Many NJ residents think the state is going in the wrong direction
How do you think things are going in the Great Garden State?
A new survey finds a majority of New Jersey residents — 52% – believe the state is heading in the wrong direction.
Ashley Koning, the director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, said "these latest numbers continue a downward trend that we first saw in October of 2021.”
She said there had been a brighter outlook in June of 2021, when the governor had pandemic-induced high ratings, COVID cases were dropping, vaccinations were on the rise and the state was reopening.
It's a partisan issue
Koning pointed out right and wrong track depends on who you ask, and “82% of Republicans say the state has gone off on the wrong track, as opposed to 64% of Democrats who say the state is going in the right direction. Over half of independents also say the state is going off on the wrong track (55%).”
She noted 57% of white residents have a negative outlook on the state’s future while 33% of Black residents and 41% of Hispanic residents do as well. Millennials are the least pessimistic (38%) and most optimistic (48%) age group.
It's too expensive here
The poll also finds when it comes to cost of living and affordability, 8 in 10 New Jerseyans say they are dissatisfied on some level.
Koning said when it comes to having the state is handling taxes, 3 in 4 are dissatisfied.
“Just over half express some level of dissatisfaction with how the state is handling the budget and government spending, while a third are more positive on the issue," she said.
On the bright side, she said about half or more of New Jerseyans are satisfied with the state government’s handling of a variety of areas.
— 54% are satisfied with handling of the pandemic
— 55% satisfied with the economy and job market
— 57% are satisfied with crime and safety
— 58% are satisfied with the environment
— 61% are satisfies with health care
— 65% are satisfied with education and schools
A total of 1,044 adults were contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones between February 25 and March 4. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.