March 21, 2005 - They Say Toe-MAY-Toe, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Garden State Voters Mixed On Fruit Or Vegetable
By a 95 - 4 percent margin, New Jersey voters say toe-MAY-toe, not toe-MAH-toe, but they are evenly divided on whether the tomato is a fruit, 48 percent, or a vegetable, 46, percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Voters support 49 - 26 percent legislation designating the tomato as the Garden State vegetable, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

But only 12 percent of New Jersey voters say designating the tomato is important in preserving history and tradition, while 50 percent say it's a waste of time and another 37 percent just don't care.

"The tomato is a highly partisan issue in New Jersey. Democrats say it's a vegetable, while Republicans and independent voters believe it's a fruit. Since Democrats control the legislature, it appears unlikely that there will be enough votes to block the bill, especially with strong bipartisan support on how to pronounce tomato," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"So let's call the whole thing off."

From March 9 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 937 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida and nationally as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks or call (203) 582-5201.

24. Do you support or oppose the state legislature designating the tomato the official state vegetable?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 49% 53% 50% 47% 48% 50% Oppose 26 23 29 25 28 24 DK/NA 26 24 21 28 24 27

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 42% 49% 41% 52% 58% Oppose 32 27 29 21 17 DK/NA 26 24 30 26 26



25. Do you think a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Vegetable 46% 44% 49% 43% 43% 49% Fruit 48 50 47 49 49 47 DK/NA 6 6 4 7 8 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Vegetable 58% 42% 39% 51% 44% Fruit 38 50 53 43 53 DK/NA 4 7 7 6 3



26. Do you consider action by the state legislature to designate the tomato the official state vegetable mostly a waste of time or important in preserving history and tradition or don't you care?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Waste of time 50% 57% 43% 54% 52% 48% Preserving history 12 12 15 10 12 13 Don't care 37 31 40 35 36 38 DK/NA 1 - 2 1 - 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Waste of time 49% 52% 54% 43% 49% Preserving history 7 12 9 18 13 Don't care 43 34 37 38 38 DK/NA 2 2 1 1 -



27. Do you say tom(ay)to or tom(ah)to?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Tom(ay)to 95% 94% 96% 92% 95% 94% Tom(ah)to 4 3 2 7 3 4 DK/NA 2 3 1 1 2 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Tom(ay)to 98% 92% 98% 95% 93% Tom(ah)to 2 6 1 2 6 DK/NA 1 2 1 3 1