August 12, 2008 - Christie Ties Corzine In Early Look At NJ Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Zimmer Trails Lautenberg By 7 Points In Senate Race

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New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, plagued by ongoing budget problems, is locked in a dead heat with federal prosecutor Christopher Christie, a possible Republican challenger in the 2009 Governor's race, with 41 percent of registered voters for Christie and 40 percent for the Democratic incumbent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Christie wins independent voters 42 - 37 percent and Republicans 76 - 10 percent, while Democrats go with Gov. Corzine 64 - 17 percent.

New Jersey voters disapprove 48 - 42 percent of the job Corzine is doing, better than his 52 - 38 percent disapproval in a June 11 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Voters disapprove 56 - 33 percent of the way Corzine is handling the state budget.

Only 32 percent of voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in New Jersey, while 67 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied." This dissatisfaction rate has been in the 2 - 1 range for more than two years.

Since Corzine was elected, things in New Jersey have gotten worse, 39 percent of voters say, with 49 percent who say things have stayed the same and 9 percent who say things are better.

By a 46 - 39 percent margin, voters have an unfavorable opinion of Corzine. For Christie, 69 percent of voters haven't heard enough to form an opinion.

"Gov. Jon Corzine is in trouble. Since most New Jersey voters say they don't know a lot about Christopher Christie, Gov. Corzine's record and inability to unscramble the state's budget mess is pulling him down," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"It may be unfair, but voters view Corzine's plans to use the New Jersey Turnpike to reorganize state finances as blue smoke and mirrors," Richards added.

"As more voters learn Christie is the man who has been putting corrupt New Jersey politicians in jail for years, things could get worse for the Governor.

"But Corzine has 16 months and millions and millions of ways to keep himself in office."

U.S. Senate Race

Democratic incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Republican challenger Dick Zimmer 48 - 41 percent among likely New Jersey voters, a more select group than registered voters surveyed in previous polls.

Zimmer gets 44 percent of independent voters to Sen. Lautenberg's 42 percent, and leads 80 - 12 percent among Republicans, while Democrats back Lautenberg 79 - 12 percent. Their mind is made up, say 68 percent of Lautenberg voters and 73 percent of Zimmer supporters.

Likely voters approve 46 - 38 percent of the job Lautenberg is doing and give him a 43 - 35 percent favorability. Zimmer gets a 25 - 12 percent favorability, but 62 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Voters say 55 - 39 percent that Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another six years in the Senate. Even Democrats say 50 - 46 percent that Lautenberg is too old.

"Sen. Frank Lautenberg has a comfortable lead over a not very strong opponent. It's summer and voters aren't paying a lot of attention to this race. When they do, the incumbent's lead may get bigger - if voters don't get too concerned about the Senator's age," Richards said.

From August 4 - 10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,519 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The survey includes 1,468 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.

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.

2. If the 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? (If undecided q2) As of today, do you lean more toward Lautenberg or Zimmer? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Lautenberg           48%    12%    79%    42%    45%    51%    43%    85%
Zimmer               41     80     12     44     46     36     47      6
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      -      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                11      8      8     13      9     12     10      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Lautenberg           58%    53%    35%    48%    44%
Zimmer               29     36     53     43     43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                11     10     12      8     12
 
TREND: If the 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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS
                     Aug 12  Jun 11
                     2008    2008
 
Lautenberg           45      47
Zimmer               37      38
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2       3
DK/NA                14      10
 
 
2a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOICE GIVEN
                            CAND CHOICE Q2
                     Tot    Lautn  Zimmer
 
Made up              70%    68%    73%
Might change         29     31     26
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
3. If the election for Governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat, and Christopher Christie the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Corzine              40%    10%    64%    37%    38%    42%    34%    68%
Christie             41     76     17     42     44     38     47      9
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      -      2      2      2      1      1      1
DK/NA                17     13     16     18     15     18     17     20
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              52%    48%    32%    34%    31%
Christie             30     32     48     46     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      2      1      2      2
DK/NA                13     17     19     18     15
 
 
4. Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            39%    18%    55%    38%    42%    36%    35%    60%
Unfavorable          46     72     29     46     47     45     51     18
Hvn't hrd enough     10      8     11     11      8     12      9     13
REFUSED               5      2      5      5      3      6      4      9
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            48%    46%    30%    37%    32%
Unfavorable          32     39     51     49     60
Hvn't hrd enough     15     10     14     10      6
REFUSED               5      6      5      5      3
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            21%    34%    14%    21%    25%    17%    23%    11%
Unfavorable           7      1     12      8     10      5      6     15
Hvn't hrd enough     69     64     73     68     63     75     69     73
REFUSED               2      1      2      3      2      2      2      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            22%    21%    23%    18%    23%
Unfavorable          11     10      4      7      6
Hvn't hrd enough     67     66     71     74     70
REFUSED               1      3      3      -      1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of -- Dick Zimmer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            25%    44%    13%    25%    31%    19%    28%     8%
Unfavorable          12      8     15     10     13     11     11     16
Hvn't hrd enough     62     47     70     62     55     68     60     75
REFUSED               2      2      1      2      1      2      1      1
 
 
7. Is your opinion of -- Frank Lautenberg favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            43%    20%    67%    37%    40%    46%    42%    67%
Unfavorable          35     64     12     37     40     30     39     14
Hvn't hrd enough     19     13     20     23     17     21     17     16
REFUSED               3      3      1      4      2      3      2      3
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              42%    22%    60%    40%    43%    41%    39%    57%
Disapprove           48     72     30     51     51     46     52     30
DK/NA                10      6     10     10      7     13      9     13
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              51%    49%    36%    39%    32%
Disapprove           34     40     54     55     59
DK/NA                15     11      9      6      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Apr 18  Apr 26
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2007    2006
 
Approve              42      38      37      46      49      51      35
Disapprove           48      52      52      43      40      36      42
DK/NA                10      11      12      11      11      13      23
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              25%    13%    38%    22%    23%    26%    23%    39%
Disapprove           59     74     44     62     67     51     61     48
DK/NA                16     13     18     16     10     22     17     12
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              31%    27%    20%    24%    22%
Disapprove           51     56     56     63     66
DK/NA                18     17     23     12     12
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Jan 26  Jul 14
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2005    2006
 
Approve              25      25      26      28      30      44      20
Disapprove           59      57      54      53      54      31      71
DK/NA                16      18      20      19      16      25      10
 
 
12. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              46%    23%    68%    41%    43%    50%    44%    64%
Disapprove           38     61     18     41     44     31     41     18
DK/NA                16     16     15     18     12     19     15     17
 
 
13. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              33%    17%    50%    28%    32%    34%    30%    45%
Disapprove           34     52     18     36     40     27     35     23
DK/NA                33     31     32     35     28     39     34     32
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              44%    35%    27%    31%    30%
Disapprove           31     28     40     37     35
DK/NA                25     37     34     32     35
 
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator? (* also 39% on 3/20/06)
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Sep 25  Dec 7   Feb 20
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006 *  2008
 
Approve              33      36      30      34      32      39      30
Disapprove           34      26      31      34      38      37      31
DK/NA                33      37      39      32      30      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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        2%     3%     3%     1%     2%     2%     2%     4%
Smwht satisfied      30     18     45     25     30     31     29     41
Smwht dissatisfied   35     35     32     38     35     35     34     37
Very dissatisfied    32     44     19     36     33     32     35     16
DK/NA                 1      1      1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        1%     4%     0%     2%     1%
Smwht satisfied      40     31     29     30     25
Smwht dissatisfied   33     36     36     34     33
Very dissatisfied    25     27     35     34     40
DK/NA                 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?
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28  Dec 6   Jun 16
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006    2006
 
Very satisfied        2       3       4       3       3       2       3
Smwht satisfied      30      29      29      35      37      34      27
Smwht dissatisfied   35      35      33      32      34      38      37
Very dissatisfied    32      33      33      30      25      25      32
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
16. Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  37%    14%    58%    35%    37%    38%    34%    54%
No                   50     79     29     51     53     48     55     25
DK/NA                12      7     13     14     10     15     11     21
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  53%    44%    32%    32%    26%
No                   33     43     58     54     63
DK/NA                13     13     10     13     11
 
TREND: Looking ahead to the 2009 election for Governor, do you feel that Jon Corzine deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Aug 12  Feb 20  Dec 11
                     2008    2008    2007
 
Yes                  37      32      44
No                   50      51      43
DK/NA                12      17      13
 
 
17. 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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better                9%     3%    14%     9%    11%     8%     7%    21%
Worse                39     60     22     41     39     39     42     23
The same             49     34     61     48     49     49     47     54
DK/NA                 3      3      3      3      1      5      3      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better                9%    12%     6%    10%     6%
Worse                31     33     41     42     49
The same             57     52     47     47     42
DK/NA                 3      2      6      1      3
 
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?
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28
                     2008    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Better                9      10      10      14      20%
Worse                39      39      35      25      15
The same             49      50      53      59      62
DK/NA                 3       2       2       2       3
 
 
18. At age 84, do you think Frank Lautenberg is too old to effectively serve another 6 year term as United States Senator, or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS........................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  55%    61%    50%    59%    55%    55%    55%    49%
No                   39     33     46     35     39     39     40     47
DK/NA                 6      6      4      6      6      5      5      4
 
 
32. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              33%    14%    47%    33%    34%    31%    31%    45%
Disapprove           56     77     41     58     57     56     58     43
DK/NA                11      9     12     10      9     13     10     12
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              38%    40%    28%    30%    25%
Disapprove           49     48     59     61     66
DK/NA                13     11     13      9      9
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling the state budget?
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 28  Jul 14  Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16
                     2008    2008    2007    2006    2006    2006    2006
 
Approve              33      30      42      47      39      31      32
Disapprove           56      57      40      46      45      46      24
DK/NA                11      14      18       7      17      23      44
 
 
33. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling the state budget?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              17%     8%    26%    16%    18%    17%    16%    30%
Disapprove           65     79     53     67     70     60     66     52
DK/NA                18     14     21     17     12     23     18     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              21%    18%    16%    16%    16%
Disapprove           61     59     64     71     70
DK/NA                19     23     19     13     14
 
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling the state budget?
                     Aug 12  Mar 17  Jul 17
                     2008    2005    2003
 
Approve              17      17%     23
Disapprove           65      63      55
DK/NA                18      20      21
 
 
34. How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very serious         67%    70%    64%    69%    68%    66%    67%    64%
Smwht serious        28     23     30     28     28     28     28     29
Not too serious       2      1      3      1      1      2      2      4
Not at all serious    -      -      1      -      -      -      -      1
DK/NA                 3      5      3      2      3      4      3      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very serious         63%    70%    64%    64%    71%
Smwht serious        33     25     29     28     26
Not too serious       4      2      -      3      -
Not at all serious    -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 -      3      6      5      3
 
TREND: How serious do you think New Jersey's budget problems are - very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?
                     Aug 12  Jun 11  Jun 16  Apr 26  Mar 16  Jan 26  Nov 12 Apr 2
                     2008    2008    2006    2006    2006    2006    2003   2003
 
Very serious         67      66      58      56      53      54      45     38
Somewhat serious     28      29      34      35      38      38      42     49
Not too serious       2       2       4       5       5       5       8      7
Not at all serious    -       1       1       1       1       -       1      1
DK/NA                 3       2       3       3       3       2       4      5