The Newsletter of Fairleigh Dickinson University
for faculty, staff and friends
Office of Publications
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666
· news and publications
PublicMind Polls Nail Election ResultsFairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released four polls this election year that accurately reflected the outcome of the McGreevey vs. Schundler contest for governor of New Jersey.
Fairleigh Dickinson University and its partner, TMR, Inc., conducted the first poll of New Jersey’s 2001 campaign season in late April. That poll found that in a hypothetical race between Democrat Jim McGreevey and Republican Bret Schundler — a race that assumed each one would win his party’s nomination — McGreevey would coast to victory with a 17-point margin. Two subsequent polls put the McGreevey lead at 17 percent and then 18 percent.
In November, the PublicMind also conducted the last poll of New Jersey’s 2001 political season, winding up its interviews late Sunday night before the Tuesday election. The poll found a 16-point lead for McGreevey. But it also found a slight trend for Schundler, as well as an increasing disinterest in the race on the part of independents which might have depressed turnout. As the PublicMind suggested, McGreevey subsequently coasted to a win in a light turnout with 56.2 percent against Schundler’s 41.9 percent.
The PublicMind was consistently among the most accurate polls. Bruce Larson, social science/history, F-M, and chief survey analyst for the PublicMind, said, “Public opinion is inherently difficult to measure, but our methods proved reliable.”
Peter Woolley, political science and chair, social science/history, F-M, who coordinates the PublicMind’s faculty and consultants, said, “This is an immensely talented group of people. I’m looking forward to their next projects — some political, some cultural and some national.”
Faculty interested in working with PublicMind to gather data can contact Woolley at email@example.com.
The election was not the only item on the PublicMind radar. Among the other PublicMind findings revealed this year:
• President George Bush received high marks from all demographic and political subgroups in New Jersey, even those who have traditionally been more critical. By contrast, other prominent political figures, including former governor and now head of the Environmental Protection Agency Christine Todd Whitman and U.S. senators Robert Torricelli and Jon Corzine received mixed grades from New Jersey voters.
• A majority of New Jersey residents say it is a “better” place to live
than other states, and only 13 percent think it is a “worse” place to live.
Large majorities also believe the state’s schools are the “same or better”
than those in other states, that its politicians are no more “dishonest”
than others and that crime occurs at the same or lesser rates than elsewhere.
On the other hand, 75 percent of New Jerseyans think they pay more taxes
than people in other states, and half think New Jersey has more pollution
problems than other states.
• Another poll found that a majority of Americans were unfamiliar with the Bush Administration’s energy plan, New Jerseyans think more “greenly” about energy issues than citizens across the nation, and Americans who feel most affected by the energy problem tend to favor increasing energy production over conservation.
• Half of adult television viewers in New Jersey watch the popular mob
family saga “The Sopranos,” compared to only a third of viewers in other
states. Two-thirds of viewers nationally and three-quarters of those in
New Jersey do not believe the show portrays Italian-Americans in a negative
way. Majorities of those in the state and nation also disagree that the
show glorifies organized crime.
In addition to public polls, PublicMind conducts elite surveys, which poll a specialized population such as members of Congress or university presidents.
|Copyright © 1998-2001, Fairleigh Dickinson University. Information on the FDU web pages is provided as a convenience for the University community and others seeking information. While the University intends the information distributed here to be accurate and timely, it is the responsibility of the user to verify the information.|