Poll Shows N.J. Residents Support Gun Control and ‘Dreamers

Galloway, N.J - President Donald Trump remains unpopular in New Jersey, where public sentiment also runs counter to his positions on guns and immigration, according to a Stockton University poll released today.

In the poll of 728 New Jersey adults, 29 percent say Trump is doing a good or excellent job as president, while 70 percent give him negative marks, including 51 percent who rate his job performance as poor. Thirty-one percent have a somewhat or very favorable impression of the president, while 63 percent hold somewhat or very unfavorable views of him. More than six in 10 respondents feel the country is on the wrong track, while just a little more than a quarter feel it is going in the right direction.

“Donald Trump lost the presidential vote in New Jersey by 14 percentage points. Since then, his signature legislative accomplishment of tax reform hurt New Jersey property owners, and his positions on the issues surveyed in this poll show he has not won over the Garden State,” said Michael W. Klein, interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton.

Large majorities favor stricter gun control laws – including a ban on semiautomatic rifles – and a solution that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay and apply for citizenship. Trump has taken a hard line against illegal immigration, has proposed tightening legal immigration, and has ultimately opposed tougher gun control laws after floating the idea of raising the age limit to purchase semi-automatic rifles. 

The Stockton Polling Institute of the Hughes Center for Public Policy interviewed 728 New Jersey adults from March 22-29, 2018. Interviewers working from the Stockton University campus called landline and cell telephones. The statewide poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.65 percentage points.

Three-quarters of respondents favor tougher gun control laws, according to the poll. Asked if such laws should be made stricter, less strict or kept the way they are, 75 percent favor making them stricter, with 19 percent wanting to keep gun laws the way they are and 5 percent wanting to loosen gun control laws. Seventy-five percent also say 

they would support a federal law banning semi-automatic rifles, with 22 percent opposing a ban and 3 percent unsure.

The March for Our Lives rallies against mass shootings took place March 24, about midway through the time in which the Stockton Poll was conducted. There was no difference in the results before and after the marches.

Seventy-five percent would allow the so-called “Dreamers” brought to this country as children to remain in the United States and apply to become citizens. Twenty percent oppose that idea, and 5 percent are unsure.

Regarding legal immigration, the largest plurality (46 percent) would keep immigration levels where they are, while 17 percent say more immigrants should be allowed to enter the country. Twenty-seven percent say fewer immigrants should be allowed in, and 10 percent are unsure.

In a hypothetical U.S. House election in their congressional district, 48 percent say they would vote for the generic Democratic candidate and 32 percent would vote for the Republican, a 16-point spread. Four percent volunteer that they would vote for an independent candidate, and 14 percent are not sure.

Support for gun control and protecting undocumented children immigrants is higher among would-be Democratic voters, but majorities who favor generic Republican candidates also followed the trend.

“These results on gun and immigration questions cut across demographic lines. Majorities feel this way regardless of gender, age, race, and ethnicity,” Klein said. “Even political party support did not make a difference.”

For complete full poll results click Poll Results.

For YouTube video of Michael Klein discussing the results click Stockton Poll Video.


The poll was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. Live interviewers on the Stockton University campus called both landlines and cell phones from March 22-29, 2018. The poll was conducted with 728 adults who are residents of New Jersey. The poll's margin of error is +/- 3.65 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets. Data are weighted based on United States Census Bureau demographics for the State of New Jersey population.

About the Hughes Center

The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter) at Stockton University serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey, and promotes the civic life of New Jersey through engagement, education and research. The center is named for William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career includes service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton. The Hughes Center can be found at https://www.facebook.com/StocktonHughesCenter and can be followed on Twitter @hughescenter.

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Diane D’Amico
Director of News and Media Relations
Galloway, N.J. 08205