Voters like the tunnel kill but don’t dig an Atlantic City state takeover.
By 53 – 37%, New Jersey voters support Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to cancel the ARC tunnel and say 90-6% that New York should share in the financing if feds dredge the project, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
|The poll says 11% of New Jersey voters commute to New York City for work and even that group is split with 50% backing Christie and 47% for the tunnel. Republicans support the governor on the issue 76-15%, and 55-38 among independents. Democrats oppose, 56-31%.
|Urban voters oppose Christie’s tunnel-blocking move 52 – 42 percent while support for Christie’s move runs from 49 – 44 percent among suburban voters to 63 – 28 percent among seashore voters.|
|“New Jersey to New York: Show us the money. Garden State voters say if they bring that Hudson River tunnel project back to life, New York will have to put some money on the table,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.|
|“For now, most New Jersey voters agree with Gov. Christopher Christie that a new NJ Transit rail tunnel under the Hudson River is just too expensive.|
|“Even New Jerseyans who work in New York City aren’t feeling the tunnel love. Urban voters, mostly in northern New Jersey and dealing with more traffic, like the tunnel idea a lot more than voters in the rest of the state.”|
|New Jersey voters are almost evenly split, with 46 percent saying the state should spend more money on streets and highways rather than mass transit and 45 percent backing more money for transit over highways. Highways win over trains and buses 52 – 36 percent among Republicans and 48 – 44 percent among independent voters, while Democrats favor mass transit spending 55 – 37 percent.|
|New York City commuters back mass transit spending over highways 63 – 29 percent. The biggest support for road spending is 55 – 33 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs.|
|By a larger 63 – 35 percent margin, New Jersey voters oppose raising the gasoline tax to help finance road improvements and mass transit. No political or regional group supports raising the gasoline tax.|
|“New Jersey voters are divided on whether to put the spending priority on better roads or better rails,” Carroll said.|
|“But voters say don’t even think about raising the gas tax. Politicians in Trenton call the gas tax the third rail of New Jersey politics. Touch it at your peril.”|
|On the AC issue, “We like the idea of restoring the romantic, enchantic Shore resort. Beaches and boardwalks are nice, so New Jerseyans support the state getting involved in bringing back the good old days,” Carroll said. “Maybe voters feel casinos are not so nice, so the state should not get too close.”|
|From November 3 – 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,362 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.|
|Christie’s proposal to have the state take over the Atlantic City Casino District is a “bad idea,” voters say 46 – 38 percent.|
|But voters say 71 – 23 percent that the state should try to revive Atlantic City as a beach and boardwalk resort.|