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Most NJ Voters Don’t Know State Wants To Borrow $750 Million [AUDIO]

Did you know that in a ballot question next month you’ll be asked if it’s okay for the State of New Jersey to borrow $750 million for college and university infrastructure?

Voting Booth
Flickr User Silatix

You probably had no clue if you’re like the overwhelming majority of respondents in today’s Fairleigh Dickinson University-Public Mind poll.

The survey reveals Garden State residents are divided over whether to support a bond on the November ballot that would fund new buildings and renovations at New Jersey colleges and universities. 48% of registered voters are inclined to favor the bond, with an additional third (34%) opposed and about a fifth (18%) who remain unsure.

Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of the poll says, “Interestingly however, the vast majority of those polled or 87% say they’ve heard just ‘a little’ or ‘nothing about the bonds…… voters are in need of some basic information, at least as it relates to offsetting costs to higher education through the sale of state issued bonds.”

Those most likely to say they’re in favor of the $750 million bond proposal are college graduates and the under 50 crowd. 52% of college graduates are favorably inclined, compared with just four in ten of those with some college (44%) and those with a high school diploma (43%).

Those who are under the age of 50 and the most likely to either be connected to colleges and universities through their own education or that of their children are significantly more supportive. A majority of those between the ages of 18 and 34 (57%) and 35 to 49 (54%) are in favor. Fewer than half of older voters respond similarly.

“Voters have a lot to consider in November beyond whom to support for the presidency and Congress,” says Jenkins. “This issue, coupled with the proposal before voters to amend the state constitution in order to require judges to contribute more to their benefits, requires that voters consider the fiscal health of the state.”

Support for the bond also falls along traditional party lines, with Democrats more in favor (58%) than self-described independents (44%) and Republicans (36%). Jenkins explains, “Fiscal restraint comes through loud and clear on this issue for Republicans, while Democrats are more comfortable with borrowing money in order to invest in higher education.”

The statewide poll of 901 registered voters was conducted by telephone with both landline and cell phones from September 6, 2012 through September 12, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

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