MADISON, NJ - New Jersey voters are pumped up about not pumping gas. According to the most recent statewide poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™, 63% of voters say they support the Garden State rule that requires a gas station attendant to pump their gas. Just 23% say they oppose it. And 14% say they’re not sure, or they have mixed views.
There are no differences by age. The majority opinion is consistent from the very youngest drivers to the very oldest.
“Clearly, this is an aspect of life in the Garden State that Jerseyans have embraced,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.
However, women are significantly more likely to support the rule than men. Female support is very strong at 72%-15%, while men support it by 55%-31%.
“I don’t call it pampering,” said Woolley, “until I go to Pennsylvania and try to figure out how the pump works.”
But there are some political undercurrents. Self-described conservatives support the rule by 55%-29%, while liberals approve by the much more robust margin of 70%-21%. Republicans approve by a hardy 61%-25%, but Democrats by a hardier 72%-19%.
“Some voters think the regulation is government interference,” said Woolley. “Others think it’s sensible and convenient.”
New Jersey is not unique in this respect. Oregon also forbids customers to pump gas.
“We’ll run the question again in summer, when it’s not snowing or pouring rain, and it’s not too hot either,” said Woolley. “Perhaps then drivers will be more inclined to get out of the car to work the pump themselves.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 800 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from Jan. 2 through Jan. 8, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.