March 5, 1998 - New Jersey Voters Want Limits On Abortion, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Voters Back School Choice, More Education Spending
By an 82 - 14 percent margin, New Jersey voters say late-term or "partial birth" abortions should be illegal, except to save the life of the mother, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Five percent are undecided.

Results among men and women are similar. Reporting of these results excludes 16 percent of voters who said they had read or heard nothing about the issue.

Looking at abortion in general, 47 percent of all New Jersey voters say abortion should be generally available, while 35 percent want stricter limits than present and 16 percent say abortion should not be permitted.

By a 67 - 27 percent majority, voters favor a 24-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion.

By a 71 - 24 percent margin, voters support a requirement that parental consent be given before a girl under 18 years of age can have an abortion.

"New Jersey voters approve 42 - 29 percent of the way Gov. Christine Todd Whitman is handling abortion issues, with 29 percent undecided. But they're opposed to the controversial late-term abortion procedure which she supports," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. "Overwhelmingly, voters agree with the State Legislature, which made that procedure illegal.

"On two abortion issues, the 24-hour waiting period and parental consent for abortions for women under 18, legislators and voters are in sync," Carroll added. Voters Back School Choice

While 37 percent of New Jersey voters say parents should send their children to the schools assigned by their local school board, 21 percent say parents should be able to send children to the public school of their choice and 41 percent say parents should receive taxpayer- funded vouchers to send children to any public or private school.

By a 52 - 39 percent margin, voters say the state should spend more money on public schools in poor districts.

A total of 86 percent of voters believe Gov. Whitman can do a lot or something to improve the quality of public schools, and 49 percent of voters believe she will, while 40 percent say she won't.

Voters support 59 - 29 percent, the Governor's proposal to merge some local school districts.

"Most voters -- 62 percent -- support some form of school choice, whether it's a choice of public schools only, or vouchers for public or private schools. But there's no clear majority for any of the three options we offered," Carroll said.

"New Jersey's big percentage of Catholic voters leans a bit more heavily to the private school option than voters in general."

From February 24 - March 2, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,184 New Jersey residents who say they are registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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.

19. Which of these statements comes closest to your view? (A) Abortion should be generally available to those who want it, (B) Abortion should be available, but under stricter limits than it is now, or (C) Abortion should not be permitted.

                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew
(A)Abortion should
be generally
available to those
who want it.              47%     47%     46%     46%     38%     84%


(B)Abortion should be available, but under stricter limits than it is now. 35 33 36 39 37 11

(C)Abortion should not be permitted. 16 16 16 14 22 2

DK/NA 3 4 2 2 3 2



20. Do you favor or oppose a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion before the abortion could take place?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


Favor 67% 65% 68% 69% 71% 53%

Oppose 27 27 27 25 22 45

DK/NA 6 8 5 6 7 1



21. Do you favor or oppose requiring parental consent before a girl under 18 years of age could have an abortion?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


Favor 71% 73% 69% 74% 76% 47%

Oppose 24 20 27 20 18 47

DK/NA 6 7 5 6 5 7



22. How much have you heard or read about an abortion procedure performed in the last months of pregnancy, also known as partial birth abortion? A lot, some, only a little, or nothing at all?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


A lot 35% 36% 34% 35% 35% 35%

Some 30 27 32 27 29 36

Only a little 18 20 17 22 17 17

Nothing at all 16 16 15 15 18 11

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 2 -



23.(If heard or read something) Do you think these late-term abortions should be legal or do you think they should be illegal except when necessary to save the life of the mother?

                                   Heard or read something


Tot Men Wom Prot Cath Jew

Legal 14% 15% 12% 14% 9% 32%

Illegal except to save mother 82 80 83 82 88 60

DK/NA 5 5 4 5 3 8



28. Do you think Christine Whitman will or will not improve the quality of the public schools in her second term as governor?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


Yes/Will 49% 46% 51% 50% 52% 36%

No/Will not 40 44 37 37 39 51

DK/NA 11 10 12 13 9 13



29. How much do you think a governor can do to improve the quality of the public schools in New Jersey? A lot, some, only a little, or nothing at all?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


A lot 50% 46% 53% 44% 51% 51%

Some 36 35 36 39 35 38

Only a little 11 15 8 13 10 9

Nothing at all 2 3 2 2 3 -

DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 2



30. A state supreme court referee has recommended further state spending on public schools in poor districts. Do you think the state should be spending more money on poor school districts or do you think the state is spending enough right now?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


Spending more 52% 47% 56% 55% 44% 58%

Spending enough 39 46 34 36 47 36

DK/NA 8 7 9 9 9 6



31. Now I'm going to read three statements about education. Please tell me which comes closest to your own view. (A) Parents should continue to send their children to the public school assigned by their local school board, (B) Parents should be able to send their children to any public school of their choice, or (C) Parents should receive vouchers, funded by public education money, to send their children to the school of their choice whether public or private.
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew 


(A)Parents should continue to send their children to the public school assigned by their local school board. 37% 38% 35% 37% 34% 52%

(B)Parents should be able to send their children to any public school of their choice. 21 19 22 23 17 23

(C)Parents should receive vouchers, funded by public education money, to send their children to the school of their choice whether public or private. 41 41 41 39 48 23

DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 2



32. Christine Whitman has proposed that the state government encourage the merger, that is the joining together, of some local school districts. Do you think this is a good idea or bad idea?
                                                  
                          Tot     Men     Wom     Prot    Cath    Jew


Good idea 59% 61% 57% 59% 58% 64%

Bad idea 29 29 30 30 30 23

DK/NA 12 10 13 12 11 14