October 21, 2008 - Obama, Lautenberg Headed For Big Win In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Give Corzine Stimulus Plan Mixed Reviews

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In what could be a huge Democratic landslide in New Jersey, Sen. Barack Obama tops Republican Sen. John McCain 59 - 36 percent while incumbent Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Republican challenger Dick Zimmer 55 - 33 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 48 - 45 percent Sen. Obama lead in a September 16 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. Sen. Lautenberg held a 48 - 39 percent likely voter lead September 17.

In this latest survey, white voters back Obama 50 - 44 percent, reversing a 56 - 37 percent McCain lead with whites September 16. The Democrat gets 97 percent of black voters, with 3 percent undecided. Men back Obama 56 - 39 percent, reversing a 53 - 40 percent McCain lead, while women stay with Obama 62 - 32 percent, compared to 54 - 38 percent.

Independent voters shift from 47 - 43 percent for McCain to 55 - 38 percent for Obama.

The Democrat leads 69 - 27 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 60 - 35 percent among voters 35 to 54 and 52 - 41 percent among voters over 55 years old.

"The nation's economic crisis has turned New Jersey dark blue, virtually assuring a Democratic sweep with Sen. Barack Obama carrying the state and Sen. Frank Lautenberg winning re-election," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Barring a major development in world affairs, or in the fortunes of Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, Nov. 4 is shaping up as a big night for New Jersey Democrats."

New Jersey likely voters say 58 - 30 percent that Obama better understands the economy.

Obama gets a 65 - 27 percent favorability, compared to a 47 - 47 percent split for McCain. Democratic running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, gets a 61 - 22 percent favorability while Republican running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, gets a negative 33 - 50 percent.

"The poll shows not only Democratic strength, but Republican weakness. Only 30 percent say John McCain is the best candidate to handle the economy, and Sarah Palin's favorability rating is in negative territory," Richards added.

Sen. Lautenberg wins 81 - 9 percent among Democrats and 49 - 36 percent among independent voters while Republicans back Zimmer 79 - 15 percent.

Lautenberg gets a 47 - 25 percent favorability while 63 percent of voters say they don't know enough about Zimmer to form an opinion.

"You can't win if the voters don't know who you are - unless they really dislike your opponent. In this case, voters like Lautenberg well enough while two-thirds know very little about Zimmer," Richards said.

New Jersey voters split on one component of Gov. Jon Corzine's economic stimulus package, with 44 percent supporting and 42 percent opposed to investing $250 million from state pension funds in community banks to encourage small business loans. Democrats support the measure 53 - 31 percent while Republicans oppose it 55 - 37 percent and independent voters turn thumbs down 46 - 39 percent.

Voters support 55 - 31 percent another stimulus measure, using $45 million from the State Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The measure gets 69 - 15 percent support from Democrats and 51 - 35 percent support from independent voters, while Republicans oppose it 52 - 35 percent.

"Gov. John Corzine's emergency stimulus package gets mixed reaction from the voters, which is understandable for something so complicated," Richards said. "The good news for the Governor is that it did not get immediate voter rejection - the reaction that greeted his plan to double tolls on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway to solve the state's financial problems."

From October 16 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,184 New Jersey likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 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. For more data or RSS feeds - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or McCain? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS...............................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                59%    11%    88%    55%    56%    62%    50%    97%
McCain               36     87      7     38     39     32     44      -
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      1      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      1      5      5      5      5      5      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Obama                77%    63%    47%    58%    51%
McCain               19     32     47     35     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      5      6      6      3
 
                                          WHITE...........................
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Men    Wom    Cath   Jew
 
Obama                69%    60%    52%    46%    57%    48%    53%    44%    73%
McCain               27     35     41     47     39     46     42     52     23
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      1      1      1      1      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 2      4      6      6      2      5      4      4      4
         
                     PresVt2004..
                     Bush   Kerry
 
Obama                20%    89%
McCain               75      9
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -
DK/NA                 5      2
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or McCain? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Obama                59      48      51
McCain               36      45      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                 5       6       7
 
 
1a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOICE GIVEN
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    Obama  McCain
 
Made up              88%    89%    86%
Might change         11     10     12
DK/NA                 1      -      2
 
 
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 SENATE.................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Lautenberg           55%    15%    81%    49%    55%    55%    50%    85%
Zimmer               33     79      9     36     38     29     40      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                11      6     10     14      7     15      9      8
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Lautenberg           68%    62%    47%    49%    44%
Zimmer               20     28     45     30     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                12     10      7     20     10
 
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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Lautenberg or Zimmer? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Lautenberg           55      48      48
Zimmer               33      39      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                11      12      11
 
 
2a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS SENATE.....
                     CANDIDATE CHOICE GIVEN
                            CAND CHOICE Q2
                     Tot    Laut   Zimmer
 
Made up              79%    78%    80%
Might change         20     21     19
DK/NA                 1      2      1
 
 
3. 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            22%    40%    11%    25%    28%    17%    24%    17%
Unfavorable          12      7     16     10     12     11     12     13
Hvn't hrd enough     63     51     70     63     58     68     61     69
REFUSED               3      2      3      3      1      4      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            14%    21%    32%    21%    26%
Unfavorable          13     14     13      6      9
Hvn't hrd enough     69     63     53     68     63
REFUSED               3      2      2      5      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Dick Zimmer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            22      24      25
Unfavorable          12       8      12
Hvn't hrd enough     63      66      62
REFUSED               3       2       2
 
4. 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            47%    19%    65%    44%    48%    45%    46%    66%
Unfavorable          25     57      8     26     30     20     31      3
Hvn't hrd enough     26     23     25     27     20     31     21     29
REFUSED               3      1      2      3      2      3      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            58%    52%    43%    39%    38%
Unfavorable          16     20     35     24     32
Hvn't hrd enough     24     26     21     33     27
REFUSED               2      2      2      4      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Frank Lautenberg favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            47      43      43
Unfavorable          25      34      35
Hvn't hrd enough     26      21      19
REFUSED               3       2       3
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            65%    24%    91%    60%    60%    69%    57%    98%
Unfavorable          27     71      5     28     31     24     34      -
Hvn't hrd enough      6      3      3     10      8      4      6      2
REFUSED               2      2      2      2      1      3      2      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            83%    69%    53%    62%    57%
Unfavorable          13     23     37     28     38
Hvn't hrd enough      3      5      9      8      5
REFUSED               1      3      2      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            65      56      57
Unfavorable          27      34      31
Hvn't hrd enough      6       8       9
REFUSED               2       3       3
 
 
6. Is your opinion of -- John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            47%    88%    23%    51%    50%    44%    53%    16%
Unfavorable          47      9     70     41     43     50     41     80
Hvn't hrd enough      4      1      4      5      5      3      3      2
REFUSED               3      1      3      3      2      3      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            34%    43%    57%    44%    57%
Unfavorable          59     49     35     51     38
Hvn't hrd enough      6      4      6      3      3
REFUSED               1      4      3      2      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Oct 21  Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            47      56      54
Unfavorable          47      35      35
Hvn't hrd enough      4       6       8
REFUSED               3       2       3
 
 
7. Is your opinion of -- Joe Biden favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            61%    32%    82%    57%    59%    64%    59%    79%
Unfavorable          22     53      5     23     27     18     26      4
Hvn't hrd enough     16     12     12     18     13     18     13     17
REFUSED               1      2      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            76%    62%    58%    59%    53%
Unfavorable          10     21     22     26     29
Hvn't hrd enough     13     16     17     14     16
REFUSED               -      1      3      -      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Joe Biden favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Oct 21  Sep 16
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            61      48
Unfavorable          22      25
Hvn't hrd enough     16      26
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
8. Is your opinion of -- Sarah Palin favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            33%    74%    10%    35%    35%    31%    38%     7%
Unfavorable          50     15     73     46     47     53     47     72
Hvn't hrd enough     16     10     16     17     17     15     14     19
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            19%    28%    42%    34%    44%
Unfavorable          68     52     45     50     37
Hvn't hrd enough     12     19     11     16     18
REFUSED               1      1      2      -      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Sarah Palin favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Oct 21  Sep 16
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            33      42
Unfavorable          50      32
Hvn't hrd enough     16      25
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
9. Who do you think better understands the economy - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                58%    13%    86%    54%    56%    60%    50%    97%
McCain               30     77      5     32     33     27     37      -
DK/NA                12     10      8     14     10     13     13      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Obama                77%    58%    50%    60%    49%
McCain               16     26     37     33     41
DK/NA                 8     16     13      8     10
 
TREND: Who do you think better understands the economy - John McCain or Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Oct 21  Sep 16
                     2008    2008
 
Obama                58      48
McCain               30      43
DK/NA                12       9
 
 
10. Who do you think better understands foreign policy - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                37%     5%    63%    27%    30%    44%    30%    75%
McCain               52     93     25     60     60     46     61     16
DK/NA                10      2     12     13     10     11      8      9
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Obama                48%    37%    29%    41%    32%
McCain               37     49     60     53     63
DK/NA                15     13     11      5      5
 
 
TREND: Who do you think better understands foreign policy - John McCain or Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Oct 21  Sep 16
                     2008    2008
 
Obama                37      27
McCain               52      64
DK/NA                10       8
 
 
11. Governor Corzine this week proposed a New Jersey economic stimulus package that has two key elements. Part of the stimulus package would invest 250 million dollars from the state pension fund in community banks to encourage loans to small businesses. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              44%    37%    53%    39%    45%    44%    41%    58%
Oppose               42     55     31     46     44     39     45     22
DK/NA                14      8     16     15     11     17     14     20
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Support              45%    50%    44%    37%    39%
Oppose               36     36     44     48     49
DK/NA                19     14     12     15     12
 
 
12. Governor Corzine this week proposed a New Jersey economic stimulus package that has two key elements. Part of the stimulus package would use 45 million dollars from the State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes through foreclosure. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Support              55%    35%    69%    51%    54%    56%    50%    82%
Oppose               31     52     15     35     34     27     35      7
DK/NA                14     13     15     14     12     17     15     11
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Support              60%    61%    49%    55%    45%
Oppose               25     25     35     33     40
DK/NA                15     15     16     12     15