February 8, 2001 - New Jersey Voters Don't Know How DiFrancesco Became Gov, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Widespread Voter Support For Election Reform
Most New Jersey voters don't understand the process by which State Senate President Donald DiFrancesco became Governor and 72 percent would like to amend the State Constitution to elect a lieutenant governor to succeed the governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

When asked if they know who becomes governor when the governor is unable to complete his/her term, 39 percent of New Jersey voters answered correctly, while 13 percent guessed incorrectly and 48 percent said they didn't know.

When told that the State Senate President succeeds the governor, 62 percent say it's a "good thing," while 23 percent say it's a "bad thing." And 74 percent say the new governor should resign from the Senate, while 19 percent say he should not resign.

By a 72 - 20 percent margin, voters favor amending the State Constitution so they can elect a lieutenant governor who succeeds when the governor does not complete his/her term.

"It hasn't happened since Woodrow Wilson moved to the White House in 1913, so it might be understandable that most New Jersey voters didn't know that the State Senate President succeeds the Governor," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Once they understand the process, voters want to tidy up the succession: They'd like the acting governor to quit the State Senate or they'd change the State Constitution so there would be a lieutenant governor -- just like the Vice President -- ready to take over," Carroll said.
                                 Election  Reform	



By a 92 - 6 margin, New Jersey voters say the federal government should encourage a uniform method for voting nationwide. By a 62 - 35 percent margin, voters say all polling places in the U.S. should close at the same time on the night of a Presidential election.

Voters split 48 - 47 percent on whether election day should be moved from Tuesday to a weekend so voters can vote either Saturday or Sunday.

Voters support 84 - 13 percent the decision to spend state money to help replace punch card ballots in the last two counties using them in the state.

In their first look at their new President and their new Senator, New Jersey voters approve 51 - 28 percent of the job George Bush is doing and 35 - 18 percent of the job Jon Corzine is doing. Sen. Robert Torricelli gets a 46 - 22 percent approval rating.

From January 30 - February 5, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,156 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu
2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Torricelli is handling his job as United States Senator?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 46% 38% 49% 49% 45% 46%

Disapprove 22 34 13 22 27 18

DK/NA 33 28 38 29 29 36

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as United States Senator?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 35% 22% 52% 31% 31% 39%

Disapprove 18 31 5 22 20 16

DK/NA 47 48 42 46 49 45

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 51% 83% 27% 52% 56% 48%

Disapprove 28 5 49 24 22 32

DK/NA 21 12 24 24 23 20

17. Do you happen to know who becomes governor when the Governor is unable to complete their term in office? IF YES: Who?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Correct answer 39% 46% 32% 43% 48% 32%

Yes/Wrong answer 13 13 13 12 14 12

No, don't know 48 41 55 45 38 55

REFUSED - - - - - -

18. When a governor is unable to complete their term in office, the state senator who is President of the Senate becomes governor. In general, do you think this is a good thing or a bad thing?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Good thing 62% 71% 55% 64% 62% 62%

Bad thing 23 19 28 23 27 20

DK/NA 15 11 17 13 11 17

19. When the state senator who is President of the Senate becomes governor to fill a vacancy, do you think that state senator should be required to resign from the state senate or not?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Should resign 74% 76% 74% 75% 77% 71%

No/Should not resign 19 18 20 18 18 20

DK/NA 7 6 6 7 5 9

20. Some people have suggested amending the state constitution to create an office of lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor would be the governor's running mate and become the governor if the governor is unable to complete their term. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Good idea 72% 70% 76% 72% 70% 74%

Bad idea 20 23 16 23 24 17

DK/NA 7 7 8 6 6 8

24. Do you think the federal government should or should not encourage a uniform method for voting that would be used in every voting place in the country?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Should encourage 92% 89% 94% 92% 90% 93%

No/Should not encourage 6 8 4 7 8 5

DK/NA 2 2 2 1 2 2

25. Some people have suggested that election day should be changed from Tuesday to an entire weekend so that people would be able to vote on either Saturday or Sunday. Do you think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Good idea 48% 36% 58% 47% 51% 45%

Bad idea 47 60 37 47 44 49

DK/NA 5 4 5 6 4 6

26. Do you favor or oppose setting a uniform nationwide poll closing time on the night of a Presidential election, so that all polling places across the country close at the same time.

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Favor 62% 61% 61% 63% 60% 63%

No/Oppose 35 36 35 34 37 32

DK/NA 3 2 4 3 3 4

27. Currently, voters in two New Jersey counties use punch card ballots. Do you favor or oppose the state government spending money to help those counties replace the punch cards ballots?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Favor 84% 81% 87% 85% 83% 84%

No/Oppose 13 16 11 12 14 13

DK/NA 3 3 3 2 3 3