November 10th, 2010
10:49 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: New Jersey voters favor massive project cut

(CNN) – A new poll indicates that New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie might be on to something with his decision last month to slash funding for the nation's largest infrastructure project- the building of a new rail tunnel between New Jersey and New York.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found that New Jersey voters agreed with Christie's decision to eliminate the project by a 53 to 37 percent margin.

Among Republicans surveyed, support for Christie's decision came in at 76 percent, while only 31 percent of voters who identified as Democrats believed ending the project would be the right move.

But if the project is revived, 90 percent of New Jersey voters surveyed said that New York should help foot the bill.

According to the poll, the 11 percent of Garden State voters who commute to New York City for work are divided on the issue; 47 percent would like to see the tunnel built, but 50 percent are against the project.

The Quinnipiac University survey was conducted on November 3 – 8, with 1,362 New Jersey voters questioned by telephone. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

The project, which was projected to cost $8.7 billion, would have created a second rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey. It would also have expanded New York's Penn Station and was expected to ease congestion on New Jersey highways.

CNN reported Tuesday that a letter was sent from the Federal Transit Administration to New Jersey Transit, the state's public transportation authority, requesting an immediate repayment of $271 million in federal funds already spent on the project. The letter stated the funds were obligated for the ARC tunnel and because the project was terminated, the money most be returned.

New Jersey Transit officials responded by saying they are reviewing the request and they do not agree that the issue is as clear-cut as portrayed in the FTA letter.

The Quinnipiac survey did not ask voters if they would continue to support Christie's decision if New Jersey was required to repay the federal funds.

- CNN Radio National Correspondent Steve Kastenbaum contributed to this report.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey • New York
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    I don't understand it – we're NEVER going to progress – the voters are CONFUSED, in my opinion, about the survey. 90% want it if NY helps FOOT THE BILL – that's reasonable!!!!! Get NY to help foot the bill and MOVE ON – DANG!!!!

    It's definitely needed!! It will STOP a lot of congestion!! Think about the POLLUTION – NJ is full of POLLUTION!!! The ONLY survey that makes sense is asking the voters if the RAIL is needed and if so – who should pay for it!!!! PLEASE let's get to the 21st-22nd Century!!!

    T'sah – OUT of Campaign MODE – N2 MOVING AMERICA FORWARD with President Obama!! Yes We Can!!

    November 10, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    You can't spend a fortune on infrastructure, if you don't have the money. Fiscal responsibility has to take precedence, over convenience for the public.

    Those who don't like it, can move to NY........and pay NY rents.

    November 10, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Go ahead and cut the project. But don't be pissed off asking where are the jobs. These republican governors are trying to use stimulus funds for things they're not intended for. If you want to cut the project, then give the taxpayers back our money fatboy.

    November 10, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. keepstufingthis

    Really seems like a "no brainer." If they could pay real wages and real benefits and have real work rules they could probably actually get it done, but the liberals in their quest to get union votes pass these laws to make sure they are built by contractors having to pay the ridiculous union wages and benefits and under the inefficient, wasteful union work rules.

    November 10, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    If we could only clone Chris Cristie we could save this country FAST! This guy is the epitome of competence and common sense. We need many more like him in Congress and the HE needs to eventually be in the Whitehouse. In the meantime, he is trying to save New Jersey from the mess the DEMOcRATS and unions have made of it. GOOD LUCK!!

    November 10, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. rob

    Of course we should scrap it. First, niether the feds or the state of NJ has the money for this project, and second when was the last time ANY, ANY Govt project came in at budget........... NEVER. NJ would be on the hook for BILLIONS of cost over runs at a time when we are struggling with record debt. I'm glad Gov Cristie is sticking to his guns and cancelling the project.

    November 10, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. cane

    The myth the average voter knows what is i in his/her best interests is a farce. Right now middle America feels they have been screwed over at the expense of Wall Street. Don't get me wrong Wall Street is no paragon of virtue, but come on people we do need business to hire people. We do need a government that keeps them honest. That is not likely to happen with Republicans in power.

    Constructions jobs are needed to jump start the economy. The infrastructure spending would cast a wide net helping many industries and small businesses.

    Let's see how Christie reacts when the Feds demand New Jersey send the money back!

    November 10, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Sniffit

    Republicans will do anything it takes to allow the nation's infrastructure to collapse and especially to avoid doing anything to improve it. Duh. Construction jobs = union jobs. Nevermind that our roads and bridges and docks and shipping channels, i.e., the "instrumentalities of interstate commerce," are the skeleton on which our economy hangs. Uppity employees and workers need to be put in their place and learn that their employers are the masters of the universe....and if it requires cutting the nation's nose off to spite its face and avoid any employed union workers and their unions from having the economic wherewithall to donate to Democrats' campaign, well, by golly, that's what the GOP will do.

    November 10, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. usa/canada

    these polls are foolish and they never tell you how the question is framed. but thats how they keep control of the masses. by fear and miss information. building infrastructure is what made America strong way back when it was educated. now, well just look at the new congress

    November 10, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's okay that the people of NJ want the project cancelled but we as taxpayers need proof of where the $271 million has been spent. I like Cristie but you can't just say Jersey voters favor project cut and not be accountable for $271 million dollars.

    November 10, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Ken, AZ

    The primary reason New Jersey voters support Christi is that he publicly explained his decision to voters rather than allow his detractors explain/extort it for him. Whether you agree with his decision or not, at least he explained the reasonong behind it. And, I AM A DEMOCRAT.

    November 10, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. SayWhat

    How can people complain that it is the Democrats that are not putting people back to work on building the nation's infrastructure? Christie isjust another GOP "jobkiller".

    November 10, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Perry

    Good! Get the Federal dollars out of there and give it to someone who wants it to create jobs.

    November 10, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This shows that he doesn't have enough forethought. He needs to make sure that the Feds cover the cost overruns in total or in part. He is unwilling to consider raising the gasoline tax to cover the cost. I know that I would be willing to pay that... I am one who does most of my driving in NJ; about 99%.

    November 10, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. sharon

    JOBS??????? WHO needs jobs??????
    I think it is past time for the public works camp to come back.
    The mandatory arm forces.

    November 10, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Is it possible that NJ residents have finally had enough of liberalism? Good.

    November 10, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  17. Lisa P

    "The Quinnipiac survey did not ask voters if they would continue to support Christie's decision if New Jersey was required to repay the federal funds."

    Rash opinions are fun to spout. Real world consequences? Not so much. All this poll shows is that NJ voters are angry and uninformed. Let's go stick it to... ourselves! Smart move, New Jersey. I can tell you I'm happy you fools won't be getting any of *my* Federal tax dollars.

    November 10, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  18. carlos

    who was polled?????? only republicans will be siding with the massive boulder of governor, and getting more obese on the taxpeyers money.......

    November 10, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Had politicians listened to uninformed voters or even other politicians , there would be NYC subway, no Alaskan purchase, No Empire state building, no national parks. We as citizens do not have the facts or forsight to see long term advantages. We think with our pocket books , not what is good for the economy or even ourselves.

    November 10, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Tim

    And remember, if you don't agree to build the system, you have to return the money to Obama, because after all, it is his money.

    November 10, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Dennis

    We need more politicians like Christie who understand there is a limit to what can be spent. Don't expect it to happen, but members from both parties could learn something from him.

    November 10, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |