August 18, 2011 - New Jersey Voters Say No To Tolls, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; More Women In Government Means Fewer Sex Scandals

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New Jersey voters oppose 54 - 41 percent increasing tolls, no matter what the economic conditions, on bridges and tunnels between New Jersey and New York, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Rural voters, who may be less likely to drive into New York, split 47 - 47 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Urban voters, also less car- dependent, split 47 - 49 percent. Opposition grows from 55 - 41 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs to 57 - 37 percent among voters in shore areas.

Most voters, 54 percent, blame the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for the proposed toll hikes, while only 28 percent blame the governors of New York and New Jersey, even when it is pointed out that the governors appoint the Port Authority board members.

By a 38 - 17 percent margin, New Jersey voters have an unfavorable opinion of the Port Authority, with 43 percent who haven't heard enough about the authority to form an opinion.

"Just about everyone in New Jersey has heard about the Port Authority's toll proposals and they're not popular," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Even in South Jersey, where there's another Port Authority which controls toll bridges to Pennsylvania, voters are opposed."

"Most voters don't think there's any economic justification for toll increases.

"And voters blame the faceless entity called 'the Port Authority,' rather than the flesh and blood governors, Christopher Christie in New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo in New York, who appoint the people who want to raise the tolls."

There should be more women in high elective office, 54 percent of New Jersey voters say, while 33 percent say there are enough women in office now. Women voters want more women in office 65 - 27 percent while men barely support the call for more women 42 - 39 percent.

Male elected officials are more likely than women to have sex scandals, 80 percent of voters say, while 17 percent say there is not much difference. Here there is no gender gap.

Women officials are more likely to have the right priorities, 18 percent of voters say, while 7 percent trust men more and 73 percent say there is not much difference.

Woman officials are more likely to be problem solvers, 29 percent of voters say, while 8 percent say men solve problems better and 62 percent say there is not much difference.

"As in the other states where Quinnipiac University has asked about women in politics, New Jerseyans think there should be more women," Carroll said. "Men think so by the smallest of margins. Women? You guessed it."

"Would women in government be better problem solvers than men, or be more likely to have the right priorities? Most voters think men and women would be about the same.

"How about staying clear of sex scandals? Read the headlines. New Jersey voters, men and women, agree - men are far more likely to misbehave."

Few New Jersey voters know much about Gov. Christopher Christie's nomination of a Muslim judge to the State Superior Court, but 65 percent say the fact that Sohail Mohammed is a Muslim won't affect his performance. Only 15 percent say it will have a negative effect and 4 percent say it will have a positive effect.

Voters say 85 - 8 percent that the fact that a person is a Muslim should not keep them from serving as a judge in New Jersey. There is strong agreement among all groups and in all regions of the state.

"There has been some brouhaha in other parts of the country about Muslims trying to impose Sharia Law, or Muslim Law, on America," Carroll said. "New Jerseyans aren't concerned."

From August 9 - 15, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,624 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 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 and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

24. Is your opinion of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about it?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            17%    17%    18%    18%    20%    14%    18%    14%
Unfavorable          38     43     28     43     44     32     38     28
Hvn't hrd enough     43     38     52     37     33     52     42     55
REFUSED               2      2      2      3      3      2      2      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            24%    17%    21%    10%    16%
Unfavorable          38     44     41     26     36
Hvn't hrd enough     36     38     36     63     45
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      3
 
 
25. Have you heard or read anything about plans to raise tolls on bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  82%    86%    75%    86%    82%    82%    83%    73%
No                   18     13     24     14     18     18     16     27
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  82%    86%    85%    67%    84%
No                   18     14     15     31     15
DK/NA                 -      -      -      2      1
 
 
26. Who do you blame more for these proposed toll hikes: The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates the bridges and tunnels, or the governors of New York and New Jersey who appoint the Port Authority board members?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Port Authority       54%    66%    45%    58%    61%    47%    58%    33%
Governors            28     18     38     24     21     35     25     45
BOTH(VOL)             5      4      4      6      6      4      5      5
NEITHER(VOL)          2      3      2      3      3      1      2      2
DK/NA                10      9     11     10      8     12     10     14
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Port Authority       53%    58%    57%    40%    56%
Governors            30     25     23     40     29
BOTH(VOL)             6      4      7      6      3
NEITHER(VOL)          1      3      3      2      2
DK/NA                10     10     10     12      9
 
 
27. Do you think that economic factors might justify some increase in tolls or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  41%    35%    46%    41%    41%    42%    44%    33%
No                   54     60     48     56     56     51     52     57
DK/NA                 5      5      6      4      3      7      4     10
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  47%    39%    47%    41%    37%
No                   49     56     47     55     57
DK/NA                 4      5      6      4      7
 
 
29. Have you heard or read anything about Governor Christie's nomination of Sohail Mohammed to a Superior Court, becoming New Jersey's second Muslim judge?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  27%    26%    24%    30%    31%    23%    27%    23%
No                   71     71     73     68     67     74     70     76
DK/NA                 3      4      3      2      2      3      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  26%    28%    35%    19%    24%
No                   72     70     63     79     70
DK/NA                 3      2      2      2      5
 
 
30. Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Christie's nomination of Sohail Mohammed to be a New Jersey Superior Court judge, or don't you know?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              20%    16%    22%    23%    26%    16%    19%    20%
Disapprove           14     16     12     13     14     13     13     14
DK/NA                66     68     66     65     60     71     68     67
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              22%    19%    28%    17%    19%
Disapprove           13     14     12     13     14
DK/NA                65     66     60     70     67
 
 
31. Do you think the fact that Sohail Mohammed is a Muslim will have a positive effect on his job performance as a judge, a negative effect on his job performance as a judge, or won't it affect his job performance as a judge?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Positive effect       4%     2%     6%     3%     3%     4%     3%     8%
Negative effect      15     26     10     12     15     14     15     13
Won't affect perform 65     53     70     70     68     62     64     59
DK/NA                17     20     15     15     14     19     18     20
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Positive effect       6%     3%     2%     4%     4%
Negative effect       9     15     16     17     14
Won't affect perform 66     65     70     58     68
DK/NA                18     17     12     22     14
 
 
32. Do you think the fact that a person is a Muslim should keep them from serving as a judge in New Jersey or don't you think so?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                   8%    14%     5%     7%     9%     8%     8%     8%
No                   85     79     90     87     86     85     85     85
DK/NA                 7      7      5      6      6      7      7      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                   4%     7%    10%    10%     9%
No                   88     85     83     84     86
DK/NA                 8      8      6      6      5
 
 
42. Thinking about the number of women who hold high level political office in the United States today - such as governors and members of Congress - would you say that there should be more, should be fewer, or is the number about right?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Should be more       54%    39%    71%    48%    42%    65%    51%    69%
Should be fewer       3      3      1      3      4      2      3      1
About right          33     46     22     36     39     27     35     26
DK/NA                10     12      6     13     16      5     11      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Should be more       65%    51%    52%    53%    55%
Should be fewer       3      2      3      3      4
About right          26     34     34     36     31
DK/NA                 6     13     11      8     11
 
 
43. Who do you think are more likely to have the right priorities - male elected officials or female elected officials or is there not much difference between them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Male officials        7%     6%     8%     6%     7%     6%     5%    16%
Female officials     18     11     22     19     13     23     18     24
Not much difference  73     81     69     73     77     70     75     57
DK/NA                 2      2      1      3      3      1      2      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Male officials        6%     5%     5%     8%    10%
Female officials     18     16     19     21     19
Not much difference  75     78     74     69     67
DK/NA                 1      2      2      2      3
 
 
44. Who do you think are more likely to be problem solvers - male elected officials or female elected officials or is there not much difference between them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Male officials        8%    10%     5%     8%    10%     6%     6%    10%
Female officials     29     23     34     28     20     38     28     34
Not much difference  62     66     60     62     69     55     65     53
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      1      1      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Male officials       11%     6%    10%     7%     8%
Female officials     27     27     27     34     31
Not much difference  59     66     62     58     59
DK/NA                 3      1      1      1      2
 
 
45. Who do you think are more likely to have sex scandals - male elected officials or female elected officials or is there not much difference between them?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Male officials       80%    84%    79%    81%    80%    81%    83%    73%
Female officials      1      1      2      -      1      1      1      3
Not much difference  17     15     18     17     18     15     14     22
DK/NA                 2      1      2      2      2      2      1      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Male officials       82%    79%    79%    80%    83%
Female officials      -      1      -      1      2
Not much difference  17     17     18     17     14
DK/NA                 1      2      3      2      2
 

Demographic Summary