April 26, 2006 - NJ Budget Problems End Corzine's Honeymoon, Quinnipiac University New Jersey Poll Finds; Raise State Taxes, Not Local Taxes, Voters Say 3 - 1
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s approval rating has plunged to a negative 35 – 42 percent, including a negative 31 – 46 percent approval for the way he is handling the state budget, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This latest negative score compares to a 43 - 21 percent overall approval by New Jersey voters, with 36 percent undecided, in a March 16 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Democrats approve of Gov. Corzine 53 – 22 percent, while Republicans approve 21 – 60 percent and independent voters approve 32 – 46 percent.

But 87 percent of voters say Corzine inherited the state’s budget problems.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 41 percent of New Jersey voters list taxes as the most important problem in the state, followed by politicians/corruption at 8 percent, and the state budget, education and the economy at 7 percent each.

When asked specifically about the state’s budget problems 91 percent say they are “very serious” or “somewhat serious.”

“Nothing kills a political honeymoon faster than the word taxes. As soon as Gov. Corzine proposed a hike in the state sales tax, his negatives skyrocketed from 14 percent in late January to 42 percent now, ” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Except in the cities his approval rating is in negative territory statewide.”

By a 65 – 19 percent margin, New Jersey voters say increase state taxes rather than local property taxes. Support is consistent among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

A total of 36 percent of New Jersey voters describe the state’s economy as “excellent” or “good,” with 61 percent who say the economy is “not so good” or “poor.”
In other tax and budget issues:
  • Voters say 60 – 33 percent that hiking the state sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent is not needed to balance the budget;
  • Voters support 54 – 39 percent a 10 percent increase in the property tax rebate;
  • 50 percent say state aid to local school districts should be kept the same, while 36 percent say it should be increased and 9 percent say it should be decreased.



“Even though nearly all the voters agree that Corzine inherited the state's budget problem, 60 percent say the sales tax hike is not necessary and less than a third approve of the new governor's handling of the budget,” Richards said. “At the same time, voters take the seemingly contradictory position of backing a hike in state taxes to avoid the almost inevitable property tax hike that would occur as a result of Corzine holding the line on aid to public schools and local governments.”
                                Stem Cell Research

New Jersey voters support stem cell research 73 – 15 percent, with Republican support at 61 – 27 percent. By a 53 – 37 percent margin, voters support legislation to spend up to $250 million on stem cell research in New Jersey.

Voters are divided 47 – 46 percent in their support for legislation allowing drug users to get clean needles as a way to combat the spread of HIV and other diseases.

From April 18 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,414 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 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.

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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 35% 21% 53% 32% 39% 32% Disapprove 42 60 22 46 40 43 DK/NA 23 18 26 23 21 25

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 41% 34% 31% 35% 35% Disapprove 30 43 44 43 46 DK/NA 29 23 25 22 19

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

                        Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26
                        2006    2006    2006


Approve 35 43 38 Disapprove 42 21 14 DK/NA 23 36 48



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

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 26% 23% 35% 20% 27% 25% Disapprove 55 65 41 60 58 52 DK/NA 20 12 23 20 15 24

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 27% 24% 25% 25% 28% Disapprove 48 56 59 55 53 DK/NA 25 19 16 20 18

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

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Jun 15  Apr 28  Jan 26  Apr 26
                        2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2006


Approve 26 35 34 31 35 44 26 Disapprove 55 41 47 49 43 31 55 DK/NA 20 24 18 19 22 25 20



11. 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% 2% 4% 3% 4% 2% Smwht satisfied 33 25 47 26 32 33 Smwht dissatisfied 31 29 26 34 27 34 Very dissatisfied 33 44 22 35 36 30 DK/NA 1 - 1 1 1 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very satisfied 4% 3% - 4% 5% Smwht satisfied 44 32 36 31 26 Smwht dissatisfied 26 32 32 33 30 Very dissatisfied 27 33 32 32 38 DK/NA - 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?

                        Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Aug 10  Jun 15  Apr 28  Mar 17
                        2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2005    2005


Very satisfied 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 Smwht satisfied 33 44 39 41 38 39 39 Smwht dissatisfied 31 31 33 30 33 34 31 Very dissatisfied 33 20 23 23 25 23 27 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 1 1



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

                        Tot


Taxes Total 41% Taxes general 20 Property tax 21

Politicians Total 8% Politicians/Campaigns general 1 Political corruption 6 Governor/State leaders 1

Budget Total 7% Budget general 3 Budget deficits 2 Gov too big/Gov spending 1 Budget priorities 1

Economy Total 7% Economy general 2 Unemployment/jobs 2 Cost of living 3

Education Total 7% Education general 4 Funding education 3

Gas prices 3%

Auto insurance 2% Environment/Pollution 2% Healthcare/Costs/Ins/ HMO's 2%

Children's issues 1 Crime/Violence general 1 Immigration 1 Housing Costs/ Availability 1 Open space/Urban sprawl/ Overdevelopment 1 Overcrowding/Over population 1

Other 5 DK/NA 5



13. Do you support or oppose stem cell research?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 73% 61% 79% 78% 76% 71% Oppose 15 27 10 11 15 15 DK/NA 12 12 11 11 9 14

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 69% 74% 75% 70% 76% Oppose 13 16 14 19 14 DK/NA 18 11 10 11 10

TREND: Do you support or oppose stem cell research?

                        Apr 26  Jan 27
                        2006    2005


Support 73 68 Oppose 15 20 DK/NA 12 12



14. Do you support or oppose legislation to spend up to $250 million on stem cell research in New Jersey?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 53% 42% 60% 56% 57% 51% Oppose 37 51 30 32 35 38 DK/NA 10 7 10 11 8 12

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 54% 53% 55% 54% 52% Oppose 35 38 31 38 38 DK/NA 11 9 13 8 9



15. Proposed legislation would allow intravenous drug users to exchange used needles for clean needles. Backers say it will decrease the spread of disease, especially HIV infection, while opponents say it would encourage drug use. Do you support or oppose this needle exchange program?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 47% 34% 50% 53% 48% 45% Oppose 46 60 40 40 47 45 DK/NA 8 6 10 7 5 10

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 44% 51% 45% 42% 47% Oppose 45 42 46 51 49 DK/NA 11 7 9 8 4



16. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 31% 18% 44% 31% 36% 27% Disapprove 46 66 31 44 44 47 DK/NA 23 16 25 26 20 26

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 34% 32% 31% 30% 30% Disapprove 39 45 47 46 52 DK/NA 27 23 22 24 18

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?

                        Apr 26  Mar 16
                        2006    2006


Approve 31 32 Disapprove 46 24 DK/NA 23 44



17. 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 2% 1% 4% 3% 4% 1% Good 34 35 35 31 36 31 Not so good 39 38 39 41 36 42 Poor 22 24 17 24 22 22 DK/NA 3 2 5 3 2 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Excellent 2% 2% 1% 3% 4% Good 35 33 45 25 33 Not so good 38 41 30 48 36 Poor 21 19 24 21 26 DK/NA 5 5 - 2 2

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

                        Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Aug 4   Jun 22  Mar 9   Apr 2
                        2006    2006    2006    2004    2004    2004    2003


Excellent 2 3 3 1 2 2 2 Good 34 47 46 51 51 42 37 Not so good 39 35 36 37 36 42 47 Poor 22 13 14 10 9 12 12 DK/NA 3 3 1 1 2 2 3



18. 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 56% 60% 49% 59% 56% 56% Smwht serious 35 34 39 32 36 34 Not too serious 5 4 6 5 5 5 Not at all serious 1 1 - - 1 1 DK/NA 3 1 5 3 3 3 Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Very serious 54% 53% 57% 60% 59% Smwht serious 37 37 39 32 30 Not too serious 3 5 3 5 9 Not at all serious - 1 1 1 - DK/NA 6 4 1 3 2

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

                        Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 12  Apr 2   Dec 11
                        2006    2006    2006    2003    2003    2002


Very serious 56 53 54 45 38 35 Somewhat serious 35 38 38 42 49 51 Not too serious 5 5 5 8 7 10 Not at all serious 1 1 - 1 1 1 DK/NA 3 3 2 4 5 3



19. Do you blame Governor Corzine for New Jersey's budget problems or do you think he inherited the budget problems when he came into office?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Blame Corzine 5% 7% 3% 7% 3% 7% Inherited problems 87 87 90 86 89 85 DK/NA 8 7 7 8 7 8

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Blame Corzine 2% 7% 4% 3% 7% Inherited problems 85 87 94 83 88 DK/NA 13 6 2 14 5



20. To balance the state budget, Governor Corzine has proposed raising the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent. Do you think this increase in the state sales tax is necessary to balance the budget or not?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 33% 25% 40% 34% 35% 32% No 60 70 54 58 60 60 DK/NA 7 5 6 8 6 7

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Yes 34% 36% 38% 28% 29% No 59 58 51 66 65 DK/NA 7 6 10 7 6

21. Governor Corzine has proposed increasing property tax rebates in New Jersey by 10 percent to an average of $385 per home. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 54% 49% 62% 53% 54% 54% Oppose 39 45 33 38 39 38 DK/NA 7 6 5 8 7 7

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Support 54% 54% 54% 59% 50% Oppose 40 39 40 33 41 DK/NA 6 7 6 7 9



22. To balance the state budget, Governor Corzine proposes no increases in either state aid to local governments or in state aid to school districts. Do you think state aid to local governments and school districts should be increased, decreased, or kept about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Increased 36% 31% 46% 31% 32% 40% Decreased 9 11 5 11 12 6 Kept the same 50 54 43 53 50 50 DK/NA 5 4 6 5 7 5

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Increased 46% 37% 31% 34% 33% Decreased 11 7 7 11 9 Kept the same 36 51 57 49 54 DK/NA 8 5 5 6 4



23. To balance the state budget, Governor Corzine proposes no increases in either state aid to local governments or in state aid to school districts. This could result in higher local property taxes to pay for increased costs for local schools and local government.

If you had to choose, would you prefer increasing local property taxes or increasing state taxes?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Property taxes 19% 18% 19% 19% 21% 17% State taxes 65 70 67 63 61 68 DK/NA 16 12 14 18 17 14

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Property taxes 21% 19% 20% 16% 20% State taxes 65 66 67 60 67 DK/NA 13 15 13 24 14