February 20, 2008 - Corzine Approval Crashes Into NJ Toll Hike Plan, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Oppose 3 - 1 Raising Tolls To Balance Budget

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New Jersey voters oppose 73 - 22 percent a proposal to raise Turnpike and Parkway tolls and use the money to reduce state debt and pay for transportation projects, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Turning on the author of the toll hike plan, New Jersey voters disapprove 52 - 37 percent of the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing, down from a 46 - 43 percent approval rating in a December 11, 2007 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and among Gov. Corzine's lowest scores ever.

Even Democrats oppose the toll hike plan 63 - 31 percent. Opposition to the plan ranges from 65 - 29 percent in the South Jersey Philadelphia suburbs, where fewer commuters use toll roads on a daily basis, to 86 - 12 percent along the shore, where commuters use the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway.

Voters also oppose 68 - 27 percent a modified plan with smaller toll hikes mixed with an increase in the gasoline tax.

If New Jersey voters must choose a way to raise state revenues, choices are:
  • 31 percent say raise sales taxes;
  • 23 percent say raise tolls;
  • 13 percent say raise gas taxes;
  • 13 percent say raise income taxes.
"Gov. Corzine's toll hike proposal has smashed into a brick wall of massive voter opposition, causing his approval rating to drop from a three-point positive to a 15-point negative," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Even those who don't drive on the toll roads don't want toll hikes. Voter anger is so strong that less than a third think the Governor deserves re-election. Corzine's problems are just made worse by the fact that two thirds of the voters are dissatisfied with the way things are going in New Jersey today," Richards added.

New Jersey voters say 51 - 32 percent that Corzine does not deserve to be reelected. Voters split 35 - 33 percent on whether they would vote for Corzine or an unnamed Republican opponent.

A total of 66 percent of voters say they are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in New Jersey today, while 33 percent are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied."

U.S. Senate Race

Voters approve 39 - 31 percent of the job Sen. Frank Lautenberg is doing, but say 40 - 32 percent that he does not deserve to be reelected this year. If reelected, Sen. Lautenberg would be "too old to effectively serve another six-year term in the U.S. Senate," voters say 58 - 36 percent.

"Sen. Lautenberg, who faces re-election this year, leads an unnamed Republican challenger 37 - 30 percent. But the number of voters who think he is too old to run again has risen four points to 58 percent, and the number of voters who think he deserves re-election has dropped four points to 32 percent. Lautenberg could be in trouble if the Republicans field a serious challenger," Richards said.

Moving the New Jersey presidential primary from June to February, at an estimated cost of $10 million, was not worth it, voters say 52 - 40 percent.

From February 13 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,803 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

7. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 37%     17%     53%     34%     35%     38%     35%     50%
Disapprove              52      73      35      53      56      48      54      36
DK/NA                   12       9      12      13       9      14      10      15
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 44%     39%     34%     44%     21%
Disapprove              39      48      54      47      72
DK/NA                   17      13      12       9       7
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Apr 18  Apr 18  Apr 26
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2006
 
Approve                 37      46      49      48      51      51      35
Disapprove              52      43      40      39      36      36      42
DK/NA                   12      11      11      13      13      13      23
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 26%     17%     37%     22%     22%     30%     25%     33%
Disapprove              54      67      42      56      63      46      56      45
DK/NA                   20      16      21      22      15      24      19      22
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 31%     26%     26%     31%     18%
Disapprove              47      51      54      49      70
DK/NA                   22      23      20      20      12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Apr 18  Jan 26  Jul 14
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2005    2006
 
Approve                 26      28      30      30      32      44      20
Disapprove              54      53      54      52      49      31      71
DK/NA                   20      19      16      18      19      25      10
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 39%     22%     51%     41%     37%     41%     40%     40%
Disapprove              31      53      18      31      39      25      33      25
DK/NA                   29      25      31      28      24      34      27      35
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 42%     39%     37%     43%     38%
Disapprove              23      31      34      27      40
DK/NA                   35      30      29      30      22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator? * - also 55% on 9/23/1999 & 7/22/1999
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Apr 18  Jul 27  Feb 20
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2000 *  2008
 
Approve                 39      42      42      41      47      55      39
Disapprove              31      33      34      32      29      22      31
DK/NA                   29      25      24      28      24      23      29
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 30%     14%     43%     31%     31%     29%     28%     32%
Disapprove              31      45      22      29      35      28      32      26
DK/NA                   39      41      35      39      34      43      40      42
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 42%     27%     24%     28%     32%
Disapprove              25      32      34      26      38
DK/NA                   33      41      42      46      31
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator? * 39% on 3/20/06
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Apr 18  Dec 7   Feb 20
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2006 *  2008
 
Approve                 30      34      32      31      34      39      30
Disapprove              31      34      38      39      36      37      31
DK/NA                   39      32      30      31      30      24      39
 
 
12. Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     32%     13%     48%     31%     32%     32%     30%     45%
No                      51      73      34      52      54      49      53      39
DK/NA                   17      14      17      18      15      20      17      16
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Yes                     42%     32%     33%     36%     18%
No                      38      48      54      47      68
DK/NA                   20      20      13      17      14
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                        Feb 20  Dec 11
                        2008    2007
 
Yes                     32      44
No                      51      43
DK/NA                   17      13
 
 
13. If the 2009 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Jon Corzine the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Corzine                 35%      7%     63%     30%     35%     35%     32%     54%
Republican              33      67      11      33      36      31      38      10
DEPENDS ON
CANDIDATE (VOL)         20      19      15      25      20      20      21      17
DK/NA                   12       6      12      12       9      14      10      18
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Corzine                 47%     36%     33%     39%     21%
Republican              20      31      41      29      44
DEPENDS ON
CANDIDATE (VOL)         16      19      18      20      24
DK/NA                   16      13       7      11      10
 
TREND: If the 2009 election for Governor were being held today, do you think you would vote for Jon Corzine the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?
                        Feb 20  Dec 11
                        2008    2007
 
Corzine                 35      41%
Republican              33      31
DEPENDS ON CANDIDATE    20      16
DK/NA                   12      12
 
 
14. 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     Wht     Blk
 
Very satisfied           4%      2%      6%      3%      4%      3%      3%      6%
Smwht satisfied         29      18      40      26      25      32      29      26
Smwht dissatisfied      33      38      32      33      33      33      33      40
Very dissatisfied       33      42      21      37      36      30      35      28
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       2       1       -
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Very satisfied           8%      3%      2%      2%      4%
Smwht satisfied         34      31      30      32      18
Smwht dissatisfied      32      36      33      30      32
Very dissatisfied       23      30      34      34      44
DK/NA                    3       1       1       1       2
 
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?
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28  Dec 6   Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16
                        2008    2007    2007    2006    2006    2006    2006
 
Very satisfied           4       3       3       2       3       3       3
Smwht satisfied         29      35      37      34      27      33      44
Smwht dissatisfied      33      32      34      38      37      31      31
Very dissatisfied       33      30      25      25      32      33      20
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
15. Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Better                  10%      3%     17%      9%     11%     10%     10%     12%
Worse                   35      50      23      35      37      33      37      21
The same                53      45      58      55      51      54      51      65
DK/NA                    2       2       2       1       1       3       2       2
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Better                  14%     11%     11%     10%      5%
Worse                   25      32      36      31      49
The same                57      53      53      56      45
DK/NA                    3       4       1       3       0
 
TREND: Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?
                        Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28
                        2008    2007    2007
                                
Better                  10      14      20%
Worse                   35      25      15
The same                53      59      62
DK/NA                    2       2       3
 
 
16. Looking ahead to the 2008 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Frank Lautenberg deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     32%     17%     43%     32%     32%     32%     33%     29%
No                      40      60      25      41      47      33      41      36
DK/NA                   28      23      32      27      21      35      26      35
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Yes                     39%     27%     31%     38%     30%
No                      31      41      43      33      47
DK/NA                   30      32      26      28      23
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2008 election for United States Senator, do you feel that Frank Lautenberg deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                        Feb 20  Sep 25  Jul 9
                        2008    2007    2007
 
Deserves Reelection     32      36       31
Does Not                40      46       42
DK/NA                   28      18       27
 
 
17. If the 2008 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Frank Lautenberg the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Lautenberg              37%      9%     66%     29%     33%     40%     34%     59%
Republican              30      66       8      29      35      27      35      12
DEPENDS ON
CANDIDATE (VOL)         15      15      10      21      17      14      15      11
DK/NA                   17      10      16      20      15      19      16      17
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Lautenberg              47%     37%     30%     40%     31%
Republican              25      32      36      25      33
DEPENDS ON
CANDIDATE (VOL)         13      13      16      15      20
DK/NA                   15      18      17      19      16
 
TREND: If the 2008 election for United States Senator were being held today, do you think you would vote for Frank Lautenberg the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate?
                        Feb 20  Sep 25  Jul 9
                        2008    2007    2007
 
Lautenberg              37      39      40
Republican              30      36      33
DEPENDS ON CAND(VOL)    15      13      14
DK/NA                   17      12      13
 
 
18. At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another 6 year term as United States Senator, or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     58%     67%     53%     58%     58%     58%     58%     64%
No                      36      29      42      35      37      35      37      30
DK/NA                    6       4       5       7       5       7       6       6
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Yes                     53%     62%     54%     58%     58%
No                      39      31      41      38      37
DK/NA                    9       7       5       4       5
 
TREND: At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another 6 year term as United States Senator, or not? * age 83
                        Feb 20  Sep 25  Jul 9
                        2008    2007*   2007*
 
Yes                     58      54      54
No                      36      40      40
DK/NA                    6       6       6
 
 
19. Governor Corzine has proposed raising tolls about 50 percent every four years over the next 14 years in order to reduce the state debt and pay for transportation projects. Do you approve or disapprove of this proposal?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 22%     12%     31%     22%     25%     19%     22%     21%
Disapprove              73      86      63      75      72      74      74      68
DK/NA                    5       2       7       4       3       7       4      12
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 25%     20%     25%     29%     12%
Disapprove              69      73      71      65      86
DK/NA                    6       7       4       6       2
 
 
20. If the governor's proposal was modified to include a smaller hike in tolls and an increase in the gasoline tax would you approve or disapprove of this proposal?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 27%     19%     34%     28%     29%     25%     29%     21%
Disapprove              68      79      61      66      68      69      67      74
DK/NA                    5       2       4       6       3       6       5       5
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Approve                 36%     28%     30%     24%     20%
Disapprove              60      67      65      71      77
DK/NA                    4       5       4       5       3
 
 
21. If it is necessary to raise new revenues, which of the following would be your first choice to raise - Tolls, Gas taxes, Income taxes, or Sales taxes?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Tolls                   23%     18%     26%     24%     17%     27%     22%     25%
Gas taxes               13      11      13      15      15      11      14       5
Income taxes            13      10      16      13      14      12      11      20
Sales taxes             31      34      31      30      32      31      33      38
DK/NA                   20      28      14      18      22      19      21      12
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Tolls                   17%     20%     29%     36%     14%
Gas taxes               17      13      10      11      13
Income taxes            16      14       9      16      10
Sales taxes             33      32      32      21      38
DK/NA                   17      21      21      16      26
 
 
22. The governor's proposal includes projects to widen the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway and the Atlantic City Expressway. Do you support or oppose these projects?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Support                 42%     39%     50%     37%     46%     39%     40%     47%
Oppose                  47      51      41      51      46      48      49      47
DK/NA                   11      10       9      12       8      13      12       6
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Support                 43%     42%     39%     46%     40%
Oppose                  43      45      52      49      48
DK/NA                   13      13       9       5      13
 
 
23. When it comes to driving on toll roads in New Jersey would you say you drive on toll roads frequently, sometimes, seldom or not at all?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Frequently              33%     34%     31%     33%     39%     28%     31%     37%
Sometimes               33      33      33      32      30      35      32      34
Seldom                  27      27      28      29      26      29      30      24
Not at all               6       6       7       5       4       8       6       5
DK/NA                    1       -       1       0       1       0       1       -
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Frequently              43%     32%     15%     24%     50%
Sometimes               29      37      34      34      26
Seldom                  18      25      42      35      20
Not at all              10       5       8       7       4
DK/NA                    0       1       0       0       0
 
 
25. Some estimates say it cost an additional $10 million to separate New Jersey's presidential primary from the traditional June primary for state and local offices so it could be held early on Super Tuesday. Do you think it was worth it to have New Jersey vote early and have a larger impact on the presidential election choices?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     40%     27%     50%     41%     39%     41%     37%     61%
No                      52      66      41      53      54      50      56      31
DK/NA                    8       7       9       6       7       9       7       8
 
                                                Philly
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore
 
Yes                     45%     38%     36%     38%     44%
No                      48      51      58      54      50
DK/NA                    7      11       6       8       6