(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) NJ Governor Chris Christie keeps getting more support from voters for his decision to kill the trans-Hudson transit tunnel, according to a study released today by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Christie took a stand against what he called wasteful spending in October when he killed the ARC transit tunnel that would have doubled NJ Transit capacity across between New York and New Jersey. At the time it was the biggest infrastructure project in the nation. The federal government wants $271 million back for what they spent on it. Christie's decision made him the darling of fiscal conservatives craving firm budget belt tightening. In New Jersey, just barely half of voters, 51 percent, supported his decision at the time. That number has grown to 56 percent according to the Rutgers poll.
“It is clear that across New Jersey, residents continue to support the governor’s decision to cancel the project,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers poll and professor of political science at Rutgers said in an emailed statement.
The poll also asked about a proposal to extend the New York City #7 subway line across the Hudson river, finding 74 percent of respondents—all New Jersey residents—support that concept. That project is only an idea at this point, without an official price tag, and would likely involve New York City paying a portion of the cost, something that was not the case with the ARC tunnel. Full study and statistical fun after the jump.
The pollsters also played around with priming, asking questions in different orders to see if they resulted in different answers. Of course they did. If you're interested in methodology, read Professor Redlawsk's blog post about it. Interesting stuff, but not unexpected that respondents were less likely to support Christie's decision to kill the ARC tunnel when they were first asked about the economic benefits of the project. Page through the survey below for more on that.