January 30, 2002 - Torricelli At 50 Percent In First Look At Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Most New Jersey Voters Say Ethics Probe Has No Impact
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Robert Torricelli just brushes 50 percent against any of three largely unknown possible Republican challengers in a first look at the 2002 New Jersey Senate race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Results among New Jersey registered voters show:
  • Sen. Torricelli over Essex County Executive James Treffinger 49 - 28 percent;
  • Torricelli over businessman Douglas Forrester 50 - 26 percent;
  • Torricelli over Assemblyman Guy Gregg 51 - 25 percent.

While 63 percent of New Jersey voters have read or heard something about the federal investigation into Torricelli fund-raising, 59 percent say it will have no impact on how they vote, while 7 percent say the probe makes them more likely to vote for Torricelli and 29 percent say they would be less likely to vote for the incumbent.
From January 22 - 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,018 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
"In this first look at the New Jersey Senate race, voters know almost nothing about any of the three possible Republican contenders. That's good news for Sen. Torricelli, who is polling just at that magic 50 percent mark," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Most voters have heard about the federal probe which has bedeviled Torricelli, and they don't seem to care. But they're not overly fond of their senior Senator, either."
Torricelli gets a 42 - 26 percent approval rating, with 32 percent undecided. That compares to Sen. Jon Corzine's 51 - 15 percent approval, with 33 percent undecided.
By a 32 - 19 percent margin, voters have a favorable opinion of Torricelli, with 27 percent

mixed and 21 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion. Favorability ratings for possible challengers are:
                   Favorable     Unfavorable     Mixed     No Opinion
Treffinger           5             4               7        84
Forrester            3             2               4        90
Gregg                5             1               7        87

"Sen. Torricelli - `The Torch' - is not setting voters on fire at this point. The question is whether the Republicans can unite and ignite behind one of these no-name challengers," Carroll said.
"The Republicans also could have a potent campaign weapon in President Bush, who scores a huge 82 - 13 percent approval rating in New Jersey, with a 70 - 21 percent approval among Democrats."
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a public service and for research. For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Torricelli is handling his job as United States Senator?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 42% 32% 52% 41% 44% 40% Disapprove 26 37 16 29 31 21 DK/NA 32 31 32 30 25 39

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as United States Senator?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 51% 41% 63% 46% 53% 50% Disapprove 15 25 7 20 20 11 DK/NA 33 34 30 35 27 39

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 82% 96% 70% 84% 83% 80% Disapprove 13 2 21 12 11 15 DK/NA 6 2 9 4 6 5

1. How much attention have you been paying to the campaign for Senator? A lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 13% 12% 16% 11% 15% 11% Some 25 25 24 26 25 24 Only a little 34 40 35 30 32 36 None at all 27 23 24 32 26 27 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1

7. Is your opinion of Essex County Executive James Treffinger favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 5% 7% 5% 3% 6% 4% Unfavorable 4 2 4 5 6 2 Mixed 7 5 8 5 6 7 Hvn't hrd enough 84 85 82 85 81 86 REFUSED 1 1 - 1 1 1

8. Is your opinion of businessman Douglas Forrester favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 3% 3% 2% 5% 4% 2% Unfavorable 2 1 2 2 3 1 Mixed 4 5 5 4 4 5 Hvn't hrd enough 90 90 91 89 88 92 REFUSED - 1 - - - 0

9. Is your opinion of Assemblyman Guy Gregg favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 5% 5% 5% 4% 4% 5% Unfavorable 1 - 1 1 1 1 Mixed 7 8 6 8 6 7 Hvn't hrd enough 87 87 87 87 88 87 REFUSED - 1 - - 1 -

10. Is your opinion of United States Senator Robert Torricelli favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 32% 22% 39% 32% 35% 29% Unfavorable 19 33 9 22 25 14 Mixed 27 26 31 24 21 33 Hvn't hrd enough 21 18 20 21 18 23 REFUSED 1 1 1 1 - 1



11. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Robert Torricelli the Democrat, and James Treffinger the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Torricelli 49% 12% 80% 46% 48% 50% Treffinger 28 71 6 20 31 26 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 2 1 1 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 - 7 4 2 DK/NA 19 14 13 26 16 21

12. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Robert Torricelli the Democrat, and Douglas Forrester the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Torricelli 50% 13% 83% 44% 49% 51% Forrester 26 66 5 21 32 22 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 3 1 1 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 2 1 6 3 3 DK/NA 19 17 11 28 15 22

13. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were Robert Torricelli the Democrat, and Guy Gregg the Republican, for whom would you vote?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Torricelli 51% 15% 82% 46% 50% 52% Gregg 25 65 4 19 29 22 SMONE ELSE(VOL) 1 1 1 2 2 1 WLDN'T VOTE(VOL) 3 1 1 7 4 2 DK/NA 20 18 13 26 16 23

25. Have you heard or read anything about federal investigations into New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli's 1996 campaign fundraising?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 63% 69% 57% 66% 68% 59% No 36 31 42 32 31 40 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 1

26. The U.S. attorney's office has ended its investigations of Senator Robert Torricelli's 1996 campaign fundraising activities and decided not to indict Senator Torricelli. How will the federal investigations into Robert Torricelli's 1996 campaign fundraising activities influence your vote for Senator this year? Will they make you more likely to vote for Torricelli, less likely to vote for Torricelli, or won't they have much effect one way or the other?
									                    Heard or
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     read Q25


More likely 7% 2% 9% 8% 8% 6% 8% Less likely 29 39 20 31 31 27 37 Won't have effect 59 55 67 56 58 61 53 DK/NA 5 4 4 5 3 6 2