MADISON, NJ - With New Jersey’s bear hunt scheduled to be begin in just a few weeks, New Jersey voters generally approve. According to the most recent poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind™, 53% of voters agree with allowing bear hunting in the Garden State “if wildlife scientists conclude that bears are exceeding their recommended habitat limits and are destroying private property,” while 36% disagree. Another 11% are unsure.
A second version of the question, simply asking voters whether they approve or disapprove of a bear hunting season for New Jersey, yields similar results: 49% approve and 33% disapprove, a margin of 16 percentage points. But for this simplified version of the question, the percentage of people unsure rises to nearly one-in-five (18%) from just one-in-ten (11%).
“Bear hunting is just not something people think about every day in the most densely populated state in the country,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll. “Many people will decide their view based on whether they think it’s a necessity rather than recreation.”
Men are more than twice as likely as women to approve of bear hunting. Men approve by a wide margin (64-28 and 61-24) while women split on the question (44-43 and 38-41).
Voters under 30 disapprove by a margin of two-to-one, while older voters approve. Voters over 60 approve by a margin of two-to-one.
Voters in the most rural parts of the Garden State are more likely to approve of a bear hunt than others voters. In the northwest (Sussex, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris and Somerset counties) and south (Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Camden and Salem counties), voters approve by margins of two-to-one.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 831 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone, including both landlines and cellphones, from Oct. 4, 2010, through Oct. 10, 2010. At random, half of respondents (423) were asked one version of a question about approving or disapproving of bear hunting and half (408) were asked another version. The margin of error for each group is +/- 5 percentage points.
Credit: Nilsa De La Cruz / Patch.com FDU's PublicMind Poll