March 8, 2001 - DiFrancesco Closes Gap With McGreevey In NJ Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Bush Jumps Out To 2 -1 Approval Rating
Republican Gov. Donald DiFrancesco has narrowed the gap with Democrat James McGreevey in the New Jersey governor's race. McGreevey leads 41 - 37 percent with 19 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In a February 7 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University, McGreevey led DiFrancesco 40 - 32 percent, with 25 percent undecided.

In this latest poll, McGreevey leads Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler 45 - 31 percent, with 21 percent undecided, compared to a 46 - 22 percent lead February 7.

DiFrancesco leads Schundler among Republican Primary voters 46 - 24 percent, with 26 percent undecided.

From February 28 - March 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,129 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent. The survey included 347 registered Republican voters with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent.

"New Jersey's constitution makes the occupant of the Governor's office an 800-pound political gorilla. That's paying off in acting Governor DiFrancesco's poll numbers. His public recognition is going up and so are his general election numbers against Mayor McGreevey," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"In both a Republican primary and a general election matchup, Mayor Schundler continues to run out of the money," Carroll added.

By a 23 - 10 percent margin new Jersey voters have a favorable opinion of DiFrancesco, with 19 percent mixed and 46 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion. Last month, DiFrancesco had a 17- 5 percent favorability, with 63 percent who didn't know enough to form an opinion.

McGreevey gets a 17 - 9 percent favorability, with 14 percent mixed and 58 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion, little changed from last month.

Schundler's favorability is 14 - 6 percent, with 8 percent mixed and 71 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion, also little changed from last month.

New Jersey voters approve 40 -11 percent of the job DiFrancesco is doing as governor, with 49 percent undecided.

In an open-ended question, a total of 31 percent of voters list taxes as the most important problem facing New Jersey, followed by 17 percent who list education.

By a 49 - 35 percent margin, voters say Republicans are closer to their point of view on taxes. Democrats are closer on education, voters say 43 - 39 percent.

New Jersey voters approve 62 - 26 percent of the job George Bush is doing as President. Freshman Sen. Jon Corzine gets a 43 - 21 percent approval, while Sen. Robert Torricelli gets a 45 - 29 percent approval.

"New Jersey didn't vote for President Bush in November, but New Jersey voters today think highly of their new President," Carroll said.

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
1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald DiFrancesco is handling his job as acting Governor of New Jersey?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 40% 51% 36% 37% 42% 38%

Disapprove 11 7 15 10 11 11

DK/NA 49 42 49 53 47 51

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 45% 37% 50% 47% 43% 46%

Disapprove 29 40 19 29 35 24

DK/NA 27 23 31 24 22 31

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 43% 25% 59% 45% 42% 45%

Disapprove 21 41 8 17 24 19

DK/NA 36 34 32 38 34 37

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 62% 94% 35% 58% 68% 56%

Disapprove 26 2 50 25 21 30

DK/NA 12 4 15 17 11 13

5. Is your opinion of James McGreevey favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 17% 11% 25% 18% 20% 15%

Unfavorable 9 19 5 5 12 7

Mixed 14 13 14 16 15 13

Hvn't hrd enough 58 55 55 60 51 63

REFUSED 1 2 1 1 1 2

6. Is your opinion of Bret Schundler favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 14% 21% 9% 12% 16% 12%

Unfavorable 6 4 8 7 7 6

Mixed 8 8 9 7 8 7

Hvn't hrd enough 71 65 72 73 67 74

REFUSED 1 1 2 1 2 1

7. Is your opinion of Donald DiFrancesco favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 23% 35% 16% 19% 26% 20%

Unfavorable 10 6 14 11 12 9

Mixed 19 19 19 20 18 20

Hvn't hrd enough 46 39 49 48 42 50

REFUSED 2 1 2 2 2 2

8. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were James McGreevey the Democrat and Donald DiFrancesco the Republican for whom would you vote?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


McGreevey 41% 11% 75% 37% 37% 44% DiFrancesco 37 75 9 29 39 35 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 1 2 2 1 DK/NA 19 10 15 29 19 20

9. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were James McGreevey the Democrat and Bret Schundler the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


McGreevey 45% 11% 80% 44% 41% 48% Schundler 31 71 6 23 35 29 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - - 2 2 0 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 2 - 3 3 1 DK/NA 21 15 14 28 20 22

10. (If registered Republican) If the Republican primary for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Donald DiFrancesco and Bret Schundler for whom would you vote?
                          Registered 
                          Republicans 


DiFrancesco 46% Schundler 24 SMONE ELSE(VOL) - WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 DK/NA 26

11. What do you think is the most important problem or issue facing New Jersey that you want the next Governor to concentrate on?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Crime/Violence 2% 1% 2% 3% 2% 2% Drugs 1 - 1 1 1 1

Racial Profiling 1 1 2 1 2 1

Budget/Deficit 1 - 1 1 1 1

Economy 1 1 - 2 2 1 Unemployment/Jobs 1 1 1 1 2 1

Taxes 15 22 10 15 15 15 State Income Tax 1 1 1 1 1 1 Property Tax 15 19 12 15 20 11

Poverty/Homelessness 1 - 1 - - 1 Overcrowding 1 1 - 1 - 1 Welfare 1 - 1 1 1 -

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 4 1 6 4 2 5 Medicare 1 - 2 1 - 1

Abortion 1 2 - - 1 -

Elderly/Senior Issues 1 1 2 1 - 1

Education 17 14 20 16 12 21

Environment/ Pollution 6 4 6 9 5 7 Open Space/Urban Sprawl 3 2 3 4 3 3

Lack of Quality Mass Transit/Public Trans. 1 1 1 1 1 1 Traffic 1 2 - - 1 1 Roads/Infrastructure 1 1 1 1 1 1 Highways/Tolls 1 2 1 1 2 1

Auto Insurance 7 6 8 8 8 7

Other 3 3 4 3 3 3

DK/NA 7 7 7 6 6 7

12. Do you happen to know which party controls the New Jersey State Legislature - the Democratic Party or the Republican Party? IF "YES" - Which party would that be?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


Yes/Correct 46% 47% 47% 46% 52% 40%

Yes/Incorrect 10 12 6 11 10 10 No/Don't know 44 40 47 42 37 50 REFUSED - - - - - -

13. Which party would you like to see control the New Jersey State Legislature after the elections in November - the Democratic Party or Republican Party?

                                                                   Correct
                   Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Answer Q12


Democratic Party 39% 3% 82% 34% 32% 44% 38%

Republican Party 39 88 4 28 44 34 42

DK/NA 23 8 14 38 23 22 20

32. I would like to ask you about several issues facing the state. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on education?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 43% 10% 77% 41% 40% 46% Republican 39 79 9 36 43 35 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 5 3 3 7 6 4 DK/NA 13 8 11 16 12 15

33. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on the environment?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 50% 19% 78% 53% 50% 50% Republican 32 65 8 25 33 30 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 5 5 2 5 5 4 DK/NA 14 11 11 17 11 16

34. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on taxes?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 35% 6% 66% 32% 28% 41% Republican 49 84 22 46 56 43 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 5 3 4 8 7 4 DK/NA 11 6 8 14 9 12

35. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on crime?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 28% 6% 53% 23% 25% 30% Republican 44 75 22 41 51 38 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 11 8 10 14 12 10 DK/NA 18 12 15 22 13 21

36. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on race relations?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 49% 18% 76% 52% 49% 49% Republican 23 52 6 14 25 21 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 11 11 6 14 12 10 DK/NA 18 19 12 20 14 21

37. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on abortion?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 50% 23% 75% 51% 49% 51% Republican 31 58 12 27 35 28 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 5 5 3 6 5 5 DK/NA 14 13 10 16 11 16

38. Generally speaking, do you think the Democratic party or the Republican party is closer to your view on gun control?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Democratic 44% 16% 70% 48% 41% 47% Republican 34 67 14 26 40 30 SAME/NO DIFF(VOL) 5 3 3 8 7 4 DK/NA 16 14 14 18 12 19