New Jersey residents may not like their government, but they are interested in it. At least that’s the conclusion of a recent, extensive poll on the quality of life in the Garden State, conducted by the Monmouth University Poling Institute. According to the study, 74 percent of respondents said government is only "fair" or "poor," while only 3 percent rated it "excellent" and 21 percent said "good." That’s the worst rating for government since the question was first asked in the 1980's.
State government fared the worst in the poll, with just 11 percent of New Jerseyans saying they have a lot of confidence in state government, while 42 percent had some. However, 44 percent said they don’t have much confidence in Trenton -- surpassing the prior highest negative point of 42 percent in 1976.
Local governments fared a little better, with only 32 percent saying they didn’t have much confidence in municipal government, while 48 percent said they had some. Having said that, only 33 percent of New Jerseyans felt the quality of local services was worth the taxes.
That doesn’t mean the populace isn’t interested. In terms of state government, 38 percent of respondents said they are very interested in goings-on in Trenton, with 44 percent saying they are somewhat interested. A slightly smaller percentage was interested in local government; 29 percent said they were very interested and 48 percent said they were somewhat interested. Those most interested in state politics were those born and bred in the Garden State (58 percent), those earning over $150,000 a year (56 percent) and seniors (58 percent.) Life-long New Jerseyans and seniors were the only two groups that said they voted in every election.