With the price of gas rising steadily, it’s sure bet that New Jerseyans don’t like going to gas stations these days.
Here’s something: Nearly three out of four say they don’t want to pump their gas when they get there, no matter the cost.
According to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Thursday, 73 percent of those survey said they prefer having their gas pumped for them. Only 22 percent said the opposite.
New Jersey, of course, is the only state in the country that does not allow for self-service on gasoline – a situation that would change if a newly introduced bill was passed.
Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Policy, said the poll must be taken in context.
“Let’s also remember that this single survey question does not reflect the full debate and complexities of the moment that include a global pandemic, an employment crisis, and now an oil crisis,” she said. “Context plays a crucial role in public opinion. A large majority wants full service in the Garden State, but this preference does not mean automatic opposition to a self-serve option.”
The poll did not indicate whether an opinion would change if it changed the price of the gas.
The poll may have been overwhelming against the practice, but Koenig said there are some noteworthy differences in the numbers – starting with gender.
Eighty-seven percent of women – the highest of any demographic group – prefer to have their gas pumped for them, compared to 55 percent of men.
Conversely, 37 percent of men prefer to pump their own gas, compared to just 11 percent of women.
Jessica Roman, a research associate with the Eagleton Center, has a phrase for that.
“Call it a gender gas gap, if you will,” she said. “We often talk about inclement weather and gasoline smell when it comes to some of the drawbacks of self-service, but there are also significant gender-related issues, like feelings of safety, that could be driving this wedge.”
Results are from a statewide poll of 1,044 adults contacted by live interviewers on landlines and cell phones from Feb. 25–March 4. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.