Early support for a constitutional amendment allowing residents to bet on college sports is thin, according to a Farleigh Dickinson University poll released Thursday.
Just 25% of voters said they backed the amendment, which would significantly expand the sports books established in the state in 2018. About half of respondents, 49%, said they opposed the expansion. The remaining 26% were undecided.
“Many voters still aren’t sure where they stand on the matter,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of government and politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Executive Director of the poll. “But supporters are going to need to change a lot of minds if they want to get this passed.”
The constitutional amendment was placed on the ballot after passing both chambers of the legislature with clear majorities.
At 32%, Republicans were the likeliest to support the gambling expansion. Just 18% of Democrats favored the same.
But men, 36%, and voters under 35, 36%, also showed some support for the policy shift, but that doesn’t necessarily bode well for the proposal given just 11% of seniors, the most reliable voting bloc, supported expanding legal sports betting to collegiate contests.
It’s chances this year are made even murkier by expected voter turnout.
“This change might have had a better chance in a higher turnout year,” said Cassino. “But among the voters who tend to turn out the most, there’s just no appetite for expanding gaming yet again.”
The poll sampled 803 registered New Jersey voters and has a margin of error of 3.94%.