October 22, 1997 - McGreevey Trails Whitman By 8 Points, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Challenger Widens Lead On Auto Insurance
New Jersey registered voters give Gov. Christine Todd Whitman a 45 - 37 percent lead over Democratic challenger James McGreevey, with 8 percent supporting Libertarian party candidate Murray Sabrin, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today. Among likely voters, Whitman leads 47 - 39 percent, with 7 percent for Sabrin.

In a September 16 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College, Whitman led 49 - 37 percent, with Sabrin not included. In today's poll, without Sabrin, she leads 47 - 38 percent.

Gov. Whitman's approval stands at 53 - 43 percent, similar to results in September 16, July 29, June 24 and April 10 polls, but down from 62 - 32 percent in a February poll.

By a 50 - 27 percent margin, New Jersey voters say McGreevey would do a better job than Whitman on the issue of auto insurance, up from 42 - 33 percent in the September poll.

"There's no question the race has tightened since Quinnipiac College last looked. There's a trend toward McGreevey. But so far, our numbers measure a narrow lead for Gov. Whitman, not a too-close-to-call standoff," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac College Polling Institute. "No doubt Sabrin is going to attract some votes, even though hardly anyone knows about him. But his political impact looks like a wash: He draws votes from both major party candidates."

Whitman's favorability is 40 - 29 percent, with 28 percent mixed and 2 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion. In September, her favorability was 44 - 28 percent.

McGreevey's favorability is 21 - 18 percent, with 24 percent mixed and 37 percent who haven't heard enough to form an opinion, an improvement from September when 56 percent did not know enough to form an opinion.

Sabrin gets at 6 - 4 percent favorability, with 4 percent mixed and 85 percent with no opinion.

"The increased attention in the news, and the proliferation of TV ads have erased some of the anonymity that plagued McGreevey at the start. But he's still an unknown quantity to a sizable segment of New Jersey voters," Carroll said.

Twenty-four percent of New Jersey voters say auto insurance is the single most important issue in deciding how they will vote, while 13 percent list local property taxes, followed by 10 percent listing education. Another nine percent list "taxes" while 3 percent list the state income tax.

A total of 61 percent of New Jersey voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with life in New Jersey, while 38 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." Forty-one percent say life has gotten better in New Jersey since Whitman became governor, while 20 percent say it got worse and 37 percent say it has stayed the same.

Looking at the Governor's character: by 75 - 22 percent voters say she gets things done; by 71 - 23 percent they say she has a likable personality; by 79 - 18 percent they say she has strong leadership qualities, by 61 - 29 percent, they say she's honest and trustworthy.

McGreevey's character ratings are positive, but plagued by "undecided."

"Beyond the matchups, the Quinnipiac College numbers look good for Whitman: New Jerseyans are satisfied with the state of the Garden State, and they think it's gotten better since Whitman moved into the Statehouse," Carroll said.

From October 14 - 20 Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,120 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.

Additional data available.

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

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Approve 53% 80% 27% 49% 61% 46% 55%

Disapprove 43 17 69 47 36 50 41

DK/NA 4 3 4 4 3 4 3



1A. Is that strongly or somewhat?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Approve strongly 21% 44% 4% 16% 27% 16% 22%

Approve smwht 32 36 23 33 34 30 34

Disapprove smwht 18 8 26 21 14 22 17

Disapprove strongly 25 9 43 26 22 28 24

DK/NA 4 3 4 4 3 4 3



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

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Approve 51% 40% 61% 55% 49% 53% 53%

Disapprove 26 36 16 25 33 20 26

DK/NA 23 23 23 20 19 27 22



2a. Is that strongly or somewhat?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Approve strongly 15% 9% 27% 13% 13% 17% 16%

Approve smwht 36 31 35 42 36 36 36

Disapprove smwht 14 17 12 13 15 12 13

Disapprove strongly 13 19 5 12 18 8 12

DK/NA 23 23 23 20 19 27 22



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

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Approve 44% 34% 57% 44% 41% 47% 43%

Disapprove 28 41 14 27 34 22 25

DK/NA 28 25 29 29 26 31 32



3a. Is that strongly or somewhat?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997
 
Approve strongly          12%      6%     19%     12%     11%     12%     11%


Approve smwht 32 28 37 32 30 35 31

Disapprove smwht 13 16 8 13 14 12 10

Disapprove strongly 14 25 6 14 20 9 15

DK/NA 28 25 29 29 26 31 32



4. How much attention have you been paying to the campaign for Governor? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


A lot 24% 24% 27% 24% 25% 23% 17%

Some 45 48 40 47 47 43 45

Only a little 24 22 26 23 21 27 27

None at all 6 7 7 6 6 7 10

DK/NA - - - - - - -



5. Is your opinion of State Senator James McGreevey favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Favorable 21% 9% 41% 17% 19% 23% 17%

Unfavorable 18 32 4 15 23 13 10

Mixed 24 20 22 29 21 26 16

Haven't heard enough 37 39 33 38 36 38 56

REFUSED 1 1 - - 1 - -



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

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997
 
Favorable                 40%     69%     14%     36%     48%     32%     44%


Unfavorable 29 10 50 29 25 33 28

Mixed 28 19 34 32 25 32 25

Haven't heard enough 2 2 2 2 1 3 3

REFUSED - - - - - 1 -



7. If the 1997 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Christine Whitman the Republican, and James McGreevey the Democrat, for whom would you vote?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman/Republican 47% 81% 15% 44% 56% 39% 49%

McGreevey/Democrat 38 11 71 39 31 45 37

SOMEONE ELSE 3 3 2 4 3 3 4

WOULDN'T VOTE 3 1 2 3 2 3 3

DK/NA 8 4 10 9 6 10 7



9. If the 1997 election for Governor were being held today and the candidates were Christine Whitman the Republican, James McGreevey the Democrat, and Murray Sabrin the Libertarian Party candidate, for whom would you vote?

                                                                        Likely
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom   Voters


Whitman/Republican 45% 78% 15% 41% 53% 38% 47%

McGreevey/Democrat 37 10 70 36 31 42 39

Sabrin/Libertarian 8 7 4 11 8 8 7

SOMEONE ELSE 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

WOULDN'T VOTE 2 * 2 2 1 2 -

DK/NA 7 4 9 8 6 8 6



10. There are seven other people on the ballot in New Jersey this year. Madelyn Hoffman for the Green Party, Robert Miller for the Socialist Workers Party, Lincoln Norton for the Natural Law Party, Gregory Pason for the Socialist Party USA, Michael Perrone an Independent-Progressive, Richard Pezzullo for the NJ Conservative Party, and Nuncie Ripa an Independent. If the election were being held today, would you vote for Christine Whitman the Republican, James McGreevey the Democrat, Murray Sabrin the Libertarian Party candidate, or one of the other people on the ballot this year? IF "OTHER" ASK: Which one?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     
Whitman/Rep.              46%     79%     14%     41%     53%     38%
McGreevey/Dem.            36      10      69      36      29      42
Sabrin/Lib.                5       5       2       7       5       5
Madelyn Hoffman/
 Green                     1       -       -       2       1       1
Robert Miller/
 Socialist Workers         -       -       -       -       -       -
Lincoln Norton/
 Natural Law               -       -       -       -       -       -
Gregory Pason/
 Socialist                 -       -       -       -       1       -
Michael Perrone/Ind.
 -Progressive              1       1       1       -       -       1
Richard Pezzullo/NJ
 Conservative              1       2       1       1       1       1
Nuncie Ripa/
 Independent               1       -       -       1       1       1
SOMEONE ELSE               2       -       2       2       1       2
WOULDN'T VOTE              1       -       1       2       1       1
DK/NA                      7       3       9       7       7       7




10A. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?

                        Whitman   McGreevey
                          Voter   Voter
Yes made up               71%     64%


No might change 29 35

DK/NA - 1



11. Would you describe your support for Christine Whitman/James McGreevey as strongly favoring her/him, or do you like her/him but with reservations, or do you support her/him because you dislike James McGreevey/Christine Whitman?

                          Whitman McGreevey
                          Voter   Voter
Strongly favor            46%     18%


Like with reservations 48 38

Dislike McGreevey/ 4 41 Whitman

DK/NA 2 3



13. What issues matter most in deciding how you will vote for Governor? (Column percentages add up to more than 100% since up to 3 responses were accepted)

                          Tot	    Rep     Dem     Ind    Male   Female
 
Abortion                   3%      4%      2%      2%      1%      5%


Auto Insurance 55 48 59 56 52 57

Budget/Pension Fund Bond 6 5 5 8 7 5

Crime/Drugs 6 7 6 5 7 4

Economy/Jobs 8 10 9 8 12 5

Education 20 18 25 19 11 29

Elderly/Senior Citizens 1 - 1 1 1 1

Environment 7 6 5 8 6 7

Health/Medical Insurance 2 2 3 2 1 3

Welfare 3 2 3 2 2 3

Taxes - general 17 21 15 15 18 16

State income tax 9 14 6 9 12 6

Local property tax 32 30 33 35 31 33

Party preference 2 3 3 - 2 2

Record in office/ Achievements/ Policies 8 8 5 8 8 7

Like/Dislike candidate 3 5 2 2 3 3

Honesty/Integrity/ Ethics 3 3 2 4 3 3

Other 10 9 9 11 12 9

DK/NA 8 7 9 8 8 8



14. Among those that you've mentioned, what single issue matters most in deciding how you will vote for Governor?

                          Tot    Rep     Dem     Ind    Male   Female


Abortion 1% 2% 1% 1% - 2%

Auto Insurance 24 20 27 25 24 24

Budget/Pension Fund Bond 3 2 3 3 3 2

Crime/Drugs 2 3 2 2 3 1

Economy/Jobs 4 5 5 4 6 3

Education 10 9 14 9 5 15

Elderly/Senior Citizens - 1 - - - 1

Environment 2 1 2 2 2 2

Health/Medical Insurance - 1 - - - -

Welfare 1 1 1 1 - 1

Taxes - general 9 10 5 10 10 8

State income tax 3 5 2 3 5 2

Local property tax 13 12 14 14 13 13

Party preference 1 3 1 - 1 2

Record in office/ Achievements/ Policies 3 4 2 4 3 4

Like/Dislike candidate 1 3 1 1 2 1

Honesty/Integrity/ Ethics 2 4 1 3 4 1

Other 5 3 6 6 5 5

DK/NA 13 13 12 11 12 13



15. 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?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Very satisfied 8 14 4 5 11 5 9%

Smwht satisfied 53 62 41 54 55 51 48

Smwht dissatisfied 26 18 34 29 24 29 27

Very dissatisfied 12 5 21 12 10 14 15

DK/NA 1 - 1 - - 1 -



16. Since Christine Whitman became Governor in January 1994, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Better 41% 66% 19% 37% 50% 32% 42%

Worse 20 6 40 20 16 24 19

About the same 37 27 39 42 32 41 37

DK/NA 2 1 3 2 1 3 2



17. Is your opinion of college professor Murray Sabrin favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Favorable 6% 7% 5% 7% 8% 4%

Unfavorable 4 3 5 3 4 3

Mixed 4 3 5 5 4 5

Haven't heard enough 85 87 85 85 83 88

REFUSED - - - - - -





18. I'm going to read off some personal characteristics and qualities. As I read each one, tell me if you think it applies to Christine Whitman or not? Would you say that Christine Whitman can get things done or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 75% 91% 57% 74% 79% 71% 82%

No 22 7 39 22 18 25 15

DK/NA 4 2 4 4 3 4 3



19. Would you say that Christine Whitman has a likable personality or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 71% 87% 55% 71% 75% 68% 74%

No 23 9 36 22 20 25 21

DK/NA 6 4 8 7 5 7 5



20. Would you say that Christine Whitman has strong leadership qualities or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 79% 92% 66% 78% 80% 78% 82%

No 18 6 31 18 17 18 15

DK/NA 3 2 3 3 3 3 3



21. Would you say that Christine Whitman is honest and trustworthy or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 61% 81% 47% 56% 64% 58% 66%

No 29 14 41 33 28 31 25

DK/NA 10 5 12 12 8 12 9



22. Would you say that Christine Whitman is sympathetic to the problems of the poor or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 35% 52% 19% 33% 40% 30% 42%

No 51 31 70 55 46 56 50

DK/NA 14 17 12 13 14 14 9



23. Would you say that Christine Whitman works well with other political leaders or not?

                                                                        Apr 10
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Yes 74% 86% 63% 73% 75% 72% 75%

No 15 7 24 15 14 15 13

DK/NA 12 7 13 12 10 13 12



24. I'm going to read off some personal characteristics and qualities. As I read each one, tell me if you think it applies to James McGreevey or not? Would you say that James McGreevey can get things done or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes 40% 25% 59% 41% 38% 42%

No 17 30 6 15 22 13

DK/NA 43 45 35 44 40 45



25. Would you say that James McGreevey has a likable personality or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     
  
Yes                       54%     42%     70%     56%     54%     54%


No 17 25 7 17 19 14

DK/NA 29 33 23 28 27 31



26. Would you say that James McGreevey has strong leadership qualities or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes 45% 30% 60% 47% 42% 47%

No 20 34 7 19 24 16

DK/NA 35 36 33 34 33 37



27. Would you say that James McGreevey is honest and trustworthy or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes 42% 33% 58% 42% 42% 41%

No 20 30 11 20 24 17

DK/NA 38 38 31 39 34 41



28. Would you say that James McGreevey is sympathetic to the problems of the poor or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes 50% 46% 62% 48% 50% 49%

No 14 18 6 15 16 12

DK/NA 36 36 32 37 34 39



29. Would you say that James McGreevey works well with other political leaders or not?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Yes 43% 34% 53% 46% 42% 44%

No 11 17 6 9 14 9

DK/NA 46 49 41 44 44 47



30. Who do you think would do a better job handling auto insurance, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman 27% 53% 9% 20% 34% 20% 33%

McGreevey 50 26 75 54 45 55 42

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 11 12 6 14 13 10 13

DK/NA 11 9 10 12 7 15 12



31. Who do you think would do a better job handling education, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman 46% 72% 22% 43% 55% 38% 49%

McGreevey 36 14 63 36 31 41 31

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 6 4 4 8 7 5 5

DK/NA 11 9 11 13 7 16 14



32. Who do you think would do a better job handling taxes, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman 44% 72% 19% 39% 54% 34% 48%

McGreevey 38 14 65 41 32 44 36

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 7 7 4 7 6 8 6

DK/NA 11 8 11 13 8 14 11



33. Who do you think would do a better job handling crime, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman 54% 79% 29% 51% 63% 46% 50%

McGreevey 24 9 46 22 20 27 25

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 8 4 5 10 8 7 8

DK/NA 15 7 19 17 10 20 17



34. Who do you think would do a better job handling the economy and jobs, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?
                                                                       
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Whitman 55% 84% 28% 52% 65% 45%

McGreevey 30 9 54 31 24 36

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 5 2 5 6 4 6

DK/NA 10 6 12 11 7 13



35. Who do you think would do a better job handling the environment, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?

                                                                        Sep 16
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     1997


Whitman 44% 63% 26% 40% 49% 40% 44%

McGreevey 35 20 53 36 33 37 34

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 7 7 4 8 9 5 6

DK/NA 14 9 17 15 10 18 16



36. Who do you think would do a better job handling welfare, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?
                                                                        
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Whitman 42% 67% 19% 38% 47% 36%

McGreevey 39 20 62 39 35 43

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 5 3 3 8 6 4

DK/NA 14 9 16 15 12 17



37. Who do you think would do a better job handling poverty and homlessness, Christine Whitman or James McGreevey?
                                                                       
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Whitman 29% 50% 10% 27% 34% 25%

McGreevey 48 29 72 49 45 50

SAME/NO DIFFERENCE (VOL) 7 9 3 7 9 6

DK/NA 15 11 14 17 12 19



54. Which statement comes closest to your point of view?
                                                                       
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     
I'd rather pay
higher taxes and
support a larger
government that
provides more
services                  27%     16%     45%     26%     20%     34%


I'd rather pay lower taxes and have a smaller government that provides fewer services. 64 78 46 65 73 56

DK/NA 9 6 10 9 7 10



56. How serious a problem do you think sexual harassment is in the country today? A very serious problem, somewhat serious, not very serious, or not a problem at all?
                                                                       
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     


Very serious 25% 18% 32% 26% 21% 29%

Smwht serious 47 46 47 47 44 50

Not very serious 22 27 15 22 28 16

Not a problem at all 4 6 3 3 5 3

DK/NA 2 3 3 2 2 3