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March 12, 2016

Poll: Jersey residents are against Atlantic City takeover by slim margin

Just over half think shore town should alone take care of issues

Poll Politics
Atlantic City Mel Evans/AP

Atlantic City.

New Jersey residents are backing off previous support of a state takeover of Atlantic City to help save the struggling shore town -- something that's now on the table -- according to a new poll.

The poll, released Wednesday by the Rutgers-Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, found that 51 percent of those surveyed believe the financially-ailing gambling town should take care of its own issues while 44 percent believe New Jersey should intervene.

Those findings are contradictory to opinions found in a poll conducted by the center last year, a survey that found respondents "solidly agreed that the state should help Atlantic City," according to the authors.

Ashley Koning, assistant director of the poll, told KYW NewsRadio the shift in thinking could be due to a number of things:

“It could come from potentially New Jerseyans not wanting any kind of takeover itself,” Koning suggests, “but it could also really stem from we see this kind of lackluster view of Atlantic City and its bleak outlook for its future.”

One thing hasn't changed: 63 percent of those polled think Atlantic City's best days are behind it -- the same number from polls conducted in 2014 and 2015.

In January, Gov. Chris Christie presented a proposal to take more control over the city's finances in order to  help restructure its government and debt. 

The state Senate's budget committee is set to vote on the proposed plan Monday, according to

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll surveyed 801 adults from Feb. 18-23. It had a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.