FDU Poll Is Making Headlines
December 9, 2022 — The FDU Poll covered a variety of topics in 2022 — from the role of county parties to legalized sports betting to Bigfoot. The findings demonstrated the importance of entering the voting booth and the information learned from the media. FDU Poll’s outcomes were highlighted in several top-tier local, regional and national publications throughout the year.
“The most visible part of our job at the poll is pre-election polling,” says Dan Cassino, executive director of FDU Poll. “Because that is when people are paying the most attention.” Cassino believes the job of the FDU Poll is to let people in power know what the public is thinking. “When we’re doing a pre-election poll like the one we did in November, it’s really important that we do more than just measure who looks like they’re going to win,” remarks Cassino. “That’s why we do things like embed experiments in the polls that can help us understand why people are voting the way that they are, rather than just how they’re voting.”
He knows the FDU Poll has done its job when his phone starts to ring. “To get calls from interest groups, either upset about our results or wanting more details [ about a particular poll] because that means that they’re taking our message about how the public feels seriously — that it’s having an impact on the people in government,” Cassino says proudly. “Those times when elected officials do something, or don’t do something, because of what the public has said in one of the poll’s surveys are when I’m most proud of what we do.”
Check out some of FDU Poll’s recent surveys along with resulting media coverage.
According to the results of the FDU Poll, New Jersey gives a greater role to county parties in shaping primary elections than any other state, but that doesn’t mean that residents like it. Only 19 percent of New Jersey residents say that county parties should have a role in officially endorsing candidates and giving them preferential placement on the ballot, while 2/3rds oppose such a role.
There isn’t much that Republicans and Democrats in New Jersey can agree on, but across party lines, New Jersey opposes the expansions of casinos outside of Atlantic City and opposes a full ban on smoking in those casinos. FDU Poll found just 37 percent of New Jersey residents say that they favor expanding casino gambling outside of Atlantic City, with a bare majority, 51 percent, saying that they oppose such an expansion. Atlantic City casinos have also been grappling with the issue of smoking on the gaming floors. Most New Jersey residents (57 percent) support the status quo on smoking in casinos, in which smoking is allowed only in certain designated areas. Twenty-nine percent support a complete ban on smoking in casinos, and 12 percent say that smoking should be allowed anywhere in a casino.
Few Democrats think Murphy should run; fewer Republicans think Christie should. With voting complete in the 2022 US midterm elections, positioning for the 2024 US Presidential election has begun. FDU Poll found that just 30 percent of Democrats in the state say that they think Murphy should run for President in 2024. Fifty percent say that he shouldn’t run, and 20 percent say that they aren’t sure. But those low numbers are still higher than support for Christie: only 12 percent of New Jersey Republicans say that he should run, with 80 percent saying that they don’t think he should.
The local media has a vital role in making electoral democracy work, but few residents in New Jersey think that they’re doing a good job of it. According to the results of the FDU Poll, a plurality of New Jersey residents say that the local press is doing a “poor” job, amid even greater skepticism among Republicans. Overall, just 12 percent of New Jersey residents say that the local media is doing a good job of covering important issues and holding officials accountable. Thirty-five percent say that the media is doing a “fair” job, and the plurality, 41 percent rate, it as “poor.”
According to the results from the FDU Poll, New Jersey voters say that they support a woman’s right to have an abortion, but while making the race about abortion is leading more New Jerseyans to say that they’ll vote, it’s not making them more likely to vote for Democrats. Overall, 51 percent of New Jersey residents say that they unconditionally support a women’s right to have an abortion. Thirty-seven percent say that they believe abortion should be allowed only under certain circumstances, and 10 percent say that abortion should never be legal.
As Congress held the first public hearings about UFOs, Americans across the political spectrum say it’s plausible that extraterrestrials crashed in New Mexico. The belief that extraterrestrials crash-landed at Roswell, New Mexico, 75 years ago this summer is widespread among Americans, across the political spectrum. According to results from the FDU Poll, one-third of Americans (34 percent) spread out across the political spectrum, think it’s plausible that extraterrestrials crash-landed at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, with 12 percent saying that it is “very likely to be true.” Just 1 in 4 Americans, (28 percent) say that it’s “not at all likely” to be true.
Americans support further expansion, but there are signs that legalization disproportionately makes non-white Americans more likely to bet. While sports betting is still banned or limited in most states, 18 percent of Americans – and 24 percent of those who live in states where app-based betting is legal – say that they’ve made a legal sports bet in the past two years. According to results from the FDU poll, Americans generally favor the expansion of sports betting by a 50 to 29 margin, but there are signs that legalization has disproportionately impacted racial minorities. People who live in states that have more lenient sports betting laws are more likely to have cast a bet. In states where app or mobile-based betting is allowed, 24 percent of Americans have bet on sports at least once recently; in states where it’s banned, or only allowed in person, that figure is just 15 percent.
Asking believers about the 2020 Election makes them more likely to say Bigfoot is real, Earth is flat, and vaccines cause autism. According to the FDU Poll, 22 percent of Americans say that Bigfoot is at least somewhat likely to be real, and 11 percent say that the Earth might be flat, but those figures are higher among those Americans who believe that the 2020 election was stolen.