Stem cell grants are on New Jersey’s November ballot: toll increases are not, but voters are paying attention to both. According to the latest survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, likely voters give the edge to funding for stem cell research by 5 to 4 (47%-38%) but the issue divides voters along several lines.
Men split evenly on the issue (43%-45%) while women approve of the funding by a wide margin (51%-31%). Liberals strongly approve (68%-16%) and conservatives definitely disapprove (57%-32%), while moderates give the edge in favor (47%-37%). Democrats favor the question by a margin of 2 to 1 (59%-27%), while Republicans oppose it (53%-33%). Those who approve of the president disapprove of the bond issue by 2 to 1 (56%-27%), while those who disapprove of the president favor the stem cell bond issue by an equally strong margin (55%-31%).
Half of likely voters say that they have heard “some” or even “a great deal” about the ballot question asking whether the state should issue $450 million in bonds to fund stem cell research in New Jersey. Only one in four (25%) say they’ve heard “nothing at all” about the question and one in four say they’ve heard “just a little.”
“Ballot questions are typically decided by a fraction of the electorate,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “Fewer voters than usual come out to an off-year election like this one, and many of them will simply forget, or ignore, the ballot questions after they vote for their local candidates.”
A question not on the ballot this year is what to do about the NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, and other roads and bridges needing costly repairs but lacking more revenue. A majority of voters (57%) say they’ve heard “some” or even “a great deal” about proposals to increase tolls on the Turnpike and Parkway. Only one in five (21%) say they’ve heard nothing at all about it.
Half of voters (52%) oppose toll increases “to provide new funds to repair bridges and roads and to widen the Turnpike” while 39% say they support them. Democrats split on the question (44%-45%) while a majority of Republicans (56%) oppose the increase.
“Voters like to know how their money is spent,” said Woolley. “Voters often prefer dedicated revenue over general revenue because the dedicated revenues seem to have more accountability. If voters’ opposition to toll increases is not as strong as their opposition to tax increases, it’s because they see a direct connection between the toll and road repair.”
Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll of 701 likely voters statewide was conducted from October 22 through October 28 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
Contact: Peter Woolley 973.670.3239 Dan Cassino 973.896.7072
For more information, please call (973) 443-8661.