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More women should hold elective office, New Jersey voters say

August 18, 2011|By Michael Muskal | Los Angeles Times
  • The cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore," which does not necessarily always represent a feminist point of view.
The cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore," which does not necessarily… (Mel Evans / Associated Press )

New Jersey, at least according to how it is portrayed on television, has never earned a reputation as a bastion of feminism, but a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows that a majority of the state’s voters agree that there should be more women in office.

According to the poll, 54% backed the idea of more women in high elective office, while about a third of those surveyed said there were enough women in office already.

Not surprisingly there is a gender gap in the results. Women wanted more women by 65% to 27% while men not so much. Males also said there should be more women but the results were 42% to 39%.

“As in the other states where Quinnipiac University has asked about women in politics, New Jerseyans think there should be more women,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “Men think so by the smallest of margins. Women? You guessed it.”

About four out of five respondents noted that male elected officials are more likely to be involved in a sex scandal than a female office-holder. There was no gender gap in the results, according to the poll.

Women officials are more likely than men to have the right priorities, the poll found, with 18% backing females and just 7% saying they trust men more. Almost three-quarters, 73%, said there is not much difference.

On problem-solving ability, 29% gave the edge to women and 8% to men. About three out of five, 62%, said the gender made no difference in the ability  to solve problems.

The poll is based on contacts with 1,624 registered voters from August 9 to 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

michael.muskal@latimes.com

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