Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

Numbers on 2016 Presidential Preference in NJ

NOTE: This post was corrected on August 11, 2014. Please see the bottom of this post for some details, or click here.

Today we begin a set of releases on our latest poll. This first one looks at how New Jerseyans respond to a Chris Christie – Hillary Clinton matchup as well as which names are most likely to come up for Republicans and Democrats as their top party preference. Not surprisingly, the answer is Clinton (Democrats) and Christie (Republicans.) Both swamp any other mentions of names. We should note that our question is hard – it is open ended, asking people to name their preference for their party’s nomination. We also asked them to name a second choice, an even harder task. Essentially what we are testing is the extent to which NJ voters have any other names in mind besides the dominant personalities. The answer is pretty much no. And how could they? After all, the only person on the Democratic side who gets any media attention is Clinton, and here in NJ Christie is clearly the the one Republicans think about and hear about. It becomes, of course, a viscous circle for other potential candidates. The media mostly talks about Clinton and Christie, so voters only know about them, and they respond accordingly. Then the media reports that no one else has a chance. Must be tough to be not-Christie or not-Clinton!

One other highlight to note today. After a lot of analysis over the last few months, we have decided to enhance our approach to weighting the data we collect and expand our disclosure statement (which you can find at the end of the full press release located here) to provide more details about this process. In particular we are now including frame weights based on our dual sample of both cell phones and landlines. The result, we think, is a better estimate of the population from our sample. We have also begun adjusting our reported margin of error. It is always the case that adding weights to the sample increases the variance (variation) in the results. To account for this we now calculate the “design effect” which accounts for this. But it also increases the reported margin of error, which we now take into account. For those interested, we use Langer Research Associates’ margin of error calculator.

Full text of the release follows. For a PDF of the release with all text, tables, and disclosures, click here.


 NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Asked to choose their party’s presidential candidate for 2016, New Jersey Republicans give top honors to Gov. Chris Christie, while Democrats overwhelmingly pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Two years ahead of the election, more than 7 in 10 Republicans and Democrats can name a preferred nominee.

Christie’s name comes to mind first for 41 percent of Republicans and GOP leaners. Another 8 percent name Christie their second choice. In contrast, 59 percent of Democrats choose Clinton as their candidate. For another 7 percent, she is second choice.

No other prospective candidate from either party approaches the front-runners; nearly all others score below 10 percent as first or second choices.

“This is a hard test for voters,” noted David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “We did not provide a list of candidates, so voters must think about who they know. Not surprisingly, Christie overwhelms other Republicans here. On the other side, lack of media coverage of Democrats other than Clinton makes it hard for Democrats to name anyone else.”

When the frontrunners are matched head-to-head in a hypothetical 2016 race, Clinton holds a double-digit margin over Christie, albeit smaller than in early 2014. Just over half the state’s voters (51 percent) support Clinton with 40 percent for Christie in a direct matchup. Four percent want someone else, and another 6 percent are unsure. In a January 2014 Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, as Bridgegate swirled around Christie, Clinton led 55 percent to 34 percent. That lead was cut to 10 points in March.

Clinton also holds a slight favorability edge over Christie among New Jerseyans, although her numbers have trended downward over the past six months. Fifty-four percent now view her favorably, 32 percent unfavorably, and 14 percent have no opinion. Christie’s favorability has climbed to 49 percent during the same time period while 40 percent feel unfavorably and 10 percent have no opinion. In January, 65 percent felt favorable toward Clinton, 46 percent liked Christie.

Results are from a statewide poll of 871 adult New Jerseyans contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from July 28 to August 5, 2014. This release reports on a subsample of 750 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Christie, Clinton are their partisans’ overwhelming favorites

Christie and Clinton dominate their respective New Jersey party bases as presidential candidates in 2016. “Both are constantly scrutinized with never-ending ‘Will they or won’t they run?’ buzz,” said Redlawsk. “All this media attention puts them at the top of voters’ minds and thus makes them the top choices by far. But it is important to recognize that voters today are mostly responding to what they hear and see in media reports. Hearing little of other candidates, they respond accordingly when they don’t get a list containing different options.”

Among Republicans, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney comes in a distant second with a combined 12 percent for first- and second-place mentions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) tie for third at 8 percent. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are at 7 percent, while other Republicans who have been rumored to run, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Texas Gov. Rick Perry, do not surpass 5 percent of their party base.

Among Republican voters who name Christie as their first choice, nearly half cannot name a second choice. But eight percent identify Rubio as their fallback, while another nine percent name Ryan. Five percent tap Romney as their second choice.

Democratic voters name even fewer potential candidates. Only Vice President Joe Biden is mentioned as a first choice with some frequency, while trailing Clinton by a wide margin; he’s first choice among 4 percent and first or second choice among 10 percent. Despite her objections to running, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) garners seven percent of combined first and second mentions, just behind New Jersey first-term Sen. Cory Booker’s eight percent. Andrew Cuomo is second choice among 2 percent of respondents.

Sixty-nine percent of Clinton supporters do not name a second choice for president; 11 percent say Biden is their second choice, while eight percent name Booker, and seven percent pick Warren.

Clinton continues to lead Christie among most groups

“Clinton continues to top Christie in favorability for 2016, even with the Bridgegate frenzy subsiding and the backlash against the former Secretary of State during her recent book tour,” said Redlawsk. “So while New Jersey voters still have a net positive feeling about Christie, they like Clinton somewhat more. And, of course, this remains a Democratic state, suggesting even Christie would have trouble winning it in 2016.”

Clinton’s margin against Christie in a 2016 matchup has remained steady since March, though her current advantage is only half of what it was in January. While 85 percent of Democrats and Republicans each side with their respective candidates, independents are evenly split, 43 percent Christie to 42 percent Clinton.

Clinton wins among both men and women, but is supported by the latter by a wider margin (53 percent to 36 percent), compared to men (48 percent to 43 percent). She loses among white voters, while winning across minority voters.

While Clinton’s favorability ratings have slipped from her high of 65 percent in January, she is still viewed quite favorably across the board. Eighty-three percent of voters from Clinton’s own party hold a favorable impression of her, as do 47 percent of independents; 19 percent of Republicans feel the same. Fifty-nine percent of women are favorable toward her compared to 47 percent of men. She is viewed more favorably than unfavorably among all other major demographic groups.

Christie’s favorability ratings have climbed slightly since Bridgegate broke, but remain steady over the past few months. Seventy-none percent of Republicans and 52 percent of independents view the governor favorably, but Christie continues to be viewed negatively by more than half of Democrats. Half of men and women have a positive view of the governor. Minorities and millennial voters are more likely than most to have unfavorable impressions of Christie, while their counterparts are more likely to have favorable ones.

# # #

Advisory: This release is a corrected version of the release of August 7, 2014. Due to an inadvertent error in calculating weights, some results were reported incorrectly. Most results were correct; while a few numbers used in the original release changed less than one percentage point. However, because of rounding to the nearest percentage point, some results moved up or down one or two points. Key changes include revising the Clinton-Christie match-up from 50%-40% to 51% to 40%. Clinton’s favorable rating should have been reported at 54% favorable instead of 53%, while Christie’s favorable rating should have been reported at 49% instead of 50%. In addition the reported weighted demographics of the sample have changed slightly, including increasing the rounded share of Democrats by 2 points to 33%, and decreasing the share of independents by 2 points to 48% and Republicans by one point to 19%.  Women should have been reported as 54% of the sample instead of 52% and men 46% instead of 48%. These corrected demographics actually better represent NJ voters than did the original reports.


Filed under 2016 President, Chris Christie, Christie NJ Rating, Hillary Clinton

Heads up – New Poll Coming!

The summer tends to be a bit slow here at the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Most of our students are off doing summery things, and we’re working hard on planning the next year. But this year we have a poll underway right now, with results to begin being released around the middle of next week. It will be some of the usual – the US Senate race, how Gov. Christie’s doing, and the like, but we’re also working on some interesting questions in cooperation with folks at the New Jersey Medical School, asking about health-related issues. Those results will be released a bit later, after we’ve had time to do some detailed analysis. In the meantime, watch for new numbers on Christie, Booker, and even bridgegate (remember that?)


Filed under Bridgegate, Chris Christie, Christie NJ Rating, Cory Booker, Hillary Clinton, NJ Voters, Obama NJ Rating

Results of a Joint Poll with Siena and Roanoke Released Today

Over the last week we carried out our latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll of New Jersey with an interesting twist. In conjunction with two other statewide academic polling centers we fielded a large set of the same questions to respondents in our respective states. Today we release the results in a lengthy report that summarizes the interesting differences and similarities between the three states of New York (Siena Research Institute), Virginia (Roanoke Institute for Policy and Opinion Research) and Rutgers-Eagleton. The report speaks pretty much for itself, but if you want to see the full set of questions and crosstabs for all three institutions, you can find them here.

For a PDF of this release with the New Jersey tables and crosstabs, click here.

Full text of the release follows.

Roanoke/Rutgers-Eagleton/Siena College Study:  Simultaneous Polls – Virginia, New Jersey, New York
Majority in 3 States Favorable on Hillary Clinton; Give Former Sec of State 2016 Lead over Christie, Paul & Ryan

Voters in NJ, NY & Virginia in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage, National Gun Registry, Keystone Pipeline, Minimum Wage Hike, Med Marijuana; States Mixed on Obamacare, Unemployment Extension

Cuomo Stronger in NY than Christie in Jersey or McAuliffe in Virginia

NY & NJ Voters see Global Climate Change; Virginians Mixed

Loudonville, NY; New Brunswick, NJ; Roanoke, VA. – A majority of voters in New York (64 percent), New Jersey (59 percent) and Virginia (56 percent) have a favorable view of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and name her most often in each state as the one eligible person that they would most like to see as the next President according to simultaneous identical polls conducted by Roanoke College in Virginia, Rutgers-Eagleton in New Jersey and Siena College in New York.  In early 2016 Presidential horseraces in each state, Clinton tops New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Paul Ryan by over 35 points in New York, 8 (Christie) to 14 (Paul) points in Virginia and even leads Christie by 10 in New Jersey while up there by 25 to 29 over Ryan and Paul.

“It’s early, very early, but in these three states worth 56 of 270 electoral votes needed to win, Hillary Clinton is well-liked, the top choice by margins of 4 or 5 to one in New York and Virginia and named more than twice as often in Governor Christie’s home state.  Head to head, she is untouchable in New York, has majorities in New Jersey and a lead in the potential battleground state of Virginia over not only two lesser known Republican hopefuls, Paul and Ryan, but over Christie who can no longer muster 50 percent favorable in any of the three states,” according to Don Levy, Director of the Siena College Research Institute.

Asked to vote in favor of or opposed to 12 national initiatives, a majority of voters in all three states support seven and oppose one.  Overwhelming majorities are in favor of raising the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour; legalizing the use of marijuana in all 50 states for medical purposes; approving a path to citizenship for people who are in the U.S. illegally, but are working, have no criminal record and pay taxes; approving the Keystone Pipeline to bring oil from Canada to the U.S.; using federal funds to make free Pre-Kindergarten education available to all children; and establishing a national gun registry.

Legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states is strongly supported in New Jersey and New York while Virginians are in favor by 53 to 40 percent.  Large majorities, greatest in Virginia, oppose allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to tap domestic phone lines in the interest of national security.


“We tend to spend more time focusing on how voters differ across states, but here we find that despite differences in geography, racial and religious makeup, and partisanship, there is more agreement than not in these three states on seven current issues. Apparently voters share more opinions than the media leads us to believe with their focus on a hyper partisan world,” according to David Redlawsk, Director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

“Given a huge disparity in gun ownership rates – half in Virginia compared to one in seven in the two northern states – the much smaller differences on support for a national gun registry are surprising.  Virginians are less supportive of stricter gun laws, but those differences are relatively small. New York and New Jersey have much tougher restrictions on guns and gun owners; perhaps those differences are a factor in shaping opinion,” according to Harry Wilson, Director of Roanoke’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research.

On four current issues – the Affordable Care Act, abortion, standardized testing and an extension for unemployment benefits – the voters of New Jersey, New York and Virginia do not speak with the same decisiveness nor the same mind.  Given the opportunity to vote in these polls on repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a majority of Virginians are in favor, a small majority of New Jerseyans agree, but a similarly small majority of New Yorkers oppose repeal.  On two other current hot button issues, both New York and New Jersey support both reinstituting unemployment benefits beyond the initial 26 weeks of coverage and to a lesser degree, using nationally standardized tests to assess the quality of public schools, while in Virginia, both issues find voters split.

The one issue on which voters of each state are closely divided is making abortion illegal 20 weeks after conception, a proposal currently being advanced by some in Congress.  Voters in all three states lean towards opposing this measure, but only in Virginia does opposition reach beyond the margin of error and in no instant does opposition reach 50 percent.

“While voters in these three states agree on and endorse initiatives covering a wide range of issues – same-sex marriage, medical marijuana, the Keystone Pipeline and the minimum wage – voters both within these three states and across borders cannot come to any consensus on some of the key issues that are drawing the political battle lines today including abortion, Obamacare and unemployment benefits.  In fact, asked whether the greatest problem we face today is too much government or income inequality, New Yorkers say ‘it’s inequality,’ Virginians say ‘too much government’ and New Jersey is split,” Levy notes.

“Another line in the sand is climate change.  New Jersey and New York emphatically say that they think that the major storms that have hit the East Coast over the last two years are the result of global climate change while Virginians are not convinced,” Wilson adds.

Rating the Governors, States and Country

Of the three Governors, Andrew Cuomo in New York, Chris Christie in New Jersey and Terry McAuliffe in Virginia, Cuomo has the strongest favorability ranking in his own state at 59 to 34 percent followed by McAuliffe’s 47 to 33 percent and Christie’s 48 to 40 percent.  Away from their home state, Christie is best known but gets breakeven favorable/unfavorable scores in both New York and Virginia.  McAuliffe, the Governor with the shortest tenure, is little known outside of Virginia while Cuomo is seen favorably in New Jersey, 47 to 19 percent but is neither well known nor popular in Virginia at 27 to 33 percent.

Another point of agreement across these three states is that voters say that the country is headed in the wrong direction rather than being on the right track by nearly identical scores – NJ 56/32, NY 54/36, Virginia 59/32.  And when asked to assess the direction of their own state, voters are more positive about their home than the nation but no state makes it to 50 percent saying ‘right track.’  While Virginians are guardedly optimistic at 47 percent right track to 40 percent wrong direction, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans lean negatively.


“Still, given a chance to vote with their feet when asked across all three states to choose where they would most like to live, a large majority – ninety percent in Virginia, two-thirds in New York and almost six in ten in New Jersey, say, despite any warts, home is sweet home.  Among those with a wandering eye, Virginia calls most loudly as a quarter of both New Yorkers and New Jerseyans are ready to head south,” Redlawsk added.

“Whether we describe our politics as hyper-partisan, divided or gridlocked, this three-state study shows that large majorities of voters from New Jersey, New York and Virginia agree on many issues.  Still, given their sobering agreement on the country currently moving in the wrong direction, they appear more frustrated than optimistic.  At the same time, on some issues including Obamacare, the role of government and abortion, deep divides are evident.  The 2016 Presidential election is a political eternity away.  While some of the issues in this study may be decided by then, it is more likely that Hillary Clinton and the other candidates, both Republicans and Democrats, will need to address both the areas of agreement as well as those on which Americans disagree when the campaign heats up.”


Filed under Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Christie NJ Rating, Education, Gay Marriage, Gun Control, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Immigration, Obama NJ Rating, President Obama

A Closer Look by the ECPIP Staff … Christie for President?

Most Say Christie Will Still Run, But No Match for “Favorite” Hillary Clinton

By Caitlin Sullivan, Gabriela Perez, and Jingying Zeng

Caitlin Sullivan is the head data visualization intern at the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and a senior at Rutgers University. Gabriela Perez, a senior, and Jingying Zeng, a junior, are also data visualization interns at the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling.

 In the aftermath of the George Washington Bridge scandal, Gov. Christie has not only taken a hit in his personal ratings but also in his presidential chances for 2016, at least with New Jersey voters. In a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll January 14-19, 2014, NJ registered voters give a clear lead to Hillary Clinton over Christie, while making it close between Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, when asked about potential 2016 matchups.

Clinton is a clear favorite in the “blue” state of New Jersey. Only 34 percent of NJ registered voters say that they would vote for Christie if the election were today, while 55 percent support Clinton. The potential Christie-Cuomo race, on the other hand, is neck-and-neck: 41 percent favor Christie while 42 percent would vote for Cuomo.

Christie’s second place position to Clinton and virtual tie with Cuomo stems from the governor’s significant favorability ratings drop. Once more supportive of Christie, only 46 percent of voters have a favorable impression of the governor, compared to 47 percent who have a favorable impression of Cuomo. But Clinton really shines with NJ voters right now: 65 percent have a favorable impression of her, a level Christie enjoyed before Bridgegate. While Republicans and Democrats stick by their respective partisan candidates, independents give a slight edge to Christie in favorability: 55 percent are favorable of the governor, versus 54 percent for Clinton and 45 percent for Cuomo.

Despite his problems, Christie does not lose his GOP base in the head-to-head tests; he still retains the support of 77 percent of Republican voters versus Clinton and 82 percent of Republicans versus Cuomo.

But Democrats and independents portray different stories. Independents are split in the Christie-Clinton race, 41 percent for Christie to 46 percent for Clinton. But Christie is the clear choice for independents against NY Gov. Cuomo, 46 percent to 30 percent.

Not surprisingly, overwhelming majorities of Democrats side with the Democratic candidates: 85 percent would support Clinton against Christie, and 70 percent would support Cuomo.

Women voters give the edge to the Democratic candidate in both matchups, especially when it comes to the one who could potentially be the first woman president. Clinton takes 60 percent of women, versus 30 percent for Christie, a 30-point gap. Cuomo also wins women, but by a narrower margin: 46 percent to 34 percent for Christie. A large gender gap emerges, where men support Clinton by only eight points, 48 percent to 40 percent for Christie. And men prefer Christie over Cuomo by 12 points, 49 percent to 37 percent.

Asked about whether Christie is focused more on his potential presidential campaign or more on doing what’s best for the state, just over half of voters believe Christie’s main concern is his potential presidential campaign, while a little more than a third say the governor puts the state first and foremost in his decisions. Opinions are divided across partisan lines, of course: two-thirds of Republican voters believe Christie makes decisions that are best for the state, versus 39 percent of independents, and 22 percent of Democrats.

Voters have mixed feelings on whether Christie running for president will be good or bad for New Jersey, with a plurality (45 percent) saying it will make no difference. The rest of voters are split between whether it would affect the state positively or negatively, 28 percent to 21 percent. Forty-two percent of Republicans say a Christie presidential run would benefit the state – which is more than double the share of Democrats and 13 points more than independents who say the same.

In spite of this negative outlook for Christie in his home state – which, after all, is much more Democratic than Republican overall – most still say they expect Christie to run for president in 2016. Sixty percent of all voters think he will run, including a majority of partisans of all stripes (57 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents, and 67 percent of Republicans).

Christie for President Tables February 2014

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Filed under 2016 President, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Christie, Christie NJ Rating, Hillary Clinton