Jobs and property taxes are the top priorities of voters in the fall elections, according to a statewide poll just released by the Stockton Polling Institute.
Nearly one out of four (24 percent) respondents identified jobs as “the most important issue facing New Jersey,” according to a prepared statement from Stockton.
Eighteen percent identified property taxes as the top issue and 11 percent said taxes in general matter the most. Nine percent named the economy.
K-12 education was cited by 7 percent, and education in general was cited by another 6 percent.
The statewide poll was conducted with 812 likely New Jersey voters from Sept. 15-21. Interviewers called both land lines and cell phones. The survey has a margin of error of +/-3.4 percent.
The Stockton Polling Institute is part of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Whether they identify property taxes as the top issue or not, voters feel that property taxes keep going up. Thirty-nine percent of all respondents said property taxes have gone up “a lot” in the past three years, and 41 percent said they have increased “a little.” Only 3 percent said property taxes have gone down, while 12 percent said they have stayed the same over three years (see attached graph).
“Pocketbook issues are on the minds of voters this election,” said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the Hughes Center. “People are concerned about jobs, taxes, and the economy.”
Still, a majority of 60 percent think the state is going in the right direction, while 27 percent believe the state has gotten off on the wrong track. Fourteen percent are unsure.
That assessment is consistent with support by 58 percent for Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election, with 30 percent supporting state Sen. Barbara Buono, his Democratic challenger.
Meanwhile, voters say they are seeing the Jersey Shore start to recover from Superstorm Sandy. More than one in five (22 percent) said Sandy affected their families “a great deal,” while 47 percent said they were affected “a little.” (See second attached graph.)
Respondents in every county of the state were asked to rate the shore’s recovery on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “not at all recovered” and 5 representing “fully recovered.”
Only 6 percent said the shore had not recovered at all, and 17 percent have the next lowest rating of 2. Five percent rated the shore as fully recovered at 5, and 21 percent gave the next highest rating of 4. Forty-six percent rated the recovery at 3, and the statewide average was 3.2.
Interviews were conducted at the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy’s Stockton Polling Institute by live interviewers calling from the Stockton College campus. The poll was conducted with 812 likely voters from Sept. 15-21. Interviewers called both land lines and cell phones.
All prospective respondent households in the state have the same chance of joining the sample because of random selection. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets. Data are weighted based on United States Census Bureau demographics for the New Jersey population.
About the Hughes Center
The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter) at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey.
The Center is named for William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career includes service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton College. The Hughes Center can be found at www.facebook.com/Hughes.Center.Stockton.College and can be followed on Twitter @hughescenter.