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Contact: PATRICK MURRAY 732-263-5858 (office) 732-979-6769 (cell) pdmurray@monmouth.edu


Released: Monday, February 24, 2014

Please attribute this information to:

Monmouth University/ Asbury Park Press Poll


For more information: Monmouth University Polling Institute West Long Branch, NJ 07764 www.monmouth.edu/polling

CHRISTIE DRAGGED FURTHER UNDER THE BRIDGE


Drop in Sandy satisfaction after Hoboken claims
Public opinion of Chris Christie has further eroded since the Bridgegate emails were released last month. The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll found the governors job approval rating has dropped 20 points over the past year. In addition to growing suspicion of his involvement in the toll lane closures, New Jerseyans grade Christies handling of Superstorm Sandy recovery much less positively than they did when he was running for re-election. Currently, Gov. Christies job rating stands at 50% approve to 44% disapprove among New Jersey residents and 49% approve to 46% disapprove among the states registered voters. His approval numbers have dropped 9 points since the January Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll which was taken just days after the state first learned that it was time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee. Christies job rating has now dropped by a total of 15 points since the scandal and it is off by 20 points from the high water mark of 70% recorded twelve months ago. In fact, the 49% voter approval number in the current poll is the first time Christies positive job rating has dipped below the 50% mark since 2011. Three-in-four (77%) Republicans stick by Christie but this is still a decline from the 89% approval rating he had among GOP residents as the Bridgegate scandal was just starting to break. Approval has dropped among independents from 62% in January to 54% now and among Democrats from 38% in January to 31% now. This hole is getting deeper. Christies image as the hero of Sandy is now just a fading memory, said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. The governors personal ratings have also shifted in the past month. Last months poll showed New Jerseyans moving from the favorable column into a wait-and-see mode. The current poll finds

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

that some of them have now developed a more negative opinion of Christie. Currently 42% of New Jerseyans have a favorable opinion of Chris Christie as a person and 37% have an unfavorable opinion, with 21% offering no view on Christie. One month ago, those numbers stood at 44% favorable, 28% unfavorable and 28% with no opinion. This is a far cry from one year ago, when the governors personal rating was 70% favorable to just 19% unfavorable, with only 11% having no opinion. More than 9-in-10 (92%) New Jerseyans have been following the Bridgeate story. The number who believe the governor is not being completely honest about what he knows about the incident has grown from 51% last month to 61% today. That increase comes from Democrats up 15 points to 82%, independents up 5 points to 60%, and Republicans up 9 points to 28%. Half (50%) of those residents who have been following the story now think the governor was personally involved in the decision to close the George Washington Bridge toll lanes, while 40% maintain he was not involved. This marks a reversal from just one month ago when only 34% said he was involved compared to 52% who said he was not. New Jerseyans are now split on whether the retaliatory actions alleged in the Bridgegate scandal are politics as usual for the Christie administration (49%) or not (46%). One month ago, most (55%) of the public was inclined to think that this was an unusual occurrence. It doesnt help that the Bridgate scandal has been compounded by charges from the mayor of Hoboken that the governors administration withheld Sandy aid unless an unrelated development project was approved in that town. Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) New Jerseyans have heard about this allegation and they are more inclined to believe (49%) rather than doubt (40%) the Hoboken mayors claims. Among those who have heard a lot about this issue, 58% say they believe the mayors story. In general, 6-in-10 New Jerseyans say it is either very (28%) or somewhat (32%) likely that the Christie administration would use Sandy relief funding to exercise political power over local officials. With Sandy becoming enmeshed in the growing controversies, views of the Christie administrations handling of the recovery have taken a significant hit. Currently just 4-in-10 New Jerseyans would give the administration a grade of A (10%) or B (30%) for its Sandy recovery efforts. Another 32% give a C and 1-in-4 give a poor grade of D (16%) or F (9%). Just five months ago, as the governor was in the midst of his re-election campaign, a whopping 7-in-10 New Jerseyans gave his offices Sandy efforts an A (35%) or B (37%). Overall, though, most New Jerseyans (55%) say they are at least somewhat satisfied with the states recovery efforts so far. However, this number is down from 66% in December and 76% in September. Interestingly, 57% are still at least somewhat confident that the federal relief funds are being spent wisely, down slightly from 62% in September.

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

While the governors Sandy grades have taken a big hit, New Jerseyans believe that federal funds are generally being used well. However, that opinion combines both the federal efforts and the state efforts in many peoples minds. These views may shift based on how the second wave of funding is used, said Murray. While Gov. Christies ratings have taken a hit, the public also expresses some concern about the legislatures conduct of the Bridgegate investigation. A majority (56%) of New Jerseyans say that the special committee is more interested in going after the governor compared to 1-in-3 (32%) who say it is more interested in learning the facts of the case. On top of that, the state legislatures job rating has declined in the past month, from a decidedly positive 47% approve to 35% disapprove one month ago to a more negative 41% approve to 45% disapprove in the current poll. While the governor has certainly taken a hit in public opinion, the poll also has a word of warning for the legislature. Tread carefully with the investigation, said Murray. There is no doubt, though, that developments over the past month have put Christie on the defensive as far as his constituents are concerned. New Jerseyans now say the governor is more concerned about his own political future (56%) than he is with governing the state (35%). This marks the first time that a majority of state residents say the governor is putting his own career ahead of New Jerseys interests. Even with the swirling controversy, nearly 2-in-3 (65%) New Jerseyans believe that Chris Christie still intends to run for president in 2016. This number is basically unchanged from the 69% who felt that way after the governors resounding re-election victory last year. However, fewer Garden State residents now believe he has the right temperament to be president (41%) than did so last fall (56%). The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from February 19 to 23, 2014. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Asbury Park Press and its sister publications (Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune).

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

DATA TABLES The questions referred to in this release are as follows:


(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Chris Christie is doing as governor?


TOTAL REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know TREND: All adults Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N TREND: Registered voters Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N Feb. 2014 Jan. 2014

50% 44% 6%
Dec. 2013

49% 46% 6%
Sept. 2013

56% 35% 9%

31% 64% 5%

54% 38% 8%

77% 20% 4%

55% 41% 5%
Aug. 2011

46% 47% 8%
May 2011

48% 47% 5%
Feb. 2011

55% 35% 9%
Sept. 2010

56% 38% 6%
July 2010 April 2010 Feb. 2010

April Feb. Dec. Sept. July April Feb. Oct. 2013 2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2011

50% 59% 65% 44% 32% 25% 6% 8% 10%


803 Feb. 2014 541 Jan. 2014 802 Dec. 2013

61% 24% 15%


783 Sept. 2013

70% 67% 53% 52% 51% 52% 54% 26% 17% 21% 35% 36% 35% 38% 38% 11% 14% 12% 11% 12% 14% 10% 9%
806 803 816 805 803 804 803 817 Oct. 2011 April Feb. Dec. Sept. July April Feb. 2013 2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012

48% 42% 9%
802 Aug. 2011

47% 49% 5%
807 May 2011

47% 40% 12%


801 Feb. 2011

45% 38% 17%


801 Sept. 2010

44% 44% 12%


801 July 2010

41% 44% 15%


804 April 2010

33% 15% 52%


803 Feb. 2010

49% 58% 65% 46% 35% 27% 6% 7% 8%


690 470 698

63% 24% 13%


674

65% 70% 69% 55% 53% 50% 55% 55% 26% 16% 22% 36% 35% 38% 37% 37% 10% 13% 9% 10% 12% 12% 9% 8%
694 697 726 715 678 692 709 693

50% 41% 8%
730

46% 49% 5%
725

49% 41% 9%
718

44% 40% 16%


726

45% 43% 12%


747

42% 44% 13%


719

31% 15% 53%


716

2.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job the state legislature is doing?


TOTAL Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know TREND: Registered Voters Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N TREND: Registered Voters Continued Approve Disapprove (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

41% 45% 14%


Feb. 2014

38% 47% 14%


Jan. 2014

51% 35% 14%


Dec. 2013

47% 38% 15%


Sept. 2013 April 2013

36% 50% 14%


Feb. 2013

40% 49% 12%


Dec. 2012

41% 46% 13%


Sept. 2012 July 2012

40% 44% 16%


April 2012

36% 52% 13%


Feb. 2012

48% 33% 19%


Oct. 2011

60% 27% 12%


Aug. 2011

38% 47% 14%


690 May 2011

47% 35% 18%


470 Feb. 2011

44% 38% 19%


698 July 2010

38% 36% 27%


674 April 2010

41% 42% 17%


694 Feb. 2010

40% 35% 25%


697 July 2009

43% 34% 22%


726 Feb. 2009

32% 43% 25%


715 Sept. 2008

34% 45% 21%


678 July 2008

37% 41% 23%


692 April 2008

34% 42% 24%


709 March 2008

33% 45% 22%


693 Oct. 2007

35% 48% 17%


730 Feb. 2007

32% 48% 20%


725

29% 45% 26%


718

25% 49% 26%


747

19% 57% 24%


719

24% 49% 27%


716

31% 48% 22%


792

23% 55% 22%


721

29% 50% 21%


709

27% 47% 26%


889

28% 55% 17%


720

25% 53% 22%


719

32% 43% 25%


688

34% 42% 23%


681

3.

Is your general impression of Chris Christie favorable or unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?
TOTAL REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

Favorable Unfavorable No opinion

42% 37% 21%

43% 39% 18%


TREND:

37% 30% 32%

22% 55% 23%

44% 32% 23%

74% 16% 9%
January 2014

44% 35% 20%


February 2013

40% 39% 21%

42% 43% 14%

41% 25% 34%

41% 29% 30%

February 2014

September 2012

Favorable Unfavorable No opinion Unwtd N

42% 37% 21%


803

44% 28% 28%


541

70% 19% 11%


803

52% 34% 15%


805

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

TREND: Registered voters only: Favorable Unfavorable No opinion Unwtd N

February 2014

January 2014

February 2013

September 2012

43% 39% 18%


690

46% 31% 23%


470

71% 18% 10%


697

54% 34% 13%


715

4. Do you think Chris Christie is more concerned with governing the state of New Jersey or more concerned about his own political future? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED]
TOTAL Governing the state of NJ His own political future (VOL) Both equally (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

35% 56% 5% 4%

36% 56% 5% 3%

34% 52% 6% 7%

21% 75% 2% 3%

37% 54% 5% 4%

58% 27% 10% 5%

37% 55% 4% 4%

34% 56% 6% 4%

35% 57% 5% 3%

37% 54% 4% 6%

32% 53% 9% 6%

TREND: Governing the state of NJ His own political future (VOL) Both equally (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

February 2014

January 2014

September December 2013 2012

February 2012

35% 56% 5% 4%
803

42% 47% 6% 5%
541

44% 38% 12% 6%


783

61% 30% 5% 4%
816

39% 48% 6% 7%
803

5.

Do you think Chris Christie is planning to run for president in 2016, or not?
TOTAL Yes No (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

65% 26% 9%

66% 25% 9%

59% 31% 10%

63% 30% 7%

66% 25% 9%
February 2014

67% 22% 11%

68% 24% 8%

62% 28% 10%

69% 22% 9%

60% 31% 9%

53% 42% 5%

TREND: Yes No (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

December 2013

65% 26% 9%
803

69% 20% 11%


802

6.

Do you think Chris Christie does or does not have the right temperament to be president?
TOTAL Does Does not (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

41% 54% 4%

39% 57% 4%
TREND:

51% 45% 4%

25% 73% 2%

46% 50% 4%

63% 30% 7%
January 2014

46% 49% 5%

37% 59% 4%

41% 56% 3%

44% 50% 6%

36% 55% 9%

February 2014

September 2013

Does Does not (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

41% 54% 4%
803

44% 49% 6%
541

56% 34% 10%


783

7.

How much have you read or heard about issues surrounding George Washington Bridge toll lane closures in Fort Lee last year a lot, a little, or nothing at all?
TOTAL A lot A little Nothing at all REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female

67% 25% 8%

71% 23% 6%

48% 34% 18%

66% 27% 7%

66% 26% 8%

72% 18% 9%

69% 22% 9%

65% 28% 7%

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

TREND: A lot A little Nothing at all Unwtd N

February 2014

January 2014*

67% 25% 8%
803

53% 30% 17%


541

* Prior question: lane closures in Fort Lee last September

[QUESTIONS 8 THROUGH 11 WERE ASKED ONLY OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE HEARD ABOUT THE LANE CLOSURES IN FORT LEE: n=751, moe=+/-3.6%] 8. Do you think the governor himself was or was not personally involved in the decision to close the toll lanes?
TOTAL Was involved Was not involved (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little

50% 40% 10%

50% 40% 10%

48% 43% 9%

69% 20% 11%

45% 46% 10%


February 2014

25% 69% 5%
January 2014

52% 41% 7%

47% 40% 13%

52% 40% 8%

43% 41% 17%

TREND: Was involved Was not involved (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

50% 40% 10%


751

34% 52% 14%


474

9.

Do you think this kind of action is politics as usual in the Christie administration or do you think that this was unusual?
TOTAL REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little

Politics as usual Unusual (VOL) Dont know

49% 46% 5%

49% 46% 5%

53% 42% 4%

62% 35% 3%

49% 45% 6%
February 2014

29% 66% 4%
January 2014

52% 43% 4%

47% 48% 5%

51% 44% 4%

44% 50% 6%

TREND: Politics as usual Unusual (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

49% 46% 5%
751

39% 55% 7%
474

10. Based on what you have read or heard so far, do you believe Chris Christie has been completely honest about what he knows about the incident, or not?
TOTAL Been completely honest Not been completely honest (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little

33% 61% 5%

33% 61% 6%

32% 64% 4%

15% 82% 3%

34% 60% 6%
February 2014

62% 28% 9%
January 2014

34% 62% 3%

32% 61% 7%

34% 61% 5%

31% 62% 7%

TREND: Been completely honest Not been completely honest (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

33% 61% 5%
751

40% 51% 9%
474

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

11. Do you think the legislative committee that is investigating this incident is more interested in learning the facts of the case or more interested in going after the governor?
TOTAL Learning the facts of the case Going after the governor (VOL) Both (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little

32% 56% 8% 5%

33% 55% 7% 5%

25% 61% 9% 5%

40% 44% 13% 4%

34% 55% 6% 5%

18% 77% 2% 3%

32% 56% 7% 4%

32% 55% 8% 5%

35% 54% 8% 3%

26% 61% 5% 8%

12. How much have you read or heard about claims that the Christie administration withheld Sandy relief money for Hoboken a lot, a little, or nothing at all?
TOTAL A lot A little Nothing at all REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None

34% 45% 21%

36% 46% 18%

23% 44% 33%

39% 45% 16%

30% 49% 21%

35% 42% 22%

36% 45% 19%

32% 46% 22%

48% 41% 11%

7% 55% 39%

5% 52% 44%

13. The mayor of Hoboken claims that members of the Christie administration told her that the town would not get Sandy relief funding if the mayor did not approve an unrelated development project. Do you tend to believe or not believe the mayors claim?
TOTAL Believe Not believe (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF HOBOKEN MAYOR CLAIMS Lot Little None

49% 40% 11%

49% 39% 11%

47% 43% 10%

66% 28% 6%

49% 38% 13%

21% 64% 15%

48% 42% 10%

50% 38% 12%

58% 37% 5%

47% 43% 10%

38% 38% 24%

14. In general, how likely is it that the Christie administration would use Sandy relief funding to exercise political power over local officials very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?
TOTAL Very likely Somewhat likely Not too likely Not at all likely (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF HOBOKEN MAYOR CLAIMS Lot Little None

28% 32% 21% 16% 3%

29% 31% 21% 16% 3%

24% 33% 22% 17% 3%

40% 35% 14% 11% 1%

25% 32% 25% 15% 3%

12% 27% 31% 26% 4%

31% 27% 24% 16% 2%

25% 36% 19% 17% 3%

42% 26% 14% 16% 2%

23% 35% 26% 14% 2%

16% 34% 23% 22% 5%

15. Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with New Jerseys Sandy recovery effort so far? [Is that very or somewhat (satisfied/dissatisfied)?]
TOTAL Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF HOBOKEN MAYOR CLAIMS Lot Little None

16% 39% 20% 19% 6%

16% 38% 22% 19% 6%

17% 48% 13% 17% 4%

13% 33% 24% 26% 4%


February 2014

13% 43% 20% 16% 8%


December 2013

26% 45% 14% 11% 4%


September 2013

19% 43% 15% 19% 4%


April 2013

13% 36% 25% 19% 7%


February 2013

18% 25% 25% 30% 2%

12% 49% 18% 14% 8%

22% 43% 18% 11% 7%

TREND: Very satisfied Somewhat satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Very dissatisfied (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

16% 39% 20% 19% 6%


803

25% 41% 15% 12% 7%


802

38% 38% 10% 6% 8%


783

31% 42% 11% 9% 6%


806

26% 45% 12% 10% 7%


803

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

16. How confident are you that federal relief funding for New Jerseys Sandy recovery effort is being spent wisely very, somewhat, not too, or not at all confident?
TOTAL Very confident Somewhat confident Not too confident Not at all confident (VOL) Dont know REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF HOBOKEN MAYOR CLAIMS Lot Little None

9% 48% 21% 20% 2%

8% 49% 21% 20% 3%


TREND:

15% 42% 21% 21% 1%

4% 46% 24% 25% 1%


February 2014

8% 47% 24% 19% 2%


September 2013

20% 53% 11% 12% 4%


April 2013*

11% 46% 21% 21% 2%

8% 49% 21% 19% 3%

10% 39% 22% 29% 1%

7% 53% 21% 16% 3%

13% 50% 19% 14% 4%

February 2013*

15% 12% 13% 47% 48% 51% 17% 19% 17% 13% 17% 15% 8% 3% 4% 803 806 803 783 * Prior question: How confident are you that federal relief funding for New Jerseys Sandy recovery effort will be spent wisely?
Very confident Somewhat confident Not too confident Not at all confident (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

9% 48% 21% 20% 2%

17.

Using a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F for failing; what grade would you give the Christie administration for the states recovery from Superstorm Sandy?
TOTAL REGISTERED VOTER Yes No PARTY ID Dem Ind Rep GENDER Male Female AWARE OF HOBOKEN MAYOR CLAIMS Lot Little None

A - Highest grade B C D F - Failing grade (VOL) Dont know

10% 30% 32% 16% 9% 2%

9% 31% 33% 17% 9% 2%

17% 28% 28% 14% 12% 1%


TREND:

6% 21% 33% 20% 18% 2%

10% 31% 37% 15% 6% 1%


February 2014

18% 46% 21% 11% 2% 2%

13% 32% 28% 19% 7% 1%

7% 28% 37% 14% 12% 2%

11% 24% 26% 21% 17% 0%

7% 34% 35% 16% 6% 2%

16% 32% 37% 9% 4% 3%

September December 2013 2012*

A - Highest grade B C D F - Failing grade (VOL) Dont know Unwtd N

10% 30% 32% 16% 9% 2%


803

35% 37% 17% 5% 3% 2%


783

61% 24% 7% 3% 3% 2%
816

* Question wording in December 2012 was: And what grade would you give the Christie administration for handling Superstorm Sandy?

Monmouth University Polling Institute 2/24/14

The Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from February 19 to 23, 2014 with a statewide random sample of 803 adult residents, including 603 contacted via live interview on a landline telephone and 200 via live interview on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey questionnaire design, data weighting and analysis. For results based on the total 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.
38% Dem 42% Ind 20% Rep POLL DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted) 49% Male 27% 18-34 51% Female 40% 35-54 33% 55+ Registered Voter Sample (weighted) 47% Male 22% 18-34 53% Female 42% 35-54 36% 55+ MARGIN OF ERROR
TOTAL Unweighted N moe 803 3.5% REGISTERED VOTER Yes No 690 113 3.7% 9.2% PARTY ID Dem 289 5.8% Ind 326 5.4% Rep 161 7.7% GENDER Male 406 4.9% Female 397 4.9% AWARE OF LANE CLOSURES Lot Little None 569 182 52 4.1% 7.3% 13.6%

63% White 13% Black 15% Hispanic 9% Asian/Other 65% White 13% Black 14% Hispanic 8% Asian/Other

38% Dem 40% Ind 22% Rep

It is the Monmouth University Polling Institutes policy to conduct surveys of all adult New Jersey residents, including voters and non-voters, on issues that affect the state. Specific voter surveys are conducted when appropriate during election cycles.

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