After reading polling questions and analyzing the data from a March 15 Rutgers Eagleton Institute Poll, the press release issued by the Rutgers Eagleton Institute does not tell the whole story.
Unfortunately, the print media appear to be willing partners in this effort to mislead the public. Rutgers’ obvious purpose for this poll was politically motivated and designed to conclude that the Governor’s speech at our Rally hurt the Governor, but their own results show that 68% of those polled said that it either made them feel better about the Governor or had no effect.
Among the female population, 67% said his speech either made them feel better about the Governor or had no effect on their opinion of him. Even among those who want abortion to remain legal in all circumstances, 45% said it had no effect on their opinion of the Governor.
The poll also found that 58% of Democrats were not affected or felt better about the Governor after the Governor’s speech, 68% of Independents were not affected or felt better and 83% of Republicans were not affected. The poll also shows that a majority (60%) of all New Jerseyans favor restrictions on abortions and 57% of women favor restrictions on abortion. Probably the most promising result from the poll is that those in the 18-29 age range are the second most pro-life population with 63% favoring restrictions on abortion.
Although the Press Release states that ‘38 percent of strongly pro-choice voters who initially support Christie say they feel worse after his speech,’ the polling results released by Rutgers initially did not reflect this result.
It was only after our inquiry with the Star Ledger that Rutgers released the additional data to the Star Ledger and it was then provided to NJRTL on 3-16.
The additional questions indicate that among the 104 people in the polling sample who want abortion to remain legal in all circumstances and felt favorably toward the Governor before his speech, 38% (or 40 people) felt worse about the Governor after the speech. It also showed that 62% of the 104 individuals (65 people ) in the polling sample who want abortion to remain legal in all circumstances and felt favorably toward the Governor before his speech did not change their opinion of him after his speech.
More significantly and curiously omitted was the statistic which applied to the largest population of voters sampled in the poll – those who favor restrictions on abortion. Among the 218 people who fell under this category and felt favorably about the Governor before his speech, 24% ( 53 people) felt better about the Governor after his speech and 66% (144 people) who were favorable toward the Governor before his speech did not change their opinion of the Governor after his speech.
Noticeably absent in the poll was a question on whether taxpayers should pay for abortions. We challenge Rutgers Eagleton to poll voters on this important question and urge them to be more honest in their reporting of their own statistics in the future.
LifeNews.com Note: Marie Tasy is the executive director of New Jersey Right to Life.