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    N.J. Residents Give Thumbs Down to Self-Service Gas

    A new poll finds 63 percent of Garden State voters prefer not to pump their own fuel.

    TRENTON -- While self-service gas pumps have been the norm in the industry for the past few decades, New Jersey residents continue to say "fill 'er up" and that's the way they want to keep it.

    A new Farleigh Dickinson University (FDU)/PublicMind poll found that approximately 63 percent of Garden State residents prefer not to pump their own gas. Just 23 percent of those who responded said they were outright against having gas station attendants fill up their tanks, and another 14 percent said they are not sure or have mixed views.

    Another interesting find, according to the FDU release, is that the responses are fairly consistent across all age groups.

    "Clearly, this is an aspect of life in the Garden State that Jerseyans have embraced," said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.

    Although there is no difference based on age, gender does appear to play a role. The poll found female support for full-service gas is very strong at 72 percent to 15 percent, while men support it 55 percent to 31 percent.

    "I don't call it pampering," Woolley added, "until I go to Pennsylvania and try to figure out how the pump works."

    The poll also found some political undercurrents. Self-described conservatives support the rule 55 percent to 29 percent, while liberals approve it by a larger margin of 70 percent to 21 percent. Republicans approve by 61 percent to 25 percent, while Democrats support it by a hardier 72 percent to 19 percent.

    "Some voters think the regulation is government interference," Woolley explained. "Others think it's sensible and convenient."

    Oregon is the only other state that bans self-service gas pumps.

    "We'll run the question again in summer, when it's not snowing or pouring rain, and it's not too hot either," Woolley said. "Perhaps then drivers will be more inclined to get out of the car to work the pump themselves."

    The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 800 registered voters statewide was conducted by telephone using both landlines and cell phones from Jan. 2 through Jan. 8.


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