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Voters Most Concerned About Jobs, Poll Shows [AUDIO]

What’s important to you? That’s a question New Jersey voters will be asking themselves before the vote for a gubernatorial candidate in November.

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Today, the latest Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll asks Garden Staters that question. Almost 9-in-10 say the jobs issue is very important to them.

New Jersey voters are most concerned about jobs, which 88% say will be very important to their vote for governor this year. Three-in-four voters also say that property taxes (78%) and schools (75%) will be very important to their votes. Storm recovery (70%) and gun control (67%) will be very important considerations for 2-in-3 voters.

Just under 6-in-10 voters say that funding for women’s health clinics (58%) and the minimum wage (54%) will be very important to their vote. Only 36% of New Jersey voters say climate change will be one of the most important considerations when casting their ballot for governor. Democrats are 20 to 30 percentage points more likely than independents and Republicans to say they will heavily weigh any of these issues in their ultimate vote choice.

Governor Chris Christie recently conditionally vetoed a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage. About 6-in-10 voters are aware of the veto, although only 15% have heard a lot about it, with 46% hearing just a little. Just 1-in-5 voters (21%) say they are satisfied with Gov. Christie’s veto decision compared to 33% who are dissatisfied with it. Another 37% say they are not particularly satisfied but can live with it and 9% offer no opinion. Among those who have heard a lot about the veto, 31% are satisfied, 46% are dissatisfied, and 23% can live with it.

When asked about their own level of support if the legislature decides to put the minimum wage on the ballot in November, 66% of New Jersey voters say they would support it. 14% are opposed and 20% are not sure how they would vote. Support comes from 81% of Democrats, 60% of independents and 56% of Republicans.

“There seems to be a disconnect between Gov. Christie’s actions and voter preferences on the minimum wage,” explains Patrick Murray director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “However, this particular issue is not all that salient to voters’ decision about the governor’s race, regardless of their support for increasing the minimum wage.”

The survey was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from February 6 to 10, 2013. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.5 percent.

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