NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two-thirds of New Jersey residents believe the state is not back to normal 18 months after Superstorm Sandy, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Wednesday.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said life is back to normal, but 67 percent said it’s not. Eight percent said they didn’t know.

Poll director David Redlawsk said it shows lingering pessimism.

“A year and a half after Sandy there’s still a good deal of skepticism that normality will return any time soon,” Redlawsk told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Residents are bracing for the long haul, Redlawsk said.

“Among those who don’t think we’re back to normal, 58 percent think it could be up to five years, but 17 percent think normalcy will take more than a decade,” Redkawsk said.

Thirteen percent feel normalcy will never return, Redlawsk said.

“What’s striking is how many New Jerseyans are still less than optimistic about Sandy recovery,” said Redlawsk. “A year ago, 78 percent thought New Jersey was not fully back, a reasonable finding just six months after Sandy. But the number has been stuck since November, suggesting a long-term sense that putting things back together is a rough task.”

The telephone poll of 816 adults was taken from March 31-April 6. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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