STATE – New Jersey voters are evenly split with 43 percent preferring using federal relief to buy properties damaged during Superstorm Sandy 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, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll.
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, according to a Siena College (SRI) poll.
“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. ”
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