Most New Jerseyans give their home state a 63%-37% approval rating, according to the Garden State Quality of Life Index from the Monmouth University Poll.
The +24 score is slightly less than +27 last year.
But the index score for urban residents is down 15 points, while New Jerseyans who live in “stable growth towns” has dropped by 2 points. This comes at a time when campaigns have struggled to turn out urban voters; in 2022, Maplewood, Millburn, and South Orange combined to turn out roughly the same number of votes as Newark, which is three times the size.
“We always see some fluctuations in Monmouth’s Garden State Quality of Life Index, but it’s important for policymakers to take note when the views of different groups start to diverge this noticeably. A sense of unrest can develop from the perception that others are doing better than you,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
More than three-quarters of New Jerseyans (77%) rate their municipality as excellent or good, and 78% approve of the quality of the environment where they live.
Local schools effectively have a job approval rating of 60%-33%. More than six in ten people (64%) in the state feel very safe in their neighborhood at night, while 32% say they are somewhat safe; 4% believe they are “not at all safe.”
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted from January 5-9 with a sample of 809 New Jersey adults and a margin of error of +/- 4.7%.