August 6, 1998 - New Jersey Voters Back Open Space Plan 2 - 1, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Clinton Approval Is High, As Morality Rating Drops
By a 62 - 31 percent margin, New Jersey voters back Gov. Christine Todd Whitman's plan to preserve up to one million acres of open space in the state, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today.

Looking at the open space issue:
  • 69 percent of voters say it will make New Jersey a better place to live, while 2 percent say it will make the state a worse place and 26 percent say it will make no difference;
  • 70 percent say preserving open space is more important, while 25 percent say growth and development is more important;
  • 57 percent say preserving open space helps improve air quality a lot, while 27 percent say it improves air quality some; 11 percent say it improves air quality only a little and 5 percent say there is no improvement.
"Pollsters know that public support for something that sounds nice -- call it the apple pie and motherhood factor -- often is stronger in the polls than in the polling place. Still the support that New Jersey voters express for the open space referendum is exceptionally high," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute.

"Voters from the most congested state in the nation tell the Quinnipiac College pollsters, `Enough, already! We want the jostling to stop.'

"Voters will sacrifice growth and development tax revenue to protect the Garden State's shrinking supply of open space," Carroll added.

New Jersey voters approve 63 - 35 percent of the job President Clinton is doing, similar to the 63 - 32 percent approval he enjoyed in a September, 1996, poll by the independent Quinnipiac College.

Only 34 percent of voters say Clinton "shares the moral values most Americans try to live by, while 57 percent say he doesn't share these values, with 9 percent undecided. This is a 19-point drop from a 53 - 41 "morality rating" in the September, 1996, poll.

By a 68 - 31 percent margin, New Jersey voters say Clinton "understands the needs and problems of the average American family," compared to 64 - 34 percent in September, 1996.

By a 56 - 42 percent margin, voters say Clinton can be trusted to keep his word, compared to 47 - 48 percent in September, 1996.

Eight percent of voters say Clinton has more honesty and integrity than most people in public life, while 34 percent say he has less and 56 percent say he has about the same. In September, 1996, 8 percent of voters said he had more honesty and integrity, while 28 percent said he had less and 63 percent said he had about the same.

"New Jerseyans voted heavily for President Clinton. They think he still feels their pain," Carroll said. "But the splurge of `Monica' stories has eroded their confidence in his moral values.

"They approve of the way Bill Clinton, the President, does the job they elected him to do. They don't necessarily approve of Bill Clinton the man."

From July 29 - August 4, Quinnipiac College surveyed 613 New Jersey residents who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

The Quinnipiac College 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

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

                                                                         Sep 26
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1996


Approve 63% 34% 92% 63% 61% 64% 63%

Disapprove 35 65 6 33 37 33 32

DK/NA 2 1 3 4 2 2 6



10. How much have you heard or read about Governor Whitman's plan to preserve open space in New Jersey - a lot, some, only a little or nothing at all?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


A lot 20% 23% 16% 20% 24% 16%

Some 32 34 32 32 32 32

Only a little 29 28 30 28 26 32

Nothing at all 18 15 20 18 16 20

DK/NA - - 1 1 - 1



11. The plan would preserve 1 million acres of farmlands and open space. To pay for this, the state would dedicate 98 million dollars a year from the general budget for 10 years. In general, do you favor or oppose this plan? Would you say strongly or somewhat?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Strongly favor 34% 31% 30% 40% 38% 30%

Somewhat favor 28 28 25 29 27 28

Somewhat oppose 17 19 21 11 15 18

Strongly oppose 14 14 18 12 14 14

DK/NA 7 8 6 8 6 9



18. In general, do you think that preserving more open space and farmlands in New Jersey will make the state a better place to live, a worse place to live, or won't it make a difference?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 69% 71% 65% 74% 72% 67%

Worse 2 3 1 2 3 2

No difference 26 24 30 24 24 28

DK/NA 2 2 4 1 1 3



19. Which do you think is more important for New Jersey - preserving open space and farmlands or having growth and development in rural areas?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Preserve Open space 70% 71% 64% 74% 72% 68%

Growth and development 25 25 27 22 22 28

DK/NA 5 4 9 4 6 5



20. How much do you think preserving open space helps improve air quality? A lot, some, only a little, or not at all?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 57% 57% 58% 58% 52% 62%

Some 27 25 26 28 27 26

Only a little 11 12 11 10 15 7

Not at all 5 6 4 3 6 4

DK/NA 1 - 1 1 - 1



25. Do you think Bill Clinton shares the moral values most Americans try to live by, or doesn't he?

                                                                         Sep 26
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1996 


Yes, shares moral values 34% 14% 56% 36% 36% 32% 53%

No, doesn't share values 57 82 29 57 58 56 41

DK/NA 9 4 15 7 6 12 6



26. Do you think Bill Clinton can be trusted to keep his word as President, or not?

                                                                         Sep 26
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1996 


Yes, trusted 56% 24% 87% 57% 57% 55% 47%

No, not trusted 42 75 11 41 41 42 48

DK/NA 2 1 2 2 2 3 5



27. Do you think Bill Clinton understands the needs and problems of the average American family or not?

                                                                         Sep 26
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1996 


Yes, understands 68% 49% 90% 69% 69% 67% 64%

No, doesn't understand 31 50 9 29 30 31 34

DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 2 2



28. Compared to most people in public life, do you think Bill Clinton has more honesty and integrity, less honesty and integrity, or about the same amount?

                                                                         Sep 26
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1996


More honesty 8% 2% 20% 5% 8% 7% 8%

Less honesty 34 63 6 33 37 32 28

About the same 56 34 72 60 53 59 63

DK/NA 2 1 3 1 2 2 1