FDU Poll: Half of New Jersey Supports Trump Impeachment

Former EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg questions whether any member of the NJ GOP will denounce the racism in President Donald Trump's tweet stating that four newly elected Congresswomen should “go back where they came from.”

With controversy growing over President Trump’s alleged willingness to trade U.S. influence for opposition research on his political opponents, fifty percent of New Jersey residents currently support impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives. The president also remains deeply unpopular in the Garden State, with a third (34%) who disapprove of his leadership, and a majority (56%) who fear the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Among those who do not favor impeachment hearings right now, most are (36%) unequivocal in their opposition, with twelve percent who are unsure.

“Reports of a controversial call between President Trump and the newly elected Ukrainian president are fairly recent. And yet, half of New Jerseyans seem to have heard enough to convince them to support impeachment hearings,” said Krista Jenkins, director of the poll and a professor of government and politics at FDU.

Impeachment is a story about partisanship and education, as with other aspects of public opinion toward the president. While less than a majority (40%) of those with no more than a high school degree support impeachment, more than half to two-thirds of those with a college degree or more say the same. And even though a majority or plurality of those across the educational continuum disapprove of the president’s leadership, the high school or less demographic offers the strongest support for the president (40%).

Democrats (78%) are as solidly behind impeachment as Republicans are in their opposition (81%).  Presidential leadership is also viewed through a partisan lens. About eight-in-ten Democrats (85%) disapprove of the president’s job performance, with similar numbers of Republicans (83%) who like what they see.

Independents, which in this case are those who do not identify with or lean toward one of the two major parties, are divided on the subject of impeachment. 39 percent favor impeachment and 32 percent are opposed. A quarter (24%) are undecided. Independents are, however, more negatively decisive about President Trump’s job performance. Half (50%) disapprove while fewer than a third (29%) approve.

Little has changed for the president in regard to public opinion regarding his job approval and evaluations of the nation’s health under his watch. Although he is and has been underwater since taking office, the needle remains stuck in the 30s for both measures of performance. For example, a year ago the president had a job approval of 33 percent in New Jersey. Today that number is 34 percent. There has also been no change in public attitudes toward the direction of the nation. Around a third were pleased with how things were going with more than half expressing their discontent when the same question was asked last Fall. The same portrait emerges today with little change in the state of the nation numbers.

“The President has a solid core of supporters. Like what other pollsters across find when they ask about President Trump, there’s a group of Trump supporters in New Jersey who remain by his side because they like what they see. Their steadfast loyalty to the president so far keeps New Jersey from turning a darker shade of blue,” said Jenkins.

 

Methodology

The survey was conducted by live callers on both landlines and cellular phones between September 26 through October 2, 2019, with a scientifically selected random sample of 801 New Jersey adults, 18 or older. Persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process. Respondents within a household are selected by asking randomly for the youngest adult currently available. The interview was conducted in English and included 253 adults reached on a landline phone and 548 adults reached on a cell phone, all acquired through random digit dialing.

The data were weighted to be representative of the non-institutionalized adult population of New Jersey. The weighting balanced sample demographics to target population parameters. The sample is balanced to match parameters for sex, age, education, race/ethnicity, region, and phone use. The sex, age, education, race/ethnicity, and region parameters were derived from 2017 American Community Survey PUMS data. The phone use parameter was derived from estimates provided by the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program.

Weighting was done in two stages. The first stage of weighting corrected for different probabilities of selection associated with the number of adults in each household and each respondent’s telephone usage patterns. This adjustment also accounts for the overlapping landline and cell sample frames and the relative sizes of each frame and each sample. This first stage weight was applied to the entire sample which included all adults.

The second stage of the weighting balanced sample demographics to match target population benchmarks. This weighting was accomplished using SPSSINC RAKE, an SPSS extension module that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using the GENLOG procedure. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis ensures that the demographic characteristics of the sample closely approximate the demographic characteristics of the target population

Effects of Sample Design on Statistical Analysis

Post-data collection statistical adjustments require analysis procedures that reflect departures from simple random sampling. We calculate the effects of these design features so that an appropriate adjustment can be incorporated into tests of statistical significance when using these data. The so-called “design effect” or deff represents the loss in statistical efficiency that results from a disproportionate sample design and systematic non-response. The total sample design effect for this study is 1.27.

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. Sampling error should be adjusted to recognize the effect of weighting the data to better match the population. In this poll, the simple sampling error for 801 New Jersey adults is +/-3.9 percentage points (including the design effect) at a 95 percent confidence interval. Thus, if 50 percent of New Jersey adults in this sample favor a particular position, we would be 95 percent sure that the true figure is between 46.1 and 53.9 percent (50 +/- 3.9) if all New Jersey adults had been interviewed, rather than just a sample.

Sampling error does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question-wording, or context effects.

This telephone survey was fielded by Braun Research, Inc. with sample from Dynata.

The sample was purchased from Marketing Systems Group and the research was funded by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Weighted Telephone Sample Characteristics

801 New Jersey Adults

Male    48%  N = 378 (+/-5%)

Female    52%  N = 423 (+/-5%)

18-29    17%  N = 143 (+/-8%)

30-49    36%  N = 264 (+/-6%)

50-64    26%  N = 196 (+/-7%)

65+    20%  N = 198 (+/-7%)

Democrat (with leaners)  46%  N = 370 (+/-5%)

Independent   27%  N = 196 (+/-7%)

Republican (with leaners) 27%  N = 220 (+/-7%)

White    58%  N = 534 (+/-4%)

Black    13%  N = 90 (+/-9%)

Hispanic   19%  N = 111(+/-9%)

Other    10%  N = 48 (+/-14%) 

For the third time, the FDU Poll received an “A” rating from statistician Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog. The ratings measure both accuracy and bias for all major polling services in the United States, providing an update to similar research the poll watchers conducted in 2016. FDU’s “A” rating puts it in the top 18 of the 396 polling institutes reviewed and graded from A+ through F.

 

Question wording and order:

LV1 through LV5 withheld

US1. Do you approve or disapprove [ROTATE] of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as President?

1 Approve

2 Disapprove

8 DK

9  Refused (vol)

 

1/17
3/17
10/17
1/18
5/18
9/18
10/19
Approve
37
28
31
31
33
33
34
Disapprove
50
61
62
60
57
58
57

 

 

US2.  In your opinion, do you believe the country is moving in the right direction or is it on the wrong track [ROTATE]?

1 Right direction

2 Wrong track

8 DK

9 Refused (vol)

 

1/17
3/17
10/17
1/18
5/18
9/18
10/19
Right direction
37
28
31
31
35
35
36
Wrong track
50
61
62
60
55
57
56

 

US3 Based on what you have heard or read about the allegations surrounding the President and his phone call with a foreign president, do you support or oppose [ROTATE] his impeachment in the House of Representatives?

1 Support

2 Oppose

8 DK

9 Refused (vol)

 

Tables

Click here to access the demographic tables.

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