Monthly Archives: November 2014

A Closer Look by the ECPIP Staff … Chris Christie and the Intersectional Gender Gap

By Elizabeth Kantor

Elizabeth Kantor, a junior at Rutgers University, is the Lead Data Archivist and a methodological intern with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.

In voting behavior and political attitudes, there exist consistent and predictable differences between men and women, known as the “gender gap.” According to the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ own Center for American Women and Politics, since the 1980s, women have been more likely than men to identify as and vote for Democrats, less likely than men to approve of the job performance of Republicans, and more likely than men to approve of the job performance of Democrats. Yet New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seems to defy the odds once again. In our own numbers on the governor’s overall job approval from our most recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, the gender gap seems nonexistent. As we reported, 50 percent of women in New Jersey approve of Christie’s job performance compared to 47 percent of men – a statistically insignificant difference that runs counter to gender gap expectations.

But in actuality, the gender gap is not a simple dichotomy. When Christie’s job approval is broken down by race and gender simultaneously, a more accurate interpretation of the gender gap emerges. This kind of analysis, resembling an analytical approach in women’s and gender studies called “intersectionality,” looks at the impact of the intersections of multiple identities, such as race, class, and gender, rather than of each identity alone.

As noted earlier, when looking solely at gender, women are more likely than men to say they approve of Christie’s job performance. When Christie’s approval is looked at solely by race, 55 percent of white New Jerseyans approve, compared with only 34 percent of non-white New Jerseyans; we would expect this, given that Republicans are less racially diverse than are Democrats. When looking at race and gender together, we find that while 57 percent of white women approve of Christie’s job performance compared to 53 percent of white men, only 28 percent of non-white women approve of Christie’s job as governor compared to 39 percent of non-white men.

Thus, the lack of a gender gap in Christie’s job approval can be explained by the fact that, while non-white women are 11 points less likely than non-white men to express approval of Christie, gender differences function in the opposite direction for white respondents, who make up a larger portion of the weighted sample (69 percent white vs. 31 percent non-white); thus, white women have more than twice as much influence on the overall distribution of opinion. While of course only limited conclusions can be drawn due to small sample sizes, intersectional analysis sheds light on how race and gender interconnect to create a more complete picture of New Jersey voters’ views of their governor, specifically, and on political figures and issues, more generally.

Results are from a statewide poll of 842 New Jersey residents contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 2014. This release reports on a subsample of 734 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

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Filed under Chris Christie, Christie NJ Rating, Gender, Intersectionality

A Closer Look by the ECPIP Staff … Red vs. Blue on the Red, Black, and Green: Partisans Land on Different Ends of the Table When it Comes to Atlantic City

By Robert Cartmell

Robert Cartmell is a Data Visualization Intern with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and a junior at Rutgers University.

We would never bet that Atlantic City habits and behaviors would differ by partisanship, but apparently it’s “winner winner, partisan dinner” in the resort town. In the most recent Rutgers-Eagleton Poll this past October, New Jerseyans were asked a variety of questions about the gambling center of New Jersey. Though questions were not inherently political, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, answered somewhat differently – and these differences, while not necessarily large, were statistically significant.

When it comes to visiting Atlantic City, ever or in the past twelve months, more Democrats and Independents have frequented the city than Republicans – though the partisan differences in more recent visits is statistically insignificant. Ninety-four percent of Democrats and 92 percent of Independents visited Atlantic City at some point, versus 87 percent of Republicans. A somewhat similar pattern emerges among those who plan to visit in the near future: half of Democrats and Independents say they will probably or definitely go to the resort town in the next twelve months, while four in ten Republicans say the same.

But while Republicans seem less likely to visit Atlantic City, those who do visit are more likely to gamble than other partisans. 54 percent say they gamble on most of or some of their visits, while only 49 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of Independents say the same.

Casino preference also differs among partisans. The Borgata is most popular among Republicans, arguably the most luxurious of the casinos in Atlantic City and the number one pick among New Jerseyans overall. Tropicana, the boardwalk casino with a booming Havana nightlife, is the number one pick for Independents. Democrats chose the Trump Taj Mahal, one of the three on the boardwalk affiliated with – coincidentally enough – perennially rumored Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump.

Whether these differences by partisanship are truly due to party identification or whether there are other underlying factors beneath this – like age, race, and socioeconomic status – we do not know for sure from this analysis alone; most likely, though, it’s the latter or at least a combination to some extent. But in a world where everything is becoming increasingly partisan, it is interesting to see that even a getaway to Atlantic City can be divided by political party affiliation!

Results are from a statewide poll of 842 New Jersey residents contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 2014. This release reports on a subsample of 734 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

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Filed under Atlantic City, Partisanship

A Closer Look by the ECPIP Staff … Is New Jersey “Ready for Hillary”?

By Sonni Waknin

Sonni Waknin is a General Research Intern with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and a sophomore at Rutgers University.

Our incredible student staff at the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling has been hard at work analyzing some data that we have not yet had the chance to report on from some of our most recent polls.  We will be rolling out these additional analytical pieces over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!

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With the 2014 midterms now over, many Americans look forward to the end of election season. But election season never really ends for politicians. Every day, our country is inching closer toward the 2016 presidential race, and many politicians are gearing up to throw their hats in the ring for the nomination on both sides of the aisle. While Hillary Clinton has not yet formally announced her candidacy, many believe that she will become the Democratic front-runner for the nomination. If Clinton does announce her intent to run, it will most likely not be an uphill battle for her – at least not in New Jersey. The latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll shows that Clinton’s favorability is high among New Jersey voters, at 58 percent – higher than any other politician in the state; another 29 percent of voters find Clinton unfavorable, while 14 percent have no opinion or did not know of former Secretary of State Clinton.

As of just a few months ago, Clinton’s overall favorability was on a downward trend starting from March (at 59 percent) through to August (at 54 percent) after a 65 percent high in January 2014. But once again, it seems Clinton’s numbers are making a comeback with these latest results.

While Clinton’s rating is high, there is – unsurprisingly – a very large partisan divide. Democrats are extremely favorable towards their party’s potential future candidate: 83 percent have a favorable impression, versus just 6 percent who do not; 10 percent are unsure or do not know Clinton, the lowest of any party. Republicans, in contrast, have an overwhelmingly unfavorable opinion of Clinton – 68 percent, compared to just 20 percent of Republicans who feel favorably toward her; 13 percent either say they do not know her or are unsure. Independents are somewhere in between: over half have a favorable impression of Clinton. Likewise, about two-thirds of those who identify as ideologically moderate are favorable of Clinton – another “plus” for the former Secretary of State if she decides to run since about a third of Americans identify as moderate (see here for more details).

Although Clinton’s favorability in New Jersey is starkly divided among party lines and ideology, Clinton is seen mostly favorably across many other groups. Both men and women are favorable towards Clinton, although the percentage is higher among women – 63 percent to 52 percent of men. Over half of both whites and non-whites have a favorable impression of Clinton. The same goes across all age groups, with some differences in degree; Clinton’s favorability is highest among those 50-64 years old (at 61 percent) and lowest among those 30-49 years old (53 percent).

In terms of region, shore and exurban residents give Clinton the lowest favorability ratings of all residents: 49 percent among the former, and 47 percent among the latter.

Within New Jersey, Hillary Clinton is held in high esteem. Clinton has higher favorability ratings among New Jerseyans than Governor Chris Christie, Senator Cory Booker, and even President Barack Obama. With 2016 in the near future, it will be interesting to see what happens – particularly if Clinton decides to run. If so, it seems many New Jerseyans would support Clinton – particularly her Democratic base and independents. In an age where approval and favorability ratings among politicians continue to be abysmal, it is an anomaly to find Clinton polling so highly across almost all demographics.

Results are from a statewide poll of 842 New Jersey residents contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 2014. This release reports on a subsample of 734 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Clinton Trend

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Filed under 2016 President, Hillary Clinton