About the Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll (SLERP)
The Poll was started in 1971 by Rutgers ’ Eagleton Institute of Politics, with a grant from the Wallace Eljabar Fund (the forerunner of The Fund for New Jersey ). In a state dwarfed by its big media neighbors of New York City and Philadelphia to the north and south, its primary mission was simply to focus attention on the state of New Jersey as a state. It is one of the grandfathers of statewide polling operations, most of which sprang into existence in the 1980s, and one of the first, and most respected, academic-based state polling organizations in the country. From 1983 – 2005 Eagleton partnered with the Newark Star-Ledger to produce the Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll.
In 1983 the Eagleton Poll entered into partnership with the
Star-Ledger, the state’s largest and most visible newspaper,
becoming the Star-Ledger/Eagleton Poll. The name was changed in
1999 to “The Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll to reflect Rutgers’
increased commitment to the enterprise. This partnership
conducts surveys of the New Jersey public on issues of
social and political import six to eight times per year. Each of these surveys generates
about five news releases, released in the newspaper and made available
to other journalistic organizations and the general public.
Over the years the mission of the Poll has remained steadfast, but has
also grown. It now sees its mission as the “poll of record”
for the state, a chronicler of political and social life in the state
of New Jersey, with time-series data reaching back over three decades,
a data-base no other statewide poll can begin to match.
In partnership with the Rutgers University Libraries’ Scholarly
Communication Center, the Poll has established the
Eagleton Poll Archive. This searchable website provides access to over 30 years of
New Jersey public opinion. The archive allows users to search fully
indexed questionnaires, to browse by subject or poll date, and to run
their own results and generate charts for each question. For those
interested in more detailed analysis, the complete SPSS data files and
questionnaires can be downloaded.