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Peter J. Woolley

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Peter J. Woolley
Academic background
EducationUniversity of Pittsburgh, (Ph.D.)
Alma materSt. Joseph's University
Academic work
DisciplinePolitical Science
Sub-disciplinePolling, Japanese history, military history, American politics
InstitutionsFairleigh Dickinson University

Peter J. Woolley is an American political scientist, pollster, and founding director of PublicMind—an independent public opinion research group at Fairleigh Dickinson University. His research in public opinion and his commentary have been cited on a range of public issues including the effect of cable news on voter information,[1] the constitutionality of public prayer,[2] traffic safety,[3] drone warfare,[4] measuring support for independent candidates,[5] and televising the US Supreme Court,[6] He is also cited on New Jersey's gubernatorial politics since Governor James McGreevey[7] through Governors Richard Codey, Jon Corzine,[8] and Chris Christie.[9] as well as on US Senate elections,[10] presidential politics,[11] congressional races, and other New Jersey policy debates such as affordable housing,[12] Atlantic City and the gambling industry,[13] and even on the effects on public opinion of the TV reality show Jersey Shore by gossip columnist Perez Hilton.[14]

Education and career[edit]

Woolley was awarded the Ph.D. by the University of Pittsburgh in 1989. He studied at the Sorbonne and at the University of Bordeaux and later in Japan as a member of a Fulbright/Hays Group Project: He was an Advanced Research Scholar at the US Naval War College (1994–95) and won the Miller History Prize from the US Naval War College in 1997[15] for his contribution "The Role of Strategy in Great Power Decline."[16] He also authored two books on U.S.-Japan defense relations, Japan’s Navy: Politics and Paradox (Lynne-Reinner, 2000)[17] and Geography and Japan’s Strategic Choices (Potomac, 2005).[18] Woolley took over the direction of PublicMind in 2002 and nurtured it from an obscure upstart in polling to a nationally cited source of public opinion on campaigns and elections as well as a variety of national issues[19] such as automobile safety, eminent domain, gambling, the impact of candidates’ gender on voters, and even the impact on New Jersey of the TV shows, The Sopranos[20] and Jersey Shore.[21]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Geography and Japan’s Strategic Choices: From Seclusion to Internationalization (Alexandria, Va.: Potomac Books, 2005).
  • Japan's Navy: Politics and Paradox, 1971-2001, Foreword by James E. Auer. (Boulder, Col.: Lynne-Rienner Publishers, 2000).
  • American Politics: Core Argument and Current Controversy, Woolley, Peter J. and Albert Papa, eds. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall Publishers, 2002).


  1. ^ Wemple, Eric (May 23, 2012) "The Dumbing Effect of Cable News," Washington Post. Retrieved Jan 2, 2015.
  2. ^ Grossman, Cathy Lynn (April 21, 2014). "Most voters favor prayer, minus Jesus, a public meetings". Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2015. Kopicki, Allison (May 2014) "Most Americans Likely to Approve of Ruling on Prayer". New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  3. ^ Woolley, Peter J. (Dec. 27, 2006). "A Deadly Story We Keep Missing," Washington Post. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Killough, Ashley (Feb. 7, 2013) "Poll: Americans back drone attacks, but not on US citizens abroad." CNN's Political Ticker. Retrieved May 3, 2016; Poletti, Therese. (June 26, 2014) "Attack of the Drones: Invest or run screaming" Market Watch. MarketWatch.com Retrieved April 30, 2016. Macdonald, Julia M. and Schneider, Jacquelyne. (24 August 2016) "Why Americans Love Drones" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  5. ^ Shane D'Aprile (Oct. 19, 2009). "What's Daggett's Real Number?". Campaigns & Elections. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Supreme Court Proceedings on Television". C-Span. March 9, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  7. ^ Peterson, Ivor (April 27, 2003) "On Politics: What is Bugging Democrats About Their Governor," New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  8. ^ "Corzine poll ratings firm despite high-speed crash". Reuters. (May 8, 2007) Retrieved April 30, 2016; Chen, David (Oct. 16, 2007) "In Corzine's Inner Circle, a Confidante with the Power of His Wallet" New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "Christie joins governors' club". Washington Times. Jan 19, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2016; Warner, Dave (May 24, 2011). "New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Popularity Declines". Reuters. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  10. ^ Hanley, Robert (Oct. 18, 2001). "Forrester and Lautenberg Duel Over their Abortion Positions". New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2016: Kocieniewski, David and Chen, David W. (Nov. 1, 2006). "I n Tight Senate Campaign, Racial and Ethnic Factors Could Be Pivotal". New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  11. ^ Hennelly, Robert (Oct. 28, 2015). "For GOP hopefuls, ties to Big Money loom large". CBS Money Watch. CBS News. Retrieved April 27, 2016; Llorente, Elizabeth (Feb. 20, 2012). "Marco Rubio is Top Choice for VP among GOP Voter in poll". Fox News Latino. Fox News. Retrieved April 26, 2016. McCarthy, Tom (May 2, 2015). "Bridgegate baggage weighs down Chris Christie's trip to New Hampshire". The Guardian. Retrieved May 7, 2016; "Christie's Bet on Trump Pays Off". New York Times. Associated Press. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Woolley, Peter. Oct. 28, 2009. "30 Issues Day 14: NJ Affordable Housing". The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC-FM New York, New York.
  13. ^ Woolley, Peter (Dec. 18, 2011) "Peter Woolley Talks Sports Betting in New Jersey". NJTV News. PBS.
  14. ^ Hilton, Perez (July 19, 2011). "Contrary To Popular Belief...Jersey Shore is NOT Hurting Its State's Image," PerezHilton.com. Retrieved May 5, 2016. "Jersey Shore Not Hurting NJ Image", NBC New York. Associated Press. Retrieved April 24, 2016; Darren Franich (July 18, 2011). "Could 'Jersey Shore' be good for America. A new poll show it MIGHT be good for New Jersey". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  15. ^ "A Decade of Distinction: Earning High Approval Rating s," FDU Magazine, Vo. 17, no. 1, Summer/Fall 2009; Hattendorf, John. "Resources for History at the Naval War College" Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  16. ^ Naval War College Review, Winter 1996:19–37.
  17. ^ Woolley, Peter J. (2000). Japan's Navy: Politics and Paradox, 1971-2000. ISBN 1555878199.
  18. ^ Woolley, Peter J. (2005). Geography and Japan's Strategic Choices: From Seclusion to Internationalization. ISBN 1574886681.
  19. ^ Strauss, Robert (31 October 2004). "As Far as Political Polls, N.J. Owns the Poll Position". New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  20. ^ Moss, Linda (June 11, 2007). "The Sopranos Ends in an Ice Cream Parlor". Multichannel News. New Bay Media. Retrieved Jan 4, 2015.
  21. ^ Parry, Wayne (July 18, 2011). "Poll: 'Jersey Shore' not hurting New Jersey image." USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved Jan. 4, 2015.