Poll: New Jersey’s 7th, 11th Congressional Districts Support President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

A new poll found strong support for President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan in two North Jersey congressional districts seen as key to which party controls the House of Representatives after the 2022 midterm elections.  

Released May 27, the survey, sponsored by Environment New Jersey, Earthjustice and Environment America, sought to gauge how voters feel about the American Jobs Plan.

The package seeks to invest in various infrastructure projects—including highways, drinking water, high-speed broadband, housing, jobs and schools—as part of a larger goal of addressing racial inequities and moving toward alternative energy sources over the next decade.

The White House claims the plan would be supported by increasing the corporate tax rate to 25% and other changes to the tax code.

Climate Change, Clean Energy Are Major Issues

According to the new poll, voters in the 7th and 11th Congressional Districts indicated that the aspects of the plan that focus “specifically on climate change and clean energy are a significant selling point.”

Conducted between May 4 and 15 by Hart Research Associates, the poll surveyed 300 registered voters has a margin of error of 5.7%.

In a statement, Doug O’Malley, Environment New Jersey’s executive director, called the American Jobs Plan “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in what matters and tackle the climate crisis. This data demonstrates New Jerseyans firmly support President Biden’s plans to invest in our infrastructure.”

Key Findings

Voters in the 7th district—which includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of Essex, Somerset, Union and Warren counties—support the American Jobs Plan by a margin of 60% to 33% and want Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski to vote in favor of it.

In the 11th district, which covers portions of Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties, voters backed the plan by a margin of 59% to 34% and believe Rep. Mikie Sherrill support it.

The support for different aspects of the infrastructure that is above 50% include:

  • 85% (7th district) and 82% (11th district) support investments to rebuild roads and bridges and modernizing public transportation
  • 84% (7th district) and 82% (11th district) support upgrading the country’s public water infrastructure
  • 76% (7th district) and 75% (11th district) support funding for the Gateway Project to repair and construct additional rail tunnels under the Hudson River
  • 69% (7th district) and 69% (11th district) support extending tax credits to spur clean energy initiatives, like wind and solar power
  • 68% (7th district) and 71% (11th district) support a shift to greater use of clean energy
  • 63% (7th district) and 64% (11th district) support investments in electric vehicles and charging stations
  • 53% (7th district) and 50% (11th district) believe the American Jobs Plan would “reduce the harmful effects of climate change”
  • 64% (7th district) and 60% (11th district) think it will “create good jobs across the country”
  • 62% (7th district) and 57% (11th district) say it will “grow the U.S. economy”
  • 61% (7th district) and 54% (11th district) favor partially rolling back 2017 corporate tax cuts by moving the corporate tax rate to 28% from the current 21% to help pay for the American Jobs Plan
  • 61% (7th district) and 57% (11th district) support ending taxpayer subsidies for oil and gas companies to help pay for the American Jobs Plan

5th District Not Surveyed

Voters in the 5th district—which is made up of Bergen County, as well as parts of Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties—were not polled.

The district’s congressional representative, Josh Gottheimer, has reiterated he will not support any infrastructure plan that does not include the removal of the federal cap on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.

Gottheimer has been fighting the $10,000 cap on the federal write-off for state and local taxes since 2017, when former President Donald Trump signed the GOP’s tax bill into law. After the previously unlimited century-old write-off was capped, many states with high costs of living and taxes, including New Jersey, were left with higher federal tax bills, while wealthy individuals and corporations were handed tax breaks.  

In April, Gottheimer, Sherrill and Malinowski were among the six members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation who sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen calling for a repeal of the cap on the tax write-off.

Negotiations Continue

Negotiations on the American Jobs Plan remain ongoing in Washington.

On May 21, the Biden administration pitched a counteroffer, trimming the original proposal down to $1.7 trillion, as part of an effort to compromise with Republicans who have spoken out against the American Jobs Plan’s multi-trillion-dollar price tag and the tax hikes that would pay for it.

The updated plan features reduced funding for broadband, roads, bridges and other major projects. Investments in research and development were removed, however the White House said those components would be included in other bills.

An $568 billion five-year alternative plan unveiled last month by Republican Senators sticks largely to physical infrastructure improvements. The GOP has opposed increasing the corporate tax rate—which decreased from 35% to 21% following passage of the 2017 tax law—and seek to preserve those cuts.

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