New Jersey Poll on Congress and Energy

Our friends at Monmouth University Polling Institute have released two more subsets of the latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Press Media Poll: One on federal officials and one on energy.

The approval-disapproval numbers for the sample of 801 New Jersey adults:

Obama 52-42

Lautenberg 45-31

Menendez 37-31

Own Congressman 54-28

We all know most Representatives are re-elected, but somehow I’m still surprised.  66% of the sample is “dissatisfied with the way things are currently going in Washington,” yet they like their own Congressman. Perhaps there is something to be said for the way district boundaries are drawn? In any case, this suggests to me that the NJ3 race is the only one to be competitive.  Most New Jersey adults (51%) think it doesn’t make any difference who controls Congress, with the parties splitting the remainder equally. That’s the disillusionment that the Republicans sought with their “Party of No” strategy in the Senate thanks to the super-majority rules.  

A comment on Bob Menendez: He just isn’t as well known. Not only his overall disapprove, but the subgroups of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans have virtually identical “disapproval ratings” as Lautenberg does.  His missing approval numbers are in the volunteered “Don’t Know” category, at least in this poll, and at the end of the 2012 those voters who like the very same acts by Obama and Lautenberg will vote for Menendez. You may recall that other pollsters recently found Menendez at a net  plus 7 (50-43, Rasmussen) and minus 5 (38-43, Quinnipiac.) But look at how pollsters can differ: Rasmussen’s automated poll of “likely voters,” which (I think) pushes voters for a second choice, has only 7% “don’t know” but Monmouth’s poll of adults, with presumably no pushing from the human operators, has 32%. Lots of people don’t vote! The pollster also has numbers showing there’s not much support for the recall effort.  

The headline for the energy poll was the offshore oil drilling:

Just 31% of Garden State residents are in favor of drilling for oil or gas off the New Jersey coast, while 63% are opposed. This marks a turnaround from two years ago, when a majority of 56% favored this energy option compared to only 36% who opposed it.

By comparison, support for both wind and nuclear energy remains basically unchanged. Fully 8-in-10 residents support the placement of energy-generating windmills off the New Jersey coast (80% today, compared to 82% in 2008) and just under 4-in-10 support building another nuclear power plant in the state (37% today, compared to 41% in 2008).

Pollster Patrick Murray observes that the coastal counties give the same numbers as the inland ones.

As for this Salem County resident, I think the interesting number is that 58% statewide oppose a new nuclear power plant.  

When asked “which of the following do you think should be the more important priority for U.S. energy policy – keeping energy prices low or protecting the environment?”, 28% go for low prices and 55% for the environment. 15% volunteer “both” despite not being given it as a choice.  New Jersey is not Sarah Palin country.

Comments (3)

  1. Jason Springer

    You wonder how Runyan supporting drilling will impact that race given these opinions.

  2. mimsong

    … love locally.  Pollsters have seen this effect in many domains: “American teachers are terrible, except my kid’s teacher”; “Crime is rising, but my town is safer than it was.”  Some attribute it to the way people try to explain all the bad news they see on the teevee when things are going sort of okay for them.


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