The pipeline of New Jersey polls never runs dry; the latest, released today, finds that people in Superstorm Sandy's path love the state a lot less in its aftermath.
"Big drop in Garden State quality of life" is the grabby, if somewhat gelatinous, headline on a press release promoting the Monmouth University telephone survey of 806 adults in early April.
It seems residents in Sandy-ravaged Shore communities are less sanguine about New Jersey than their counterparts in the Delaware Valley area, which sustained relatively little damage.
"(T)he current Garden State Quality of Life Index stands at +21," the press release goes on to explain, none too helpfully. "This is down significantly from other post-Superstorm Sandy readings, including +29 in February and +30 in December. In fact, the current score matches the prior low from December 2010, when Monmouth first introduced the index."
Evidently one must be a statistician, mathematician or magician to make sense of these ratings. I'm none of the above, but I will offer two theories. New Jerseyans might be paying attention to stories like this one in NJ Spotlight, about the colossal price tag for essential infrastructure work in the state. It's enough to make anyone feel nostalgic for the good old days of the alleged Jersey Comeback.
Or perhaps folks have been mesmerized by that TV ad from the advocacy group One New Jersey, which really should call itself One Way to Tarnish Chris Christie so Barbara Buono Won't Lose Quite so Badly.
The spot is so morose -- so devoid of hope - it could an episode of The Walking Dead, or a commercial for an anti-depressant.
Truly depressing: New Jersey's gubernatorial election is still seven months -- and heaven knows how many polls -- away.