on the tepid track that started with the Bridgegate story, a dramatic contrast with the heady 2013 days when he was swooping to re- election," Carroll said.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez gets a 44 - 31 percent job approval rating, with 48 - 22 percent for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. Sports Betting

There are large gender and age gaps as voters approve 51 - 43 percent allowing Garden State casinos and race tracks to take bets on professional and college sports. Men approve sports betting 64 - 31 percent, while women oppose it 54 - 39 percent.

Support is 63 - 31 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, dropping to 55 - 40 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old. Voters over 55 years old are opposed 50 - 45 percent.

New Jersey should allow sports betting because of the economic benefits, 49 percent of voters say, while 44 percent say ban sports betting because it will compromise the integrity of professional and college sports.

From December 3 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,340 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more information, visit http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as Governor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              48%    82%    20%    51%    50%    45%    44%    52%    46%
Disapprove           47     12     74     45     46     48     51     44     47
DK/NA                 6      6      6      4      4      7      5      4      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling his job as Governor? (*High also 74% Jan 2013, **Low also 44% Jun 2010)
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Oct 01  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Feb 20  Jun 21
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2014    2013*   2011**
 
Approve              48      46      49      49      55      74      44
Disapprove           47      45      47      44      38      22      47
DK/NA                 6       9       5       7       7       4      10
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              33%    37%    34%    31%    30%    35%    41%    33%    31%
Disapprove           49     45     48     52     55     43     44     51     48
DK/NA                18     18     19     18     15     21     16     15     20
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jun 17  Jan 20  Jan 26  Jun 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2010    2010    2005    2010
 
Approve              33      30      36      19      26      44      19
Disapprove           49      52      48      62      61      31      62
DK/NA                18      17      15      19      13      25      19
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              48%    23%    68%    47%    46%    50%    51%    49%    48%
Disapprove           22     46      8     21     23     22     22     24     22
DK/NA                29     32     24     32     31     28     28     28     30
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Cory Booker is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     Dec 10  Aug 06  Apr 09
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Approve              48      47      47
Disapprove           22      27      25
DK/NA                29      26      28
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              44%    19%    62%    46%    44%    44%    48%    45%    45%
Disapprove           31     53     12     35     34     28     20     30     34
DK/NA                24     28     26     19     22     27     32     25     20
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 06  Apr 09  Apr 24  Mar 27  Nov 28  Feb 20
                     2014    2014    2014    2013    2013    2012    2008
 
Approve              44      45      43      44      40      56      30
Disapprove           31      34      39      32      37      29      31
DK/NA                24      21      18      24      22      14      39
 
 
20. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very satisfied        5%    11%     3%     3%     5%     5%     7%     5%     5%
Smwht satisfied      42     61     30     45     44     41     46     44     40
Smwht dissatisfied   33     19     43     32     31     34     31     35     33
Very dissatisfied    19      9     23     20     19     19     16     15     21
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      -      1      -      -      1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied? (*High also 71% Feb 1999)
                                                             VERY+SMWHT SAT
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Apr 24  Dec 26  Jun 17
                     2014    2014    2014    2013    2013    2000*   2010
 
Very satisfied        5       4       5       9       7      10       2
Smwht satisfied      42      46      45      52      52      61      22
Smwht dissatisfied   33      30      30      28      27      21      36
Very dissatisfied    19      20      19      11      13       7      39
DK/NA                 1       -       1       -       1       1       1
 
 
21. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - the economy and jobs?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              41%    73%    19%    41%    42%    39%    44%    43%    38%
Disapprove           51     20     74     51     51     51     48     50     53
DK/NA                 8      7      7      8      7     10      8      7      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling the economy and jobs?
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09
                     2014    2014    2014
 
Approve              41      44      44
Disapprove           51      51      48
DK/NA                 8       5       8
 
 
22. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - the state budget?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              42%    74%    17%    44%    48%    37%    34%    49%    40%
Disapprove           48     21     73     45     45     51     53     46     47
DK/NA                10      5     10     12      7     13     13      5     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling the state budget?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 17  May 17  Apr 11  Dec 10  
                     2014    2014    2014    2012    2012    2012    2014    
                                                                             
Approve              42      44      46      54      54      58      42      
Disapprove           48      48      45      39      38      35      48      
DK/NA                10       8       9       8       8       7      10      
 
 
23. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling - education?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              39%    64%    17%    44%    43%    35%    30%    40%    42%
Disapprove           50     23     76     44     46     53     58     50     46
DK/NA                12     13      8     12     12     11     13     10     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Chris Christie is handling education?
                                                             APPROVE.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 17  May 17  Mar 01  Dec 10  
                     2014    2014    2014    2012    2012    2012    2014    
                                                                             
Approve              39      42      44      48      48      50      39      
Disapprove           50      49      47      45      41      43      50      
DK/NA                12       9       9       8      11       7      12      
 
 
24. Would you say that Chris Christie - is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  47%    79%    20%    52%    46%    48%    39%    46%    52%
No                   46     15     73     42     47     45     51     50     41
DK/NA                 7      6      6      6      7      7     10      4      7
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie is honest and trustworthy or not?
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  47      46      43      51      42
No                   46      49      50      41      20
DK/NA                 7       5       7       8      38
 
 
25. Would you say that Chris Christie - cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  47%    78%    24%    51%    47%    47%    46%    50%    46%
No                   48     16     70     46     49     47     49     47     47
DK/NA                 5      6      6      3      4      6      5      3      6
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie cares about the needs and problems of people like you or not?
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  47      47      48      55      44
No                   48      49      48      41      23
DK/NA                 5       4       4       4      32
 
 
26. Would you say that Chris Christie - has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  66%    90%    49%    68%    67%    65%    70%    70%    64%
No                   32      8     49     30     31     32     26     30     34
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      1      3      4      1      3
 
TREND: Would you say that Chris Christie has strong leadership qualities or not?
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jan 15  Jun 10
                     2014    2014    2014    2014    2009
 
Yes                  66      68      69      74      48
No                   32      30      27      23      17
DK/NA                 2       3       3       3      36
 
 
27. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Excellent             1%     2%     1%     -      2%     -      -      2%     1%
Good                 35     51     26     34     35     34     41     41     29
Not so good          44     33     48     49     44     44     38     44     48
Poor                 19     12     23     16     18     20     19     13     20
DK/NA                 2      1      2      1      1      2      2      -      2
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor? (*Low also 7% Feb 2009)
                                                             EXCLNT+GOOD...
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Aug 12  Oct 18  Aug 12
                     2014    2014    2014    2013    2009    2001    2009*
 
Excellent             1       1       -       1       -       3       -
Good                 35      33      35      38       7      54       7
Not so good          44      46      47      44      46      37      46
Poor                 19      19      16      15      45       5      45
DK/NA                 2       1       2       2       1       2       1
 
 
28. Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Better               20%    27%    18%    18%    25%    15%    21%    23%    18%
Worse                20     10     25     20     14     25     19     17     20
The same             59     59     55     60     59     58     58     58     61
DK/NA                 2      3      2      1      2      3      2      3      2
 
TREND: Do you think New Jersey's economy is getting better, getting worse, or staying about the same? (* Would you say that New Jersey's economy ...)
                     Dec 10  Aug 07  Apr 09  Jul 10  Apr 22  Mar 11  Jun 22
                     2014    2014    2014    2013    2009    2009    2004*
 
Better               20      20      19      33       8       3      21
Worse                20      23      17      14      42      61      18
The same             59      56      61      51      47      35      58
DK/NA                 2       1       3       2       3       2       2
 
 
29. To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose - reducing pension benefits for new state workers?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              46%    68%    29%    49%    51%    41%    28%    52%    47%
Oppose               45     22     64     41     42     48     61     39     44
DK/NA                 9     10      7     10      7     11     11      8      9
 
TREND: To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose reducing pension benefits for new state workers?
                     Dec 10  Apr 10  Apr 21  Feb 10
                     2014    2014    2011    2011
 
Support              46      55      63      66
Oppose               45      40      32      29
DK/NA                 9       5       6       5
 
 
30. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose - more state employee contributions for health care?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              65%    74%    56%    68%    67%    63%    62%    67%    66%
Oppose               27     17     37     25     28     27     29     26     27
DK/NA                 8      9      7      7      6     10      8      7      8
 
 
31. To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              39%    27%    51%    39%    43%    36%    38%    35%    45%
Oppose               58     69     46     59     55     60     60     63     52
DK/NA                 3      4      3      2      2      4      2      3      3
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Support              35%    41%    38%    41%    39%    46%    38%
Oppose               62     56     60     53     58     54     58
DK/NA                 3      2      2      6      3      -      3
 
TREND: To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax? (*High also 39% Jan 2010, Jan 2005)
                                                             SUPPORT.......
                                                             High    Low
                     Dec 10  Aug 11  Nov 10  Jan 20  Nov 24  Dec 10  Dec 11
                     2014    2014    2010    2010    2009    2014*    2007
                                                                     
Support              39      36      35      39      37      39      24
Oppose               58      63      63      59      62      58      74
DK/NA                 3       1       2       2       2       3       2
 
 
32. Do you support or oppose the building of a new railway tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              53%    47%    62%    51%    57%    50%    61%    53%    51%
Oppose               37     41     30     40     35     39     31     40     37
DK/NA                10     12      8     10      8     11      8      7     12
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Support              57%    60%    49%    47%    48%    68%    51%
Oppose               35     33     39     44     38     27     38
DK/NA                 8      7     12      9     14      5     10
 
 
33. How important do you think it is to the regional economy of New Jersey and New York that a new railway tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan be built; very important, somewhat important, not so important, or not important at all?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Very important       31%    22%    38%    31%    36%    25%    27%    31%    31%
Somewhat important   31     34     32     29     29     34     26     30     35
Not so important     20     26     12     23     17     22     26     20     17
Not important at all 14     14     13     13     15     12     19     15     11
DK/NA                 5      4      5      4      3      6      3      4      6
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly        COMMUTE TO NYC
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore  Yes    No
 
Very important       36%    37%    26%    21%    27%    57%    27%
Somewhat important   25     34     29     31     34     18     33
Not so important     23     14     31     25     14     14     20
Not important at all 13     12     12     17     16     11     14
DK/NA                 2      4      3      7      8      1      5
 
 
34. Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes                  11%    11%    11%    11%    16%     7%    10%    19%     6%
No                   89     89     88     89     84     93     90     81     94
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                     AREA.............................
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  18%    14%     9%     4%     9%
No                   82     86     91     96     91
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: Do you commute to New York City for work or not?
                     Dec 10  Nov 17  Dec 21  Nov 10
                     2014    2011    2010    2010
 
Yes                  11      10      11      11
No                   89      89      89      89
DK/NA                 -       -       -       -
 
 
35. Do you support or oppose allowing betting on professional and college sports at New Jersey casinos and racetracks?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Support              51%    51%    51%    51%    64%    39%    63%    55%    45%
Oppose               43     43     44     43     31     54     31     40     50
DK/NA                 6      5      5      6      4      7      5      5      5
 
 
36. Some people say there should be sports betting in New Jersey because of the economic benefits. Others say there should not be sports betting in New Jersey because it could compromise the integrity of professional and college sports. Which comes closer to your point of view?
                                                               AGE IN YRS.......
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    18-34  35-54  55+
 
Allow betting        49%    48%    46%    52%    62%    38%    58%    54%    44%
No betting           44     45     48     43     33     55     38     42     48
DK/NA                 6      7      6      5      5      7      5      4      8
 
 

Demographic Summary