March 31, 1999 - Whitman Tops Florio In Senate Matchup, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; New Jersey Voters Give Gov 50 Percent On Key Measures
Gov. Christine Todd Whitman has a 51 - 35 percent lead over former Democratic Governor James Florio in the still undeclared New Jersey Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today.

Gov. Whitman apparently has a 50 percent base of support: She tops Congressman Frank Pallone 50 - 29 percent, even though Pallone has a very low recognition factor. In a February 12 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College, Whitman beat Sen. Frank Lautenberg 50 - 41 percent in a hypothetical matchup, shortly before Lautenberg announced he would not seek reelection.

The Governor's approval rating is 52 - 40 percent, down from 58 - 33 percent in the February 12 poll.

And by a 50 - 18 percent margin, voters say Whitman has been a better governor than Florio.

"The only cloud on Gov. Whitman's seemingly bright horizon is that she barely breaks that magic 50 percent where most politicians feel they're home free," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. "Her last three elections have been very close. While she starts this next possible campaign with a good lead, we look at that 50 percent and ask, `Is that all there is?'

"For former governor James Florio, the news is worse. Florio is one of only two New Jersey governors who have been denied a second term since the state constitution was changed. People apparently remember why they voted against him," Carroll said.

By a 40 - 25 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Whitman, while 31 percent have a mixed opinion and 4 percent haven't heard enough to form an opinion. Favorability ratings for other possible Senate candidates are:
           Favorable   Unfavorable   Mixed    No Opinion

Florio       24%          43%         20%       12%
Pallone      12            4          10        74



Only 15 percent of New Jersey voters say they would be bothered if Whitman wins the Senate race and does not complete her last year as Governor, while 82 percent say they would not be bothered.

Whitman's gets a negative 41 - 54 percent approval for her handling of taxes, but a 49 - 38 approval for her handling of the state budget; a 52 - 38 percent grade for her handling of education; a 61 - 23 percent approval for her handling of crime, and a 61 - 26 percent approval for her handling of the environment.

The Governor gets a 45 - 35 percent approval for her handling of race relations and a big negative 30 - 63 percent approval for her handling of car insurance.

From March 23 - 29, Quinnipiac College surveyed 984 New Jersey residents who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling her job as Governor of New Jersey?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 52% 76% 35% 50% 55% 50% 58%

Disapprove 40 20 56 41 38 41 33

DK/NA 8 4 9 9 7 9 10



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job asUnited States Senator?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 54% 37% 72% 54% 50% 58% 52%

Disapprove 25 45 8 25 34 17 29

DK/NA 21 18 19 21 16 24 19



3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Torricelli is handling his job as United States Senator?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 43% 28% 62% 40% 43% 43% 45%

Disapprove 29 43 11 33 35 24 30

DK/NA 28 29 27 27 22 34 24



5. Is your opinion of New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about her?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Favorable 40% 61% 26% 38% 44% 36% 46%

Unfavorable 25 11 39 24 24 25 25

Mixed 31 25 30 33 29 32 28

Haven't heard enough 4 2 5 5 3 6 2

REFUSED 1 1 1 1 - 1 -



6. Is your opinion of former New Jersey Governor James Florio favorable unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Favorable 24% 12% 41% 21% 22% 26%

Unfavorable 43 65 20 46 52 36

Mixed 20 11 24 22 17 22

Haven't heard enough 12 11 14 10 9 15

REFUSED 1 1 1 1 - 1



7. Is your opinion of New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


Favorable 12% 12% 12% 11% 14% 10%

Unfavorable 4 4 2 5 6 1

Mixed 10 9 10 12 11 9

Haven't heard enough 74 75 76 72 68 79

REFUSED - - - - - -



8. If the election for United States Senator in the year 2000 were being held today and the candidates were James Florio the Democrat, and Christine Whitman the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


Florio 35% 10% 66% 30% 31% 38%

Whitman 51 80 23 54 56 47

SOMEONE ELSE (VOL) 4 4 4 5 6 3

WOULDN'T VOTE (VOL) 4 2 2 5 3 4

DK/NA 6 3 6 7 4 7



9. If the election for United States Senator in the year 2000 were being held today and the candidates were Frank Pallone the Democrat, and Christine Whitman the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom 


Pallone 29% 9% 55% 24% 29% 30%

Whitman 50 78 24 53 55 46

SOMEONE ELSE (VOL) 3 2 3 4 4 2

WOULDN'T VOTE (VOL) 3 2 3 3 3 2

DK/NA 15 9 16 16 9 20



10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling the state budget?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 49% 71% 33% 48% 55% 44% 46%

Disapprove 38 20 55 38 35 40 40

DK/NA 14 9 12 15 10 16 13



11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling crime?

                                                                         Mar 4
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998 


Approve 61% 76% 54% 58% 63% 60% 67%

Disapprove 23 12 30 26 23 24 20

DK/NA 15 11 16 16 14 16 13



12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling education?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 52% 71% 45% 47% 55% 50% 47%

Disapprove 38 20 47 43 37 39 39

DK/NA 9 9 8 10 8 11 14



13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling the environment?

                                                                         Aug 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 61% 77% 49% 60% 61% 60% 66%

Disapprove 26 14 38 25 29 23 23

DK/NA 13 9 13 16 10 16 11



14. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling taxes?

                                                                         Feb 12
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1999


Approve 41% 61% 26% 39% 47% 36% 40%

Disapprove 54 35 67 55 49 57 52

DK/NA 6 4 6 5 4 7 8



15. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling welfare and the poor?

                                                                         Mar 4
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 50% 67% 38% 48% 53% 48% 57%

Disapprove 31 13 46 32 27 33 29

DK/NA 19 20 16 20 19 19 14



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling the economy and jobs?

                                                                         Aug 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 67% 83% 50% 69% 72% 62% 63%

Disapprove 25 12 40 22 21 28 31

DK/NA 9 4 10 9 7 10 6



17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling car insurance?

                                                                         Mar 4
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 30% 39% 25% 27% 32% 28% 14%

Disapprove 63 52 70 65 62 64 81

DK/NA 8 9 5 8 6 9 5



18. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling abortion?

                                                                         Mar 4
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1998


Approve 38% 41% 36% 39% 38% 37% 42%

Disapprove 26 28 29 25 26 26 29

DK/NA 36 31 35 36 36 37 29



19. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling race relations?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Approve 45% 58% 39% 43% 45% 45%

Disapprove 35 26 43 36 38 32

DK/NA 20 17 17 22 16 23



20. Do you think Christine Whitman has been a better Governor than James Florio, a worse governor, or about the same?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Better 50% 82% 25% 51% 55% 46%

Worse 18 7 36 15 16 20

Same 27 8 32 31 26 27

DK/NA 5 3 8 4 3 6



21. If Governor Christine Whitman runs and wins election to the United States Senate in the year 2000, would it bother you that she would not have completed her term as Governor or wouldn't that bother you?
                                                                         
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes/Would bother me 15% 13% 14% 17% 14% 16%

No/Would not bother me 82 83 83 80 84 80

DK/NA 3 3 4 2 2 4