July 26, 2000 - Gore, Bush Locked In Tight Race In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Abortion Is A Key For Top Candidate, Not Running Mate
Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are locked in a tight race among New Jersey voters, with 46 percent for Gore and 41 percent for Bush, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

The results are virtually unchanged from a June 28 poll by the independent Quinnipiac University, when Gore edged Bush 45 - 40 percent.

If the Reform Party's Pat Buchanan and the Green Party's Ralph Nader are in the race, Gore gets 42 percent to 38 percent for Bush, with 2 percent for Buchanan and 7 percent for Nader.

From July 19 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 910 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent.

"As the Vice President in a prosperous and contented America, Gore should be doing much better than this. Now he will need to deliver a superb performance at the convention," said Quinnipiac University Political Science Professor Scott McLean.

"New Jersey voters are familiar with Bush and Gore, but many still have mixed feelings about them. The reason voters seem eager to watch the conventions is that they hope to figure out where the parties and candidates stand on the issues."

Gore's favorability among New Jersey voters is 39 - 34 percent, with 25 percent mixed and 2 percent saying they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. This compares with Gore's 33 - 33 percent favorability rating in the June 28 Quinnipiac University poll.

Bush's favorability is 35 - 36 percent, with 26 percent mixed and 3 percent saying they haven't heard enough to form an opinion. He had a slightly negative 30 - 34 percent favorability June 28.

Of the 73 percent of New Jersey voters who say they will watch at least some of the Republican Convention next week, 57 percent say they are most interested in speeches about where the party stands on major issues.

Of the 67 percent of voters who say they will watch the Democratic Convention next month, 62 percent say they also are most interested in speeches about major issues.

Only 26 percent of New Jersey voters want to see the Supreme Court`s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion overturned, while 68 percent do not want it reversed.

It is very important that a presidential candidate share their opinion on abortion, according to 40 percent of New Jersey voters, while 39 percent say it is somewhat important and 20 percent say it is not important at all. Those who say a candidate's stand on abortion is very important support Gore 51 - 29 percent.

If Bush had chosen a Vice Presidential candidate who supports legalized abortion, 15 percent of voters would be more likely to vote Republican, while 15 percent would be less likely and 66 percent say it would make no difference in how they vote.

"If Bush had selected a pro-choice running mate, it would not have made a difference in New Jersey, where people look at the presidential candidate's abortion position, not at number two. Besides, he would likely lose one Republican for every independent he might win over - so why should he gamble with his base and gain no advantage?" Dr. McLean 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.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as President?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 63% 30% 87% 64% 59% 66%

Disapprove 33 66 10 31 37 29

DK/NA 4 3 3 6 4 5



10. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for President -- a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 44% 53% 41% 40% 48% 41%

Some 37 32 39 39 36 38

Only a little 16 13 17 17 14 17

None at all 3 2 3 5 3 4

DK/NA - - - - - -



11. Is your opinion of Al Gore favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 39% 7% 67% 34% 34% 43%

Unfavorable 34 71 8 32 41 28

Mixed 25 20 22 31 23 26

Haven't hrd enough 2 1 2 2 1 3

REFUSED - - 1 1 1 -



12. Is your opinion of George W. Bush favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 35% 72% 12% 32% 39% 32%

Unfavorable 36 7 62 33 33 39

Mixed 26 19 24 32 26 26

Haven't hrd enough 3 1 3 2 2 4

REFUSED - - - - - -



13. Is your opinion of Pat Buchanan favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 9% 15% 6% 8% 9% 10%

Unfavorable 58 53 62 58 63 52

Mixed 19 23 14 22 19 19

Haven't hrd enough 14 8 17 13 8 19

REFUSED 1 1 1 - 1 -



14. Is your opinion of Ralph Nader favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 22% 13% 26% 26% 22% 22%

Unfavorable 28 45 22 23 36 21

Mixed 23 19 25 23 21 24

Haven't hrd enough 26 23 27 27 19 33

REFUSED 1 - 1 1 1 -



15. If the election for President were being held today and the candidates were Al Gore the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Gore 46% 7% 84% 38% 41% 51% Bush 41 88 8 40 48 34

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 1 2 4 3 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 - 2 5 2 3 DK/NA 8 3 4 13 6 10



16. If the election for President were being held today and the candidates were Al Gore the Democrat, George W. Bush the Republican, Pat Buchanan the Reform Party candidate and Ralph Nader the Green Party candidate for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Gore 42% 5% 78% 35% 37% 47% Bush 38 83 8 36 44 33 Buchanan 2 4 1 3 3 1 Nader 7 3 7 9 7 6

SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 3 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 1 2 DK/NA 8 5 4 12 6 10



18. As you may know the Republican National Convention will meet in Philadelphia July 31-August 3rd. Do you think you will watch any of the television coverage of the convention?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 73% 79% 70% 70% 73% 72%

No 26 19 28 30 27 26

DK/NA 1 1 2 - - 2



19. (If will watch convention) Which part of the convention are you most interested in seeing?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


The nomination acceptance speech by George W. Bush 21% 32% 18% 18% 25% 17%

Biographies of Bush and his running mate 8 10 7 8 9 7

Speeches by the major party leaders 8 10 10 5 8 9

Speeches about where the party stands on major national issues 57 46 58 64 52 62

DK/NA 5 2 7 5 6 4



20. As you may know the Democratic National Convention will meet in Los Angeles August 14th to the 17th. Do you think you will watch any of the television coverage of the convention?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 67% 52% 77% 69% 65% 69%

No 31 47 20 30 34 28

DK/NA 2 1 3 1 1 3



21. (If will watch convention) Which part of the convention are you most interested in seeing?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


The nomination acceptance speech by Al Gore 18% 20% 19% 15% 21% 15%

Biographies of Al Gore and his running mate 7 4 8 7 8 6

Speeches by the major party leaders 9 13 10 7 10 9

Speeches about where the party stands on major national issues? 62 60 58 67 58 66

DK/NA 4 3 5 3 3 4



22. In its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot place restrictions on a woman's right to an abortion during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Would you like to see this ruling overturned or not?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes/Overturned 26% 38% 18% 25% 29% 23%

No/Not overturned 68 56 77 68 66 70

DK/NA 6 6 5 6 6 6



23. How important is it to you that the Presidential candidate you vote for shares your views on the issue of abortion - very important, somewhat important, or not important at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very important 40% 27% 54% 35% 30% 49%

Smwht important 39 45 33 41 44 34

Not important at all 20 26 12 23 25 15

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 - 1



24. If George W. Bush chooses a Vice Presidential candidate who supports legalized abortion, would you be more likely to vote for him, less likely, or wouldn't it make a difference?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 15% 13% 13% 18% 14% 17%

Less likely 15 16 15 14 12 17

Wldn't make difference 66 69 71 61 71 62

DK/NA 4 2 1 6 3 4