New Poll Reveals Where New Jerseyans Feel Safest [AUDIO/POLL]
Given six cities from which to choose, Fairleigh Dickinson University-Mind pollsters asked New Jerseyans, "In which metropolis do you feel the safest?" The top choice is a city that's not even located in the Garden State.
New Jersey voters feel safer in Atlantic City than in other New Jersey cities, and safer in Atlantic City than in Philadelphia, but Manhattan places first; with nearly three in four (78%) saying they feel somewhat or very safe there. Just 10% say they don't feel safe in Manhattan.
"If New Jersey is going to be healthy, its cities will have to be viable," says Peter Woolley, an FDU political scientist and director of the poll. "One measure of viability is how safe people feel going to those cities."
Atlantic City ranks second with 64% saying they feel somewhat or very safe there, but one in five (21%) say they don't feel safe in AC. A majority (55%) say they don't feel safe in Newark, but Camden placed last: just 2% say they feel very safe there and 11% somewhat safe, while almost two-thirds (64%) say they feel not too safe or not safe at all.
Woolley says, "If only 2% feel safe in your city, your city has a very serious problem that probably needs to be rectified immediately."
Governor Chris Christie wants to revive Atlantic City and make it a true destination city and those who have been there in the past year dom feel safer there than those who haven't been there recently. Three-quarters of those who have been there in the past year (75%) say they feel somewhat or very safe, but only about half of those who haven't been there in the last year (53%) say they feel safe there.
A third (33%) say they feel very safe in Manhattan, and another 45% somewhat safe, while by contrast only a third (35%) say they feel somewhat or very safe in Newark. Men feel safer than women in both Manhattan and Newark: 40% of men say they feel very safe in Manhattan compared to 26% of women who agree.
Woolley explains, "The safer people feel, the more likely they are to make the trip, whether it's to Atlantic City casinos, Newark's Iron Bound restaurants, or Manhattan's galleries."
The poll also showed that liberals are statistically more likely than moderates or conservatives to say they feel safe in the state's capital city of Trenton. Woolley jokes, "I guess they (liberals) know they have plenty of friends in the legislature, and that the Governor can't stay forever."
Then survey of 800 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 17 through Oct. 23, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.