March 16, 2017 - More Money For Schools, Not So Much For Pensions, New Jersey Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; Support For Millionaire's Tax Tops 3-1 Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
PDF format
Additional Trend Information
Sample and Methodology detail

New Jersey voters are solidly behind spending more money to improve the Garden State's public schools, but send mixed messages on the subject of funding public employee pensions, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The State Legislature should spend more money to improve all of New Jersey's public schools, voters say 63 - 34 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

By a similar 65 - 32 percent, voters say the State Legislature should spend more to improve public schools in the state's poorest districts. Republicans oppose increased spending 59 - 40 percent and white men are divided 49 - 47 percent. Every other party, gender, racial, age and education group listed supports the spending by wide measures.

Voters support 62 - 30 percent the State Supreme Court decision ordering the State Legislature to spend more money to improve public schools in the state's poorest districts. Again, Republicans oppose the court decision 59 - 30 percent and white men are divided 47 - 46 percent, while all other groups support the court decision.

The state should provide poor school districts additional funds per student, 58 percent of New Jersey voters say, while 37 percent say all districts should get the same amount of funding.

"New Jerseyans don't like taxes, but they do like school kids. Almost two-thirds want to spend more money for school kids - not just poor kids, but all kids," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"Was the State Supreme Court - much criticized by politicians for the Abbott decisions that give more of the state education money to poor schools - right? Yes, voters say."

New Jersey voters support 74 - 22 percent, with Republicans divided 48 - 49 percent, a so-called "millionaire's tax," with the money going to public schools.

By a similar 70 - 27 percent, voters support a "millionaire's tax" with the money going to public employee pensions. Republicans oppose this idea 55 - 42 percent.

Voters oppose 66 - 30 percent an across-the-board tax hike to help fund public employee pensions. Democrats oppose this idea 56 - 41 percent, with every other listed group opposed.

But in a different question, New Jersey voters say 49 - 45 percent that the state has an obligation to fix public employee pensions, even if it means raising taxes. Republicans oppose this idea 62 - 31 percent. Support is 61 - 33 percent among Democrats. Independent voters are divided, with 48 percent saying there is an obligation and 44 percent saying no.

To help balance the state budget, state employees should pay more for health care, New Jersey voters say 60 - 31 percent, with support from every listed group.

But voters oppose 52 - 41 percent reducing public employee pension benefits as a way to balance the budget. Republicans support pension cuts 64 - 30 percent, with Democrats opposed 68 - 24 percent. Independent voters are divided, with 45 percent supporting cuts and 47 percent opposed.

"New Jerseyans' generosity shrinks - but it's still there - when it comes to pensions for state workers. Voters wouldn't cut pensions," Carroll said.

"How about raising taxes to fix the pension system? It depends how the question is asked.

"But there's one tax raising plan that almost everyone likes - the millionaire's tax. The Quinnipiac University Poll didn't ask what percentage of our respondents are millionaires."

From March 9 - 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,098 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and the nation as a public service and for research.

Visit poll.qu.edu or www.facebook.com/quinnipiacpoll

Call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter @QuinnipiacPoll.

13. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today; are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Very satisfied        2%     3%     -      2%     2%     1%     1%     1%
Smwht satisfied      34     38     36     31     34     34     33     33
Smwht dissatisfied   40     34     39     43     39     40     44     41
Very dissatisfied    24     24     25     23     24     25     22     24
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -      -      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Very satisfied        3%     -      2%     2%     1%     1%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      56     30     24     30     33     33     33     38
Smwht dissatisfied   21     47     47     42     44     42     43     34
Very dissatisfied    20     22     28     25     22     23     23     26
DK/NA                 -      -      -      1      1      -      -      -
 
 
18. To help balance the state budget do you support or oppose more state employee contributions for health care?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              60%    67%    56%    58%    61%    58%    59%    66%
Oppose               31     24     33     34     31     30     32     26
DK/NA                10      9     11      8      8     12      9      7
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Support              66%    53%    60%    62%    66%    59%    62%    55%
Oppose               26     39     32     23     28     30     29     34
DK/NA                 8      8      8     15      6     11      9     11
 
 
19. To help balance the state budget, do you support or oppose reducing pension benefits for new state workers?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              41%    64%    24%    45%    51%    32%    49%    49%
Oppose               52     30     68     47     43     60     45     43
DK/NA                 7      6      7      7      6      8      7      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Support              28%    40%    47%    45%    57%    42%    49%    26%
Oppose               65     56     45     43     37     50     44     67
DK/NA                 7      3      8     12      6      8      7      7
 
 
20. Do you believe the state of New Jersey has an obligation to fix public employee pensions, even if it means raising taxes, or don't you think so?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Obligation       49%    31%    61%    48%    51%    47%    52%    39%
No                   45     62     33     44     43     46     40     53
DK/NA                 7      7      6      7      5      8      8      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes/Obligation       64%    52%    45%    43%    49%    44%    46%    54%
No                   32     43     48     49     45     47     46     42
DK/NA                 4      5      7      8      6     10      8      4
 
 
21. Would you support or oppose raising taxes on people who earn more than one million dollars to help fund public employee pensions?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              70%    42%    91%    67%    63%    77%    66%    68%
Oppose               27     55      7     29     34     21     31     30
DK/NA                 3      2      2      4      3      3      3      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Support              73%    73%    66%    74%    60%    73%    67%    78%
Oppose               24     26     31     24     38     24     31     19
DK/NA                 4      1      3      3      2      3      2      3
 
 
22. Would you support or oppose raising taxes across the board to help fund public employee pensions?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              30%    19%    41%    27%    30%    30%    28%    29%
Oppose               66     78     56     69     66     67     68     66
DK/NA                 4      3      3      4      5      3      4      4
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Support              39%    34%    26%    26%    30%    28%    29%    33%
Oppose               57     65     70     66     65     69     67     63
DK/NA                 4      1      4      8      5      3      4      3
 
 
23. Do you think the state legislature should spend more tax dollars to improve the public schools in New Jersey's poorest areas or don't you think so?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  65%    40%    82%    59%    57%    72%    60%    55%
No                   32     59     15     37     40     26     37     42
DK/NA                 3      1      3      4      4      2      3      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes                  85%    65%    57%    60%    49%    64%    57%    79%
No                   15     33     39     36     47     33     39     19
DK/NA                 -      2      3      5      4      3      3      2
 
 
24. Do you think the state legislature should spend more tax dollars to improve all of New Jersey's public schools or don't you think so?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                    Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes                  63%    45%    77%    59%    56%    70%    58%    62%
No                   34     53     21     36     39     29     39     35
DK/NA                 3      2      2      5      5      2      3      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes                  74%    69%    56%    60%    57%    63%    60%    70%
No                   25     28     41     36     38     36     37     27
DK/NA                 2      3      3      4      5      1      3      3
 
 
25. Do you think the state Supreme Court was right to order the state legislature to spend more money to improve the public schools in New Jersey's poorest areas or don't you think the state Supreme Court should have done this?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Right            62%    30%    84%    57%    54%    70%    55%    51%
No/Shouldn't have    29     59     11     35     38     22     36     39
DK/NA                 8     10      6      9      9      8      8     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes/Right            84%    66%    53%    53%    47%    59%    54%    78%
No/Shouldn't have    11     29     38     36     46     30     37     15
DK/NA                 5      4      8     10      8     10      9      7
 
 
26. Would you support or oppose the so called "millionaire's tax", if the money went to New Jersey's public schools?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Support              74%    48%    92%    72%    68%    79%    69%    68%
Oppose               22     49      5     22     29     15     28     26
DK/NA                 5      2      3      6      3      6      4      6
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Support              82%    80%    67%    71%    62%    74%    69%    84%
Oppose               11     17     30     22     34     20     27     11
DK/NA                 7      3      4      7      4      6      5      4
 
 
27. Do you think the state should provide every school district the same amount of funding per student, or do you think the state should continue to provide low income school districts with additional funding per student to make up for lower funding from property taxes?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Same funding         37%    60%    18%    43%    45%    30%    41%    44%
Additional funds     58     32     79     52     49     66     55     48
DK/NA                 5      8      3      5      6      5      4      8
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Same funding         20%    39%    44%    40%    49%    37%    42%    27%
Additional funds     77     59     52     50     44     58     52     69
DK/NA                 3      2      4     11      7      5      6      4
 
 
28. As you may know, charter schools are operated by private or non-profit organizations. The schools are paid for with tax dollars. Do you think there should be an expansion of charter schools in New Jersey or not?
                                                               WHITE......
                                                               COLLEGE DEG
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Expansion        37%    63%    25%    35%    43%    31%    33%    37%
No                   55     29     69     56     51     59     59     57
DK/NA                 8      7      6      9      6      9      7      7
 
                     AGE IN YRS..............    WHITE.....
                     18-34  35-49  50-64  65+    Men    Wom    Wht    NonWht
 
Yes/Expansion        30%    36%    40%    37%    43%    28%    35%    40%
No                   56     61     53     53     52     64     58     51
DK/NA                13      3      6     10      5      8      7      9