Today we’re starting to look some more at the aftermath of Hurricane (Superstorm) Sandy. We worked with the Siena Resesarch Institute on a joint effort to understand how residents of both NY and NJ react to two proposals put forward on Sandy recovery. One, primarily espoused by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is to buy out storm damaged properties, raze the buildings, and make them permanent open space. The other, which NJ Gov. Chris Christie initially supported in February of this year, is to pay residents $10,000 to remain in place, and to rebuild where they are. The idea of this was to ensure that the Jersey Shore, in particular, remains the attraction it has always been. Since February however, Christie has also suggested putting federal funds to buyouts, so in some sense he has supported both approaches.
As it turns out, NY residents pretty clearly support the original Christie approach – rebuild in place. NJ residents, however, are evenly split, with 43% supporting buyouts and 43% supporting rebuilding in place. An interesting difference.
Details are in the text below. Click here for a PDF of the release with Tables and Questions.
NY Says, “Give Sandy Victims $10K to Rebuild”, 48% to 33%; But NJ Split: 43% Prefer Tear Down
Loudonville, NY & New Brunswick, NJ – A 15-point plurality of New Yorkers (48% to 33%) would rather see some of the federal money being allocated to the state for Sandy relief used to provide homeowners with $10,000 to rebuild rather than to have damaged properties bought from willing owners, torn down and turned into open space.
In New Jersey, voters are evenly divided with 43 percent preferring using federal relief to buy damaged properties and turn them into open space while an identical percentage favors partially funding victims rebuilding as long as they stay where they are for at least two years.
Results are from the Siena College (SRI) and Rutgers-Eagleton polls based upon responses the two centers separately garnered from respondents in the two states.
“Jersey Shore residents are just as evenly split as most of the state on the best way to use these Sandy relief funds,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “But those living in the northwest exurban counties do have a preference: there 56 percent prefer buying damaged properties and tearing them down. Garden Staters under 30 strongly support rebuilding, while middle-aged and older residents strongly support buyouts. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s popularity does not seem to make any difference, perhaps because while he initially focused entirely on rebuilding, more recently he has also supported using federal funds for buyouts. ”
“In New York, every demographic group, Republicans, Democrats, New York City residents, Suburban and especially Upstaters, would rather see the money go to support committed homeowners rebuild than to tear down the properties and turn them into public lands despite New York’s popular Governor, Andrew Cuomo, having expressed support for buying, tearing down and making public the damaged and threatened properties,” according to Dr. Don Levy, SRI’s Director.