Just a month after he announced it, 69 percent of New Jersey voters said they support Gov. Chris Christie's desire to revive Atlantic City tourism, although 46 percent oppose his plan for doing it, finds a poll conducted late last month by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which conducts public opinion polls in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida and Ohio.
The poll asked voters to respond to a July announcement by Gov. Christie, who established an advisory committee earlier this year to study the challenges facing New Jersey's gaming, sports and entertainment industries. Based on that commission's findings, he has recommended a series of sweeping changes — including forming a new, state-run tourism district in Atlantic City — that most voters disagree with, according to Quinnipiac.
"Bring back romantic-enchantic Atlantic City, New Jerseyans says," Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Director Maurice Carroll said in a statement. "They want the place to be revived as a beach and boardwalk Mecca. But they don't like the proposed state takeover."
Although voters across political groups, gender and geography favor an Atlantic City revival, more Republicans than Democrats support the governor's plan for achieving one, according to Quinnipiac, which found that Republicans support a state takeover of Atlantic City by 46 percent to 34 percent, while Democrats oppose it 55 percent to 26 percent.
While opinion among voters is mixed, at least constituency — local tourism officials — wholeheartedly supports Gov. Christie's plan.
"The dramatic changes Gov. Christie outlined are aimed at reinvigorating investment in Atlantic City and assuming full and complete control of certain government activities and operations within a newly defined Atlantic City Tourism District," the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority said in a statement following the governor's July announcement. "All of this is very positive news for Atlantic City."