Only a little more than a third of New Jerseyans think living in the state will get better over the next decade, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll out today. While 35 percent believed things would improve in the next 10 years, the poll found 41 percent believe conditions will stay the same and 19 percent think they will get worse. Following Gov.-elect Chris Christie’s Nov. 3 victory, 43 percent of Republicans are more optimistic about the state’s future while 32 percent of Democrats and 34 percent of independents have positive outlooks. In 1999, New Jerseyans had similar feelings about the next 10 years when 38 percent thought things would be better and 27 percent thought they would worsen.
Pollsters asked 903 adults to evaluate the state’s economic future and their their own economic, social and quality-of-life concerns for the next 10 years. A 1999 Rutgers-Eagleton poll posed similar questions. They found state residents worry more about economic issues than they 10 years ago, but that they are not more pessimistic overall.
The poll was conducted Nov. 6-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points for the full sample and plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for subsamples of about 450 respondents.
“New Jerseyans are simply unsure about how good a place to live the state will be in 10 years,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Ten years ago, about 60 percent thought the state would either stay the same or get worse as a place to live. There is clearly a long-term lack of positive expectations about the future of New Jersey.” Star Ledger