If you have been following our Rutgers/Rowan merger coverage you would know that today is the Board of Governors meeting at Rutgers Camden. I will be there live, in about 2 hours, to report the play by play, but here is a bit of news to chew on in the mean time.
The latest Eagleton polling shows that a majority of New Jersey residents oppose the merger plan supported by Party Boss George Norcross and Governor Christie. In fact, only 22 percent of respondents were in support of the plan.
By looking a the polls results, it seems that the breakdown of support can be simplified as such:
- Support for the merger is stronger among Republicans than Democrats (but its still a minority among Republicans).
- Support is strongest in the Northwest of the state and the shore counties, where support for Christie is strongest (but its still a minority of residents in those areas).
- Less than 20 percent of South Jersey residents support the plan, even though any perceived benefit the plan would bring would supposedly benefit them the most.
- 21 percent of respondents are unsure about the plan.
If nothing else, this poll shows that the opposition to this plan is quite broad. Republicans who are “in the know,” especially in the southwestern counties where Norcross is a known name, are likely unhappy with the plan because it is not only a terrible plan, but they can clearly see that it is being pushed to benefit the South Jersey Democrat Boss himself. Democrats are extra opposed to the plan (unless they are the ones being bossed) because they have a general hatred for the Governor.
In all, 49 percent of Republicans are opposed (count me in) and 67 percent of Democrats join them in their opposition. This impressive feat of bi-partisanship in such a polarized state such as ours should really surprise no one in this case. The breakdown was telegraphed among the political blogs in New Jersey. Both Save Jersey and Blue Jersey have been supporting the “Stop the Merger” movement since the beginning. More Monmouth Musings helped us to push our SaveRUCamden.com day. The largely liberal administration, faculty, and alumni network, has also come out strongly against the plan.
Based on the polling, it looks like we may in fact “Save Rutgers.” However, it will come down to the whether the bipartisan alliance among the people, or the bipartisan alliance between the Governor and the Party Boss, will win out. Now is not the time to let up.
Be sure to follow our coverage of the Board of Governors meeting this afternoon.