Corzine Shakes Off Sales Tax

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Almost two months after New Jersey's budget confrontation over raising the state sales tax, Governor Jon Corzine's approval ratings are not being hurt. According to the most recent survey results from Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, half of New Jersey voters (51%) say they approve of the job Corzine is doing; 31% disapprove and 18% aren't sure—numbers essentially unchanged from July immediately after the budget crisis, and improved from April after he proposed a number of tax hikes.

In addition, 42% say Corzine is doing a “good” or “excellent” job -- essentially unchanged from his July numbers -- and 48% say they have a favorable impression of him, against just 32% who say their impression is unfavorable, also little changed from July.

As for the hubbub over the sales tax, 57% say the increased sales tax so far has made little or no difference to them personally, while 28% say it has made some difference, and only 14% say it has made a great difference.  However, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say it has made a “great deal” of difference to them personally, and conservatives are more likely than either moderates or liberals to say it has made a “great deal” of difference.

“The dust has settled and there is no indication--at the moment--of a sales tax revolt,” said Peter J. Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “Corzine doesn't seem to have hurt himself in the short run with the budget confrontation or the sales tax,” added Woolley. “And there is no evidence in the  survey that the governor has hurt Bob Menendez in his race for Senate.”

Still, despite the governor's favorable ratings, only a third of New Jersey voters (34%) say the state is headed in the right direction and half (50%) say the state is “on the wrong track.”

Voters in households tied into the state pension system approve of Corzine's job performance by a margin of 59-26 percent, a more convincing margin than approval from other households which split 49-32. Yet households of public employees are not more likely than other households to say the state is headed in the right direction.

Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind poll of 651 registered voters was conducted from August 21 through August 27 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points


Contacts: Peter Woolley 973.670.3239; Dan Cassino 973.896.7072

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

Copyright © 2006, Fairleigh Dickinson University. All rights reserved. FDU PublicMind Poll [Latest update 060831]