NEW JERSEY 101.5

Two-thirds of New Jerseyans don’t think the state is "back to normal" after the devastation left in the wake of Superstorm Sandy according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll. In April, 78 percent said life was not yet normal. Most still think it will be years before normalcy returns.

Homes damaged from Sandy (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

"While slightly more Garden Staters think we are back, many are no more optimistic about the length of recovery than they were back in April," said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University.  "At that time, 78 percent saw a return to normalcy taking as long as five years. That number has declined only five points. Clearly, New Jerseyans continue to see a long haul ahead."

A little over one-in-ten who think things are not normal are optimistic pre-Sandy conditions will return within another year. Sixty-one percent expect a return to normalcy might take up to five years, and 13 percent think it will take up to a decade. Three percent see recovery taking more than a decade, and 6 percent say pre-Sandy normalcy will never return. Another six percent are uncertain.

New Jerseyans give low to average ratings to progress of the recovery. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning ‘not at all recovered’ and 10 meaning ‘fully recovered,’ voters score the state's overall recovery at 6.1. Recovery of the Shore region gets a 4.7, while voters score recovery for homeowners with sustained damage, at 4.8.

“Since summer, we have seen the Seaside Park boardwalk fire and an increase in media attention to those who have not yet recovered from the storm," said Redlawsk. "Moreover, there were reports of disappointing summer tourism. It is not surprising people feel less positive about the recovery."

The statewide poll of 804 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.