From the Quinnipiac Polling Institute:
CORZINE UP 5 POINTS IN NEW JERSEY GOV RACE,
QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;
GOVERNOR TOPS CHRISTIE ON ‘HONESTY’ SCORE
New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine leads Republican challenger Christopher Christie for the first time in their five-month slugfest, on top 43 – 38 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Independent candidate Christopher Daggett has 13 percent, with 5 percent undecided.
This compares to a 41 – 40 percent Christie lead, with 14 percent for Daggett, in an October 14 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
Among Daggett supporters, 38 percent say they might change their mind: 43 percent say Christie is their second choice, while 27 percent say Gov. Corzine is number two.
Only 12 percent of Christie voters and 19 percent of Corzine backers say they might change their mind.
Corzine leads 79 – 8 percent among Democratic likely voters, with 10 percent for Daggett. Christie leads 79 – 7 percent among Republicans, with 9 percent for Daggett, and 45 – 30 percent among independent voters, with 20 percent for Daggett.
New Jersey voters disapprove 54 – 39 percent of the job Corzine is doing, still negative, but his best overall approval rating in months. Independent voters disapprove 68 – 29 percent.
“You could see it coming. Gov. Jon Corzine’s numbers crept steadily up and Christopher Christie’s steadily shrank and now, for the first time, we have Corzine ahead,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“But don’t be in a hurry to mark this election as over. Christopher Daggett changed it from ‘ABC’ – Anybody But Corzine – to a real three-way scrap. But a lot of Daggett’s voters say they might change their minds by Election Day. Where will they go?”
“Can Daggett win? More than two-thirds of New Jerseyans don’t think so,” Carroll added.
New Jersey voters say 46 – 44 percent that Corzine is honest and trustworthy, his best ‘honesty’ score in months and the first time the score has been positive this year.
These same voters split on Christie, with 37 percent saying he is honest and trustworthy and 39 percent saying he is not. This is Christie’s worst score on this question.
Property taxes will go up if Corzine is elected, 60 percent of voters say, while 2 percent say they will go down and 34 percent say they will stay the same.
If Christie is elected, property taxes will go up, 37 percent of voters say, while 12 percent say they will go down and 44 percent say they will stay the same.
Of the 90 percent of New Jersey voters who have seen Corzine’s TV ads:
• 14 percent say the ads make them more likely to vote for the Governor;
• 31 percent say less likely;
• 54 percent say the ads won’t affect their vote;
• 66 percent find the ads annoying;
• 29 percent say the ads are informative.
Of the 86 percent of New Jersey voters who have seen Christie’s TV ads:
• 17 percent say the ads make them more likely to vote for the challenger;
• 28 percent say less likely;
• 53 percent say the ads won’t affect their vote;
• 58 percent find the ads annoying;
• 35 percent say the ads are informative.
“The drumbeat of denunciation has dropped Christie down to Corzine’s negative level in the favorable-unfavorable match. And it’s produced a reversal on ‘honest and trustworthy.’ Corzine comes out plus; Christie tips to a minus,” Carroll said.
“Everyone says negative advertising is bad, but everybody watches it. Virtually every New Jersey voter has seen the Corzine and Christie ads and most think that they’re more annoying than informative.”
From October 20 – 26, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,267 New Jersey likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.