War and Terrorism trump SARS—for now.

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Republican Response
Democratic Response
Tabular Results
Survey Details

April 23, 2003

Voters in a state that went decisively for the president's rival in the 2000 election support the president now by margin of almost 2-1. According to the most recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll, 62% of Garden State voters rate President Bush's job performance as "excellent" or "good." A smaller majority of New Jersey voters are optimistic about the direction of the nation, with 55% saying the country is "on the right track."

"New Jerseyans are likely giving Bush credit for what they perceive as the successful prosecution of the war in Iraq," said Dr. Bruce Larson, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a survey analyst. "But these numbers—not stratospheric to begin with—could well come down as the military conflict in Iraq subsides and voters begin focusing on the sluggish economy."

Four of five New Jersey voters say the recent war in Iraq went better than they expected. And two-thirds—comparable to the number who rate the President's job as good or excellent—say the United States did the right thing in going to war with Iraq.

Voters are more worried about terrorism than they are about the recently reported spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): 40% say they are very or somewhat worried about terrorism while only 29% say they are very or somewhat worried about becoming a SARS victim.

A majority of voters believe the federal and state governments are doing everything they can to prevent terrorist activity. Meanwhile, most voters say they have taken no particular precautions against the event of a terrorist attack.

On most measures, men are significantly more optimistic than women. Men are more likely than women to give the President high marks, to think the country is on the right track, and to say the war in Iraq was the right thing to do. Men are also less worried than women about terrorism and more confident than women that the federal government is doing all it can to prevent attacks. Women are more likely than men to have taken precautions against a terror attack and to say they are worried about another attack and about SARS.

The PublicMind poll of 820 registered voters was conducted from April 12 through April 19 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.

Contacts: Bruce Larson, 973-443-8727; Peter Woolley 973-670-3239

Radio actuality line: (201) 692-2846.

For more information, please call (201) 692-7032.


Copyright © 2003, Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved. FDU PublicMind Poll [Latest update 030423]