NEW BRUNSWICK – New Jersey may be – as the ad says – “Stronger than the Storm.”
According to a new poll, that ad campaign is also stronger than the criticism leveled at it.
A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll issued Wednesday says that 54 percent of registered voters side with Gov. Chris Christie’s involvement in the ad campaign, which his gubernatorial opponent, Sen. Barbara Buono, criticized.
Most of the poll respondents said Christie’s appearance in the ads was to help promote confidence in the Shore businesses’ recovery, but 34 percent said it was mostly about his re-election campaign. Eleven percent were unsure.
Buono has blasted the tourism ads as thinly veiled campaign ads, and said they should have featured actual businesspeople, not the governor and his family.
Views are mixed over the appropriateness of the choice of MWW, the company the state used to create the ad campaign. Democrats criticized the firm in recent months for its supposed close ties to Christie, and a price tag reportedly $2 million higher than its competitors.
By a 2 to 1 margin, voters believe MWW was chosen primarily for political reasons. Thirty-seven percent are uncertain about why the firm was chosen, the poll showed.
“While voters see Christie’s appearance as part of his job to promote the state’s recovery, many are cynical about why MWW was chosen,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University, in a release.
“We specifically tested Senator Buono’s criticism to see if it resonates, finding that many view the award of the project as political. But that perspective does not change the positive view of the governor’s role in the ad campaign.”
Results are from a poll of 925 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Sept. 3-9. The subsample of 814 registered voters reported on has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.