Poll suggests New Jersey voters opposed to Rowan merger with Rutgers-Camden

A new poll released Wednesday by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University shows a majority of New Jersey registered voters are not in favor of the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University.

According to the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 57 percent of registered voters in New Jersey opposed the proposed merger recently announced by Governor Chris Christie.

The poll shows 22 percent support the merger, while 21 percent are not sure.

The plan, which Governor Christie announced last month, has been greeted with mixed reviews and has sparked recent rallies on the Rutgers-Camden campus. Students and staff opposed to the proposal were scheduled to rally Wednesday prior to the Board of Governors meeting.

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“Governor Christie’s plan to merge Rowan and Rutgers-Camden may be the most unpopular idea he has put forward to date,” Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Director David Redlawsk said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We might also expect voters in South Jersey to be in favor, given the benefits Christie says will come from the merger. But in reality, neither of these groups, or any other, comes close to supporting it.”

A call was placed to the Governor’s office Wednesday morning but a staff member would not comment on the results of the poll.

The poll suggests most GOP voters also are opposed to the idea, with 32 percent in favor of combining the two universities and 49 percent opposed to the plan. The poll found only 16 percent of Democrats supported the proposed merger.

New Jersey residents also appear to be split on the idea to place a higher education facilities bond issue on the November ballot. According to the Rutgers-Eagleton poll, 48 percent of respondents were okay with New Jersey taking on more debt to build and refurbish college facilities, while 45 percent felt it was a bad time to take on more debt.

Rugters-Eagleton says the poll results are from 914 adults statewide from both landline and cell phone households from February 9-11.

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