September 25, 2003 - Bush Approval Slips To A Break Even In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Democrats Are Nipping At His Heels
President George W. Bush's approval rating has dropped to a 49 - 47 percent split in New Jersey, and several possible Democratic challengers have narrowed the gap with the Republican incumbent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

New Jersey voters gave President Bush a 67 - 29 percent approval in an April 1 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, but that score had dropped to 53 - 43 percent by July 17.

Bush's lead in the 2004 Presidential race in New Jersey also has dropped since a June 19 poll: Bush gets 47 percent to New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's 45 percent, a tie. This is down from 54 - 38 percent;
  • Bush 49 - 44 percent over Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, down from 53 - 39 percent;
  • Bush 48 - 43 percent over Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, down from 53 - 37 percent;
  • Bush 48 - 44 percent over Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt;
  • Bush 50 - 40 percent over former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean;
  • Bush 47 - 42 percent over former Gen. Wesley Clark.
"As President Bush's approval rating declines, so does his commanding lead over the leading Democratic challengers in New Jersey," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"In July, Bush held a lead of 15 points or so. Now that lead has shrunk to four or five points over the major Democrats," Richards added.

If Clinton runs, she gets 41 percent of the Democratic vote, followed by 10 percent for Lieberman, 9 percent each for Gephardt and Dean and 8 percent each for Kerry and Clark, with no other Democrat getting more than 3 percent.

With Clinton out of the race, Lieberman gets 17 percent, with 16 percent for Clark, 14 percent for Kerry, 13 percent for Gephardt, 12 percent for Dean, 9 percent for Rev. Al Sharpton and no other candidate above 4 percent. In this field, 13 percent of Democrats are undecided.

"Questions about Iraq and the economy continue to batter Bush's approval rating. It will be difficult for him to carry this normally Democratic state but the Democrats are having trouble coming up with a strong candidate. Only Senator Clinton shows any great strength among Democrats in New Jersey and she says she is not running," Richards said.

From September 18 - 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 968 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent. The survey includes 322 Democrats, with a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and nationally as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks or call (203) 582-5201.

5. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Approve 49% 91% 23% 42% 54% 46% 46% Disapprove 47 7 72 54 42 51 50 DK/NA 4 2 5 4 4 3 4

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Approve 40% 48% 57% 49% 55% Disapprove 55 49 42 48 38 DK/NA 5 3 2 3 6



7. Now I'm going to name ten Democrats who might run for president in 2004. After I read all ten names, tell me which one you would most like to see the Democrats nominate for president in 2004. Here are the choices... Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Florida Senator Bob Graham, former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich or retired General Wesley Clark?
                          
                      Democrats 


Lieberman 17% Kerry 14 Gephardt 13 Edwards 4 Dean 12 Sharpton 9 Graham 1 Moseley-Braun 2 Kucinich - Clark 16 DK/NA 13



8. Suppose New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton decides to run for president in 2004. Who would you most like to see the Democrats nominate for president in 2004? New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Florida Senator Bob Graham, former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich or retired General Wesley Clark?
                          
                      Democrats 


Clinton 41% Lieberman 10 Kerry 8 Gephardt 9 Edwards 3 Dean 9 Sharpton 3 Graham - Moseley-Braun 1 Kucinich 1 Clark 8 DK/NA 6



9. Suppose the general election for president were being held today, and the candidates were Wesley Clark the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Clark 42% 5% 71% 45% 38% 46% 45% Bush 47 92 18 38 52 42 41 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 3 3 2 3 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 2 2 1 2 3 DK/NA 8 3 7 12 7 8 8

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Clark 58% 41% 34% 50% 31% Bush 32 47 60 40 55 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 3 - 1 4 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 2 1 1 1 DK/NA 8 8 5 8 9



10. Suppose ... the candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Clinton 45% 7% 77% 45% 38% 51% 49% Bush 47 90 14 45 55 39 43 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 - 3 4 3 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 2 1 3 2 1 3 4 DK/NA 4 1 3 3 2 5 1

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Clinton 60% 49% 31% 44% 37% Bush 28 45 61 49 54 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 2 3 2 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 2 2 3 2 DK/NA 8 2 2 3 4



11. Suppose ... the candidates were Joe Lieberman the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Lieberman 44% 5% 73% 47% 39% 48% 50% Bush 49 92 20 43 55 43 43 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 2 1 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 2 1 1 2 3 DK/NA 5 2 4 6 4 5 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Lieberman 59% 45% 34% 43% 36% Bush 32 47 63 49 54 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 1 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 2 - - 2 DK/NA 7 4 1 6 6



12. Suppose the general election for president were being held today, and the candidates were John Kerry the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Kerry 43% 4% 76% 44% 38% 48% 52% Bush 48 92 18 43 55 43 40 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 - 2 2 1 2 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 6 3 4 10 5 7 6

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Kerry 56% 44% 36% 46% 36% Bush 32 49 60 46 54 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 2 - - 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 - 1 1 DK/NA 9 5 3 6 8



13. Suppose ... the candidates were Dick Gephardt the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Gephardt 44% 7% 75% 47% 41% 47% 53% Bush 48 90 17 42 53 43 40 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 - 1 3 2 1 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 2 - 1 1 2 DK/NA 6 3 5 8 4 8 3

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Gephardt 53% 45% 38% 47% 37% Bush 33 49 57 46 51 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 1 1 1 3 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 - 1 2 DK/NA 12 3 4 5 8



14. Suppose ... the candidates were Howard Dean the Democrat and George W. Bush the Republican for whom would you vote?
                                                                     Union
                      Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom    HouseHld


Dean 40% 4% 69% 41% 35% 45% 52% Bush 50 91 22 45 57 45 42 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 3 1 4 3 3 3 2 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 1 - 1 2 1 1 2 DK/NA 6 4 4 9 5 7 2

Philly Urban SubUrbn ExUrbn land Shore

Dean 55% 42% 34% 40% 30% Bush 33 50 61 50 58 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 2 3 1 2 4 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) - 1 1 1 1 DK/NA 10 4 3 7 7