Poll: New Jerseyans not so sure about storm recovery

NEW BRUNSWICK – New Jersey residents are somewhat less positive than Gov. Chris Christie about the state’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Wednesday.

During Memorial Day weekend, Christie graded “conditions on the boardwalk” at the Jersey Shore 8 of 10. Residents, however, say shore recovery stands at 6.4 out of 10, somewhat lower than the 7.0 average they give the rest of the state, the poll found. 

The state’s “stronger than the storm” ad campaign to promote the shore’s recovery has been seen by more than 7 in 10 residents, but it only somewhat influences perceptions about conditions at the shore, according to the poll.

Still, spending the Memorial Day weekend at the beach improved ratings slightly. The 15 percent who went to  the shore give higher average ratings (6.6) than those who did not (6.3) and are 10 points more likely to rate recovery at 7.0 or above.

“New Jerseyans overall lean toward the optimistic end of the scale on Sandy recovery,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University, in a release.

“And those who visited the shore during Memorial Day weekend appear to have had this positive perception reinforced, despite the bad weather during part of the weekend.”

Results are from a poll of 888 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from June 3-9 with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. 

Obama’s visit

While nearly two-thirds of residents says that the president’s visit to the shore last month brought valuable attention to the region, Democrats are almost twice as likely as Republicans to believe this – 80 percent, compared to 42 percent; 61 percent of independents agree.

Fifty-seven percent of Republicans say that the visit did not make much of a difference, versus 35 percent of independents and only 19 percent of Democrats, the poll found.

Seventy-five percent say that the political relationship between Christie and President Obama shows needed cooperation and bipartisanship, compared to only 12 percent who say that Christie has gone too far in his praise of and partnership with the president. More than 70 percent of Democrats, independents and Republicans agree, according to the poll.

Forty-six percent believe the governor’s bipartisan relationship with the president will help his chances if he chooses to run for president in 2016; only 10 percent say it will hurt, while 44 percent say it will make no difference or are unsure.

Democrats, at 50 percent, are eight points more positive than Republicans on the benefit of the relationship. Almost half (45 percent) of independents find it beneficial.

Poll: New Jerseyans not so sure about storm recovery