Voters Oppose Special Senate Election Scheduling Due To Cost

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NEW BRUNSWICK — More than three quarters of New Jersey voters believe Gov. Chris Christie made a bad call when he scheduled a special election to replace the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg just three weeks before this year’s general election, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

The cost is estimated around $24 million, including both the Aug. 13 primary and the Oct. 16 special election, but that figure could have been cut in half if Christie had combined the special election with the Nov. 5 general election. Just 12 percent of New Jersey voters agreed with Christie’s decision to hold separate elections when informed of the cost.

“There is virtually no support for holding a special election given the price tag,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Republicans are upset because many had hoped an appointed Republican would serve until November 2014. Democrats don’t like it because they expect it will lower turnout in the November 2013 election, leading to an even bigger win for Christie and the possibility of Republican legislative gains. And voters will have to keep track of two separate elections, remembering that the special election is on a Wednesday, not a Tuesday.”

Candidates have until 4 p.m. today to file their petitions to run in the primary, but the poll asked Democrats and independents about their preferences among those expected to enter the race. Newark Mayor Cory Booker was the choice of 55 percent, while U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone and Rush Holt garnered support of 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, who just announced her plans to run, was not included in the poll.

“Even with Oliver in the race, Booker is currently the odds-on favorite,” said Redlawsk. “Booker has the most visible statewide profile by far among the Democrats running, and name recognition is critical in such a short campaign. At the same time, we surveyed registered voters, and special election turnout is notoriously difficult to predict. We shouldn’t write anyone off just yet.”

Because the Republican field had not established itself at the time the survey was conducted, that race was not polled.

Results are from a poll of 888 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from June 3-9 with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.  The Democratic primary ballot test includes a subsample of 364 registered Democrats and Democratic leaners with a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percentage points.


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12 comments for “Voters Oppose Special Senate Election Scheduling Due To Cost

  1. M. Mico
    June 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    This is absolutely a move that should not be tolerated by the people of this State, speak up and write, phone your local politicians and tell them that you do not agree with this useless spending….come on twelve million dollars plus just because he feels like it?…..He himself spoke against this same maneuver when the former Governor attempted to do it, What has changed? , Does he believe that he is a Dictator and can do whatever he wants?…It is We The People….Not I Caesar!
    .

  2. guest RH
    June 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    He cut $7.5 Million on women’s health care in 2011..then $3 million more on afterschool programs….He doesn’t care about women or education….BUT its okay to waste $24 million on himself!!!!

  3. Peter Sawyer
    June 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    HE MADE THE TOWNSHIPS AND DISTRICTS CHANGE THE ELECTIONS TO NOV. LAST YEAR OR PAY OUT OF POCKET THEMSELVES. HOW 2 FACED.
    ALSO HE WON’T COUNT SSD IN NJ BECAUSE IT’S FEDERAL, BUT HE SURE TOOK FEMA AND IT’S FEDERAL. COMPLAINS ABOUT EDUCATION BUT WON’T ALLOW K-12. DID AWAY WITH COAH FOR LOW INCOME HOUSING.
    DON’T BE POOR IN NJ.

  4. Bri_D
    June 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I’m paying taxes in Morris County for him to waste so he looks good in November??? Take my share of taxes and funnel it into the Jersey Shore and not into your best interest! p.s. reimburse the 25 mil on commercials and give 250 homes $100,000 at the Jersey Shore, now that’s helping the Jersey Strong Shore people.

  5. johnny
    June 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    no special election Dodo

  6. June 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Gov. 1% is all for cutting money to public schools in New Jersey but he is for spending 24m on two elections. Life must be good in Mendham.

  7. Sheri
    June 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    An individual also said to mention the funds for Sandy were used for commerials on his behalf. Need to verify that however. But is has been now mentioned 🙂

  8. Eric
    June 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    he is dumber then the norm.

  9. Guest
    June 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Christie has to go. Likeable does not mean competent. The politicians of the great state of NJ has been due to them lining their own pockets. Where I live, the roads are in total disrepair, the town has no jobs, you are taxed “if you move out of state” on the sale of the home (specifically for that reason), the gang violence is out of control, and people are just plain miserable. It is over 700 dollars per month to live in a one bedroom apartment with no utilities in a slum area. Any time that I have mentioned moving to the area, the response is always the same, “Why?”. Forty school districts only received a $1.00 increase in budgeting however Christie is calling for a 12 million dollar “Special” Election. There are so many people that need that money and this is what it is used for. Really. He really needs to be taken out of power. Period.

  10. joann
    June 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Why is he able to get away with this? There has been much publicity about this stupid move, yet is sounds as though it’s a done deal!!!!!

  11. Guest
    June 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I will make it my mission in life to make as much noise as possible about Christie’s record with the State of NJ if he continues on the route of the special election. The only individual this helps is Christie and also shows how much money was available when 40 school districts in the state were give a $1.00 increase in the budget. Really. Sincerely, a disgusted constituent.

  12. Pikov Andropov
    June 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Christie did the wrong thing.

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