June 11, 2008 - Lautenberg Tops Zimmer, But Most Say He's Too Old, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Failing Grades On Budget Crash Corzine Job Rating

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New Jersey U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, his Republican challenger, 47 - 38 percent in his reelection bid, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, but most voters say Sen. Lautenberg is too old to begin another six-year term.

Democrats back Lautenberg 80 - 11 percent, while Republicans back Zimmer 79 - 13 percent and independent voters back the Republican 43 - 35 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

New Jersey voters approve 46 - 35 percent of the job Lautenberg is doing, his highest disapproval in 12 years of surveys. Democrats approve 63 - 19 percent, while Republicans disapprove 57 - 23 percent and independent voters split with 44 percent approving and 42 percent disapproving.

By a 40 - 31 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Lautenberg. For Zimmer, 67 percent haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

New Jersey voters say 54 - 41 percent that Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another six-year term as a U.S. Senator. Even Democrats split 48 - 49 percent on whether Lautenberg is too old.

"Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a comfortable nine-point lead over Dick Zimmer at this point, but there are warning signs along the path to his re-election bid," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Sen. Lautenberg's age continues to be a big issue; voters give him the biggest disapproval rating in 12 years and independent voters are going for the Republican."

"Most voters say they don't know Zimmer well enough to have an opinion. It will be interesting to see how the horse race shapes up as he becomes better known," Richards added.

Corzine Approval

New Jersey voters disapprove 52 - 38 percent of the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing, among his lowest grades ever, and disapprove 57 - 30 percent of the way he is handling the state budget.

This compares to a 52 - 37 percent overall disapproval for Gov. Jon Corzine in a February 20 Quinnipiac University poll. Democrats approve of Corzine by a lackluster 49 - 41 percent, while Republicans disapprove 68 - 23 percent and independent voters turn thumbs down 54 - 36 percent.

The State Legislature does even worse with a 57 - 25 percent disapproval, with negative grades from all parties.

A total of 68 percent of New Jersey voters are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the Garden State, while 32 percent are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied." Only 10 percent of New Jersey voters say things in the state are better since Corzine became Governor in 2006, while 39 percent say things are worse and 50 percent say they are the same.

New Jersey's budget problems are "very serious" 66 percent of voters say, with 29 percent who say "somewhat serious."

On a more personal topic: When asked if Corzine should make public his email exchanges with ex-girlfriend Carla Katz, men split 46 - 45 percent, while women say 58 - 33 percent that the email should be kept private.

"The drop in Gov. Jon Corzine's approval rating isn't surprising given his fumbles with the state budget this year and the increasingly difficult economy. The Governor is going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat in the upcoming budget debate this month if he wants to get his numbers back on track and get in shape for next year's re-election bid," Richards said.

From June 5 - 8, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,473 New Jersey voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

2. If the 2008 election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Frank Lautenberg the Democrat and Dick Zimmer the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Lautenberg              47%     13%     80%     35%     45%     50%     43%     73%
Zimmer                  38      79      11      43      42      36      44      11
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       -       1       2       1       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         3       1       2       7       4       3       3       6
DK/NA                   10       7       7      14       9      10       9       9
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Lautenberg              66%     51%     39%     42%     39%     49%     48%
Zimmer                  23      37      47      35      51      33      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          1       -       2       1       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         2       1       3      10       3       6       2
DK/NA                    8      11      10      12       6      12       8
 
 
3. Is your opinion of -- Dick Zimmer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               21%     37%      6%     26%     25%     17%     24%      4%
Unfavorable             11       5      13      11      14       8      10      10
Hvn't hrd enough        67      56      79      62      59      74      64      86
REFUSED                  2       2       2       1       2       1       2       -
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Favorable               16%     18%     28%     15%     28%     14%     23%
Unfavorable              9      14       8      11       8      12      10
Hvn't hrd enough        72      68      61      72      61      72      65
REFUSED                  3       -       4       2       3       2       2
 
 
4. Is your opinion of -- Frank Lautenberg favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               40%     18%     57%     38%     40%     40%     40%     56%
Unfavorable             31      53      12      38      35      27      35      12
Hvn't hrd enough        26      26      29      19      20      30      21      31
REFUSED                  4       4       2       5       4       3       4       1
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Favorable               52%     45%     36%     29%     37%     32%     44%
Unfavorable             18      27      39      35      35      22      35
Hvn't hrd enough        27      24      21      32      25      40      18
REFUSED                  3       4       4       4       3       5       3
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 38%     23%     49%     36%     38%     38%     37%     46%
Disapprove              52      68      41      54      54      49      53      37
DK/NA                   11       9      10      10       8      13      10      18
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Approve                 46%     38%     38%     34%     34%     35%     39%
Disapprove              42      51      54      54      57      51      52
DK/NA                   12      11       8      12       9      14       8
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Apr 18  Apr 26
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2006
 
Approve                 38      37      46      49      48      51      35
Disapprove              52      52      43      40      39      36      42
DK/NA                   11      12      11      11      13      13      23
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 25%     22%     30%     22%     24%     26%     24%     35%
Disapprove              57      63      47      64      63      52      59      40
DK/NA                   18      15      23      14      13      22      16      25
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Approve                 40%     26%     23%     22%     17%     30%     23%
Disapprove              40      57      67      54      66      56      57
DK/NA                   20      17      11      24      17      14      19
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Jan 26  Jul 14
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2005    2006
 
Approve                 25      26      28      30      30      44      20
Disapprove              57      54      53      54      52      31      71
DK/NA                   18      20      19      16      18      25      10
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 46%     23%     63%     44%     47%     46%     45%     60%
Disapprove              35      57      19      42      38      33      39      13
DK/NA                   18      21      18      14      15      21      16      26
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Approve                 59%     51%     41%     38%     41%     45%     48%
Disapprove              21      34      43      37      42      35      35
DK/NA                   19      15      17      25      17      20      17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator? * - also 55% on 9/23/1999 & 7/22/1999
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Jul 27  Feb 20
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2000 *  2008
 
Approve                 46      39      42      42      41      55      39
Disapprove              35      31      33      34      32      22      31
DK/NA                   18      29      25      24      28      23      29
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 36%     23%     44%     39%     38%     35%     33%     43%
Disapprove              26      38      17      29      32      21      28      12
DK/NA                   37      39      40      32      30      44      39      45
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Approve                 47%     40%     32%     28%     34%     38%     37%
Disapprove              22      29      28      23      26      24      27
DK/NA                   31      31      40      49      40      38      36
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator? * 39% on 3/20/06
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jul 9   Dec 7   Feb 20
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2006 *  2008
 
Approve                 36      30      34      32      31      39      30
Disapprove              26      31      34      38      39      37      31
DK/NA                   37      39      32      30      31      24      39
 
 
15. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Very satisfied           3%      2%      2%      3%      3%      2%      3%      1%
Smwht satisfied         29      25      35      24      28      30      28      39
Smwht dissatisfied      35      29      37      37      35      34      34      32
Very dissatisfied       33      43      24      36      33      33      35      25
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       1       -       3
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Very satisfied           1%      4%      4%      2%      1%      3%      2%
Smwht satisfied         41      32      22      26      22      34      27
Smwht dissatisfied      26      38      37      31      37      35      34
Very dissatisfied       30      26      36      40      40      28      36
DK/NA                    2       1       1       1       -       -       1
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in New Jersey today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28  Dec 6   Jun 16  Apr 26
                        2008    2008    2007    2007    2006    2006    2006
 
Very satisfied           3       4       3       3       2       3       3
Smwht satisfied         29      29      35      37      34      27      33
Smwht dissatisfied      35      33      32      34      38      37      31
Very dissatisfied       33      33      30      25      25      32      33
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
16. Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Better                  10%      4%     14%      9%     10%      9%      9%     12%
Worse                   39      51      29      42      38      39      39      33
The same                50      44      55      48      50      49      50      54
DK/NA                    2       1       2       1       1       2       2       1
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Better                  16%     10%      5%     11%      6%     10%     10%
Worse                   31      38      38      38      50      37      39
The same                50      51      55      49      44      52      49
DK/NA                    3       2       2       2       1       1       2
 
TREND: Since Jon Corzine became Governor in January 2006, do you feel that things in New Jersey have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28
                        2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Better                  10      10      14      20%
Worse                   39      35      25      15
The same                50      53      59      62
DK/NA                    2       2       2       3
 
 
17. At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another 6 year term as United States Senator, or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     54%     61%     48%     59%     50%     58%     56%     43%
No                      41      33      49      36      46      37      39      53
DK/NA                    5       6       4       5       4       5       5       4
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Yes                     50%     57%     52%     54%     56%     57%     54%
No                      43      38      42      43      41      41      40
DK/NA                    6       5       6       4       3       3       5
 
TREND: At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another 6 year term as United States Senator, or not? * age 83
                        Jun 11  Feb 20  Sep 25  Jul 9
                        2008    2008    2007*   2007*
 
Yes                     54      58      54      54
No                      41      36      40      40
DK/NA                    5       6       6       6
 
 
27. Recently a judge ruled that e-mail correspondence between Governor Corzine and union leader Carla Katz, his ex-girlfriend, should be made public. Corzine will appeal the ruling. Do you think these e-mails should be made public or kept private?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Made public             39%     46%     27%     50%     46%     33%     42%     27%
Kept private            52      44      66      42      45      58      48      66
DK/NA                    9      10       7       9       9       9       9       7
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Made public             31%     40%     48%     35%     42%     41%     39%
Kept private            60      52      41      54      52      53      52
DK/NA                    8       9      11      11       6       7      10
 
 
28. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 30%     19%     38%     27%     32%     28%     30%     30%
Disapprove              57      71      46      61      58      56      58      47
DK/NA                   14      10      16      13      10      17      12      23
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Approve                 36%     33%     31%     28%     20%     27%     32%
Disapprove              50      54      60      56      66      60      55
DK/NA                   14      13       9      16      14      13      14
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?
                        Jun 11  Feb 28  Jul 14  Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16
                        2008    2007    2006    2006    2006    2006
 
Approve                 30      42      47      39      31      32
Disapprove              57      40      46      45      46      24
DK/NA                   14      18       7      17      23      44
 
 
29. How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Very serious            66%     64%     61%     73%     67%     65%     67%     61%
Smwht serious           29      29      33      23      28      30      29      27
Not too serious          2       2       3       1       2       3       1       6
Not at all serious       1       1       -       2       1       -       1       -
DK/NA                    2       3       2       1       2       2       1       6
 
                                                Philly          Age     Age
                        Urban   SubUrbn ExUrbn  land    Shore   18-44   45+
 
Very serious            64%     61%     69%     64%     75%     62%     68%
Smwht serious           31      33      26      32      22      32      28
Not too serious          2       3       2       2       2       3       2
Not at all serious       -       1       1       -       1       1       1
DK/NA                    3       2       2       2       1       2       2
 
TREND: How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                        Jun 11  Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 12  Apr 2
                        2008    2006    2006    2006    2006    2003    2003
 
Very serious            66      58      56      53      54      45      38
Somewhat serious        29      34      35      38      38      42      49
Not too serious          2       4       5       5       5       8       7
Not at all serious       1       1       1       1       -       1       1
DK/NA                    2       3       3       3       2       4       5