January 26, 2006 - New Jersey Budget Problems Are Serious, 92% Of Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Most Say Don't Raise Taxes, Even Gas Taxes
Some 92 percent of New Jersey voters say the state is facing a serious budget problem this year and a majority say they would rather cut services than raise taxes to reduce the huge projected budget deficit, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The state budget problems are "very serious," 54 percent of voters say, and 38 percent say they are "somewhat serious." The 54 percent who say "very serious" is the highest this number has ever been in any New Jersey poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

Voters say 57 - 28 percent that they would rather cut services than raise taxes to balance the state budget. Democrats split 44 - 44 percent on service cuts or tax hikes, while Republicans prefer service cuts 75 - 13 percent and independent voters prefer service cuts 55 - 26 percent.

New Jersey voters also oppose 69 - 27 percent raising the state gasoline tax to finance road improvements and mass transit projects. Urban residents oppose a gas tax hike 71 - 25 percent, while ex-urban residents oppose it 63 - 33 percent.

"Gov. Jon Corzine obviously has his job cut out for him. New Jersey voters know there is a serious budget problem facing the state, but at the same time are saying high taxes - particularly property taxes - are the most serious problem facing the state," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"And they are not in the mood for increasing taxes, not even the gasoline tax which is paid for in a large part by non-residents passing through the state on the Jersey Turnpike," Richards added.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 42 percent of voters list taxes, especially property taxes, as the most serious problem facing New Jersey, with 8 percent for political corruption and 7 percent each for education/education funding and the economy/unemployment.

New Jersey voters give their new Governor a 38 - 14 percent approval rating, with 48 percent undecided.

They believe 47 - 41 percent that Gov. Corzine will clean up corruption in state government. But voters say 53 - 35 percent that he will not reduce property taxes in the state.

"The voters do not have high expectations of the new administration when it comes to lowering property taxes and fighting corruption, which may be good news for Corzine if he can manage modest improvements in these two areas," Richards said.

From January 18 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 961 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.

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 38% 22% 56% 36% 36% 39% Disapprove 14 28 4 13 16 12 DK/NA 48 49 40 52 48 49

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 53% 42% 28% 35% 28% Disapprove 4 12 22 15 18 DK/NA 43 46 50 50 54



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 34% 30% 43% 31% 34% 34% Disapprove 47 54 35 54 52 43 DK/NA 18 16 22 16 14 23

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 51% 35% 29% 23% 34% Disapprove 26 48 56 59 47 DK/NA 24 17 15 18 19

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Jan 26  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Jan 26  Nov 17  Sep 22
                        2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004    2004


Approve 34 31 35 33 44 41 37 Disapprove 47 49 43 45 31 41 47 DK/NA 18 19 22 22 25 19 17



10. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 3% 3% 6% 2% 4% 3% Smwht satisfied 39 37 40 40 39 39 Smwht dissatisfied 33 32 35 34 31 35 Very dissatisfied 23 27 19 24 24 23 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very satisfied 7% 3% 3% 3% 1% Smwht satisfied 49 49 30 29 31 Smwht dissatisfied 26 29 36 36 41 Very dissatisfied 18 17 29 31 26 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Jan 26  Aug 10  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17  Jan 27  Nov 17
                        2006    2005    2005    2005    2005    2005    2004


Very satisfied 3 4 3 3 3 6 4 Smwht satisfied 39 41 38 39 39 47 48 Smwht dissatisfied 33 30 33 34 31 30 30 Very dissatisfied 23 23 25 23 27 16 16 DK/NA 1 2 1 1 1 1 1

11. What do you think is the most important problem facing New Jersey today?

                        Tot  


Taxes total 42% Taxes general 15 Property tax 27

Politicians/Corruption total 9% Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Political corruption 8

Economy total 7% Economy general 1 Unemployment/jobs 3 Cost of living 3

Education total 7% Education general 5 Funding education 2

Budget total 5% Budget general 2 Budget deficits 2 Government too big/Gov spending 1

Crime total 3% Crime/Violence general 2 Gangs/Youth crime 1

Healthcare/Costs/ Insurance/HMO's 3% Auto insurance 2% Poverty/Homeless 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 Overcrowding/Over population 1 Open space/Urban sprawl/ Overdevelopment 1 Handicapped/ Disability issues 1 Environment/Pollution 1 Other 3 DK/NA 7



12. Do you think Jon Corzine will clean up corruption in state government or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 47% 33% 69% 42% 45% 49% No 41 57 24 45 46 37 DK/NA 12 10 8 13 9 14

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 65% 48% 38% 42% 44% No 26 40 49 49 43 DK/NA 9 13 14 10 13

TREND: Do you think Jon Corzine will clean up corruption in state government or not?

                        Jan 26  Nov 22
                        2006    2005


Yes 47 37 No 41 50 DK/NA 12 13



13. Do you think Jon Corzine will reduce property taxes in New Jersey or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 35% 24% 53% 30% 34% 37% No 53 69 38 56 56 52 DK/NA 11 7 9 14 11 12

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 47% 34% 23% 39% 34% No 43 54 71 50 49 DK/NA 10 12 6 11 17

TREND: Do you think Jon Corzine will reduce property taxes in New Jersey or not?

                        Jan 26  Nov 22
                        2006    2005


Yes 35 46 No 53 44 DK/NA 11 9



14. Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Excellent 3% 5% 1% 4% 4% 2% Good 46 50 46 44 52 40 Not so good 36 30 40 37 29 42 Poor 14 14 11 15 13 14 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 2 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Excellent 1% 3% 6% 2% 5% Good 46 46 47 46 44 Not so good 36 37 35 33 35 Poor 15 13 11 17 14 DK/NA 2 1 1 2 1

TREND: Would you describe the state of New Jersey's economy these days as excellent, good, not so good, or poor?

                        Jan 26  Aug 4   Jun 22  Mar 9   Apr 2   Dec 12  Oct 18
                        2006    2004    2004    2004    2003    2002    2001


Excellent 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 Good 46 51 51 42 37 43 54 Not so good 36 37 36 42 47 42 37 Poor 14 10 9 12 12 12 5 DK/NA 1 1 2 2 3 2 2



15. How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very serious 54% 54% 54% 54% 57% 52% Smwht serious 38 38 37 40 36 40 Not too serious 5 5 8 3 5 4 Not at all serious - - - - - - DK/NA 2 3 1 3 2 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very serious 51% 54% 60% 53% 54% Smwht serious 38 40 34 39 38 Not too serious 10 3 2 5 6 Not at all serious - - - - - DK/NA 1 3 4 3 1

TREND: How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?

                        Jan 26  Nov 12  Apr 2   Dec 11
                        2006    2003    2003    2002
                                
Very serious            54      45      38      35
Somewhat serious        38      42      49      51
Not too serious          5       8       7      10
Not at all serious       -       1       1       1
DK/NA                    2       4       5       3




16. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Raise taxes 28% 13% 44% 26% 28% 28% Cut services 57 75 44 55 61 53 DK/NA 16 12 12 19 12 19

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Raise taxes 42% 33% 22% 21% 17% Cut services 44 50 65 63 66 DK/NA 14 17 13 16 17

TREND: To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising taxes or cutting government programs and services?

                        Jan 26  Apr 2   Dec 12
                        2006    2003    2002


Raising taxes 28 32 28 Cutting services 57 54 61 DK/NA 16 14 12



17. To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising the state sales tax or the state income tax?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Sales tax 61% 68% 54% 62% 61% 60% Income tax 25 19 34 21 23 26 DK/NA 15 13 12 17 16 13

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Sales tax 57% 61% 61% 55% 69% Income tax 22 27 28 29 16 DK/NA 21 12 12 17 15

TREND: To balance the state budget, if you had to choose, would you prefer raising the state sales tax or the state income tax?

                        Jan 26  Dec 12
                        2006    2002


Sales tax 61 54 Income tax 25 33 DK/NA 15 13



18. To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 27% 23% 32% 27% 30% 25% Oppose 69 73 65 69 65 73 DK/NA 3 4 3 4 4 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 25% 30% 33% 22% 26% Oppose 71 67 63 76 70 DK/NA 4 3 4 2 4

TREND: To help finance road improvements and mass transportation, would you support or oppose an increase in the gasoline tax? (* Jan 2005 que did not include "and mass trans.")

                        Jan 26  Jan 27
                        2006    2005


Support 27 39 Oppose 69 57 DK/NA 3 4