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Monmouth University Polling Institute

New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Heritage Important to State Residents

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Six in ten aware of a Revolutionary War Site in the state

CONTACTS:

 Cate Litvack:        609-418-3939  

 Kevin Tremble:    201-951-8540  

 Patrick Murray:   732-979-6769

 

TRENTON - A new poll released in advance of the July 4th holiday finds that most state residents consider the preservation and promotion of New Jersey's Revolutionary War heritage personally important.  Many also see New Jersey as one of the more important states involved in the fight for American independence.

In 2006, the federal government recognized New Jersey's role as the crossroads in the fight for American independence by establishing the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, which encompasses 213 municipalities in 14 counties across the Garden State. 

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Three-in-four New Jerseyans (77%) feel it is important to preserve and promote the state's Revolutionary War heritage, including 4-in-10 who say this is very important to them personally .
  • One-in-six New Jerseyans (17%) say their home state is the first one that comes to mind when thinking of the American Revolution.  This is about the same number who name either Virginia (18%), Pennsylvania (15%), or Massachusetts (14%).
  • Four-in-ten New Jerseyans (41%) feel their state was one of the more important states in the Revolutionary War effort.
  • Most (58%), although not all, New Jerseyans say they are aware of at least one Revolutionary War site in the state.  Just over 1-in-4 residents (28%) say they have visited one of these sites in the past five years.

"It was great to learn that New Jerseyans appreciate how much the state's Revolutionary War heritage contributes to our quality of life.  Our heritage is a key element in New Jersey's sizable tourism economy, which is too often overlooked," said Cate Litvack, Executive Director of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association and Chair of the New Jersey Heritage Tourism Task Force.

The survey also found regional differences, with residents of Morris, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties exhibiting the highest levels of awareness and interest, while those in Essex and Hudson counties showed the lowest levels.

"These regional differences indicate that New Jersey's Revolutionary War story may be easier to tell in areas where physical evidence of those events still exist.  One challenge for Crossroads is to bring this story to life in communities where the landscape has been completely altered," said Kevin Tremble, President of the Board of Trustees of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association.

"The survey pointed to important linkages between awareness and importance.  The revolution didn't just occur in Boston and Philadelphia and Yorktown.  It occurred here in New Jersey.  Those who know about the state's Revolutionary War sites are more likely to see them as valuable assets for the state," said Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.  Murray is also a trustee of the Crossroads Association.

The survey of 804 adult New Jersey residents was conducted by telephone April 7-11 and has a ± 3.5 percent margin of sampling error.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on behalf of the Crossroads of the American Revolution Association.

The Association is the federally designated managing organization for the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area.  Its purpose is to foster the conservation, preservation and interpretation of New Jersey's Revolutionary War sites and landscapes in ways that enhance public understanding about the people, places and events that transformed the course of American and New Jersey history.

The full survey report is available at:  http://monmouth.edu/polling/admin/polls/MUP33_5.pdf   

 Media:The National Heritage Area covers a large portion of the state, but many Revolutionary War sites are also located outside those boundaries.

 To add a local perspective  to the New Jersey "Crossroads" story, you may also contact any of the following:  

Timothy Hart, Division Director, Ocean County Cultural & Heritage, 732-929-4779

Marguerite Chandler, President, Celebrate New Jersey!, 609-602-9306

Jake Bukowski, Director, South Jersey Tourism Corporation, 856-757-9400

Kathleen Galop, Principal, Preservation Possibilities, 908-723-5504

Stephanie Stevens, Chair, Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission, 908-788-1256

Lee Ellen Griffith, Monmouth County Historical Association, 732-462-1466

Sally Lane, Board Member, Old Barracks Association, 609-649-4482

Anna Ashkenes, Director, Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission, 732-745-4489

Leslie Bensley, Executive Director, Morris County Tourism Bureau, 973-631-5151

Thomas D'Amico, Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, 908-231-7021

James Turk, Director, Salem County Cultural Affairs & Tourism Information Services, 856-935-7510

Barbara Fuller, Director, Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, 908-558-2550

 The questions referred to in this release are as follows: 

1.     The Revolutionary War was fought between 1775 and 1783.  When you think of the American Revolution, which U.S. state first comes to mind?

2.     How important do you think New Jersey was to the Revolutionary War effort – was it one of the more important states, about average in importance, or less important than most other states?

3.     Do you happen to know of any Revolutionary War sites in New Jersey, or not?  [IF “YES:]  Where is the closest Revolutionary War site you know of – is it in your home town, within 10 miles of your home, within 25 miles, or farther away?

4.     Have you personally visited any Revolutionary War sites in New Jersey in the past five years, or have you not done that? [IF “YES”:]  And have you done this in the past 12 months – that is since April 2009?

5.     Have you heard of New Jersey’s Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, or haven’t you heard of this before?

6.     How important is it to you personally that New Jersey preserves and promotes its Revolutionary War heritage – very, somewhat, not very, or not at all important?

7.     George Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776 to make a surprise attack on Hessian troops. Do you happen to know where he made this attack?

8.     And if the choices were Trenton, New York, Philadelphia, or Princeton – what would you say?

 SURVEY METHODOLOGY:  This telephone survey was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute on April 7-11, 2010 with a statewide random sample of 804 adult residents.  For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample.  In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

 Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.  

Download this Poll Report with all tables

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