Taxes top list of N.J. voters’ concerns for the next governor

The American Flag flying in front of the New Jersey State House in Trenton (Bigstock/Glynnis Jones)

The American Flag flying in front of the New Jersey State House in Trenton (Bigstock/Glynnis Jones)

What’s the most important issue in deciding whom to elect as New Jersey’s next governor?

A new Quinnipiac University survey of voters puts taxes at the top of the list.

Pollster Maurice Carroll said that’s the biggest concern for 26 percent of voters.

“There was one year many years ago when, believe it or not, auto insurance was the main issue, but poll in and poll out finds that New Jerseyans are concerned mostly about taxes,” Carroll said.

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Carroll said 12 percent of voters indicate the economy will be the most important factor in deciding which gubernatorial candidate they’ll select and 11 percent say it’s education.

“State aid for education in an election year in which your affluent communities are sore about the Abbott stuff, it’s almost bound to be an issue,” Carroll said, referring to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent decision to reject Gov. Chris Christie’s request to reexamine a landmark public school funding case, Abbott v. Burke that ordered more state money for low-income, urban districts. 

“The legislature with certainly talk about it. Whether they’ll do anything about it is hard to say. And what they’ll do? Lord knows,” Carroll added.

Integrity, morality and the character of the candidates are near the bottom of the list of voters’ concerns when it comes to deciding how they’ll vote in the governor’s race.

Carroll says any single issue is not likely to determine the outcome.

“What usually happens is people decide on a variety of issues and it starts out with are you a Republican or a Democrat,” he said. “At least at this stage of the game, it looks to me as if it’s going to be more or less a standard Republican vs. Democrat election.”

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