May 10, 2000 - Corzine Blows Past Florio In New Jersey Dem Primary, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Most Still Have No Opinion Of Corzine, Despite Ads Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
Businessman Jon Corzine has pulled ahead of former Gov. James Florio among Democratic voters and now leads 48 - 33 percent in their Senate primary contest, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today.

In a March 29 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College, Florio was ahead 50 - 26 percent among Democrats. But the momentum had moved to Corzine who had closed from a 35-point deficit in February to a 24-point shortfall in March.

By a 63 - 36 percent margin, Democrats say they've seen at least some of Corzine's television advertising, and 48 percent of Democrats who have seen the ads say the TV ads make them "think more favorably" of Corzine, while 8 percent say they "think less favorably" and 40 percent say the ads have "no effect."

"Jon Corzine blasted off like a rocket ship, ignited by $8 million in TV ads. Corzine persuaded a lot more Democrats last month that his lack of government experience shouldn't keep him out of the Senate. Florio's negatives have soared, while Corzine's missteps have not hurt him," said Quinnipiac College Political Science Professor Scott McLean. "Another problem for Florio is that 44 percent of Democrats still blame him for the tax hike. Still, Corzine's lead is a mile wide but only an inch deep -- most people still haven't made up their minds about him. Thursday's debate becomes all the more crucial, for both candidates. This race is far from over."

By a 52 - 33 percent margin among all voters, and by a 57 - 28 percent margin among Democrats, voters say government experience is more important than business experience for a Senate candidate. But 55 percent of all voters say the tax hikes implemented by then Gov. Florio in 1990 could have been avoided, while 30 percent say they were necessary.

By a 22 - 8 percent margin, all registered voters have a favorable opinion of Corzine, with 14 percent mixed and 54 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion. The favorability numbers are basically the same among Democratic and independent voters.

Florio has a big negative 17 - 44 percent favorability among all registered voters, with 22 percent mixed and 14 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion. Democrats give Florio a negative 24 - 30 percent favorability.

In the Republican Senate primary, U.S. Rep Bob Franks gets 18 percent to 14 percent for State Sen. William Gormley, 8 percent for Essex County Executive James Treffinger and 5 percent for college professor Murray Sabrin; 46 percent of Republican voters remain undecided.

Favorability ratings among Republican Senate contenders are:
                         Favorable    Unfavorable    Mixed    No Opinion
Bob Franks                  16%           4%          13%        65% 
William Gormley             10            5           11         71
James Treffinger             8            3            8         77
Professor Murray Sabrin      6            4            7         80


"Bob Franks is slightly more recognizable, but this one's up for grabs. Most Republican voters haven't heard enough to make up their minds," Dr. McLean said.

From May 1 - 8, Quinnipiac College surveyed 1,009 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The survey includes 311 registered Republican voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percent and 347 registered Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 5.3 percent.

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

For additional data: www.quinnipiac.edu

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Christine Whitman is handling her job as Governor of New Jersey?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 59% 75% 50% 59% 62% 56%

Disapprove 32 19 43 29 29 34

DK/NA 9 6 7 12 9 10



2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bill Clinton is handling his job as President?
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 60% 34% 86% 57% 55% 65%

Disapprove 35 64 10 38 42 30

DK/NA 4 2 3 5 4 5



14. How much attention have you been paying to the election campaign for United States Senator -- a lot, some, only a little, or none at all?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


A lot 20% 24% 19% 19% 23% 18%

Some 34 35 36 33 32 36

Only a little 32 32 32 35 32 32

None at all 13 9 13 13 13 13

DK/NA - - - - - -



5. Is your opinion of former New Jersey Governor James Florio favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 17% 7% 24% 18% 20% 15%

Unfavorable 44 64 30 43 51 39

Mixed 22 19 25 24 19 25

Hvn't hrd enough 14 9 19 14 10 18

DK/NA 1 - 2 1 - 2



6. Is your opinion of businessman Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 22% 19% 25% 22% 22% 23%

Unfavorable 8 14 4 8 12 5

Mixed 14 13 14 16 14 14

Hvn't hrd enough 54 52 55 53 52 55

DK/NA 2 1 2 1 1 2



7. Is your opinion of New Jersey Congressman Bob Franks favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 16% 22% 14% 14% 19% 13%

Unfavorable 4 3 4 5 7 2

Mixed 13 12 11 14 13 12

Hvn't hrd enough 65 62 70 64 59 69

DK/NA 2 1 1 3 1 3



8. Is your opinion of State Senator William Gormley favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 10% 11% 8% 10% 12% 8%

Unfavorable 5 5 3 6 6 3

Mixed 11 12 9 14 9 13

Hvn't hrd enough 71 70 76 67 70 72

DK/NA 3 2 4 3 3 4



9. 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 8% 11% 7% 6% 11% 6%

Unfavorable 3 3 5 3 3 3

Mixed 8 9 7 7 7 8

Hvn't hrd enough 77 75 77 82 76 79

DK/NA 3 2 3 3 3 4



10. Is your opinion of college professor Murray Sabrin favorable, unfavorable, mixed, or haven't you heard enough about him?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Favorable 6% 4% 7% 6% 7% 5%

Unfavorable 4 5 3 5 6 3

Mixed 7 7 5 9 8 6

Hvn't hrd enough 80 80 82 77 77 82

DK/NA 3 3 3 3 3 4



12. (If registered Democrat)If the Democratic Primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were James Florio and Jon Corzine for whom would you vote?

                       Registered
                          Dem


James Florio 33% Jon Corzine 48

WLDN'T VOTE (VOL) 3 DK/NA 17



13. (If registered Republican)If the Republican Primary for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were Murray Sabrin, Bob Franks, James Treffinger and William Gormley for whom would you vote?

                       Registered
                          Rep


Murray Sabrin 5% Bob Franks 18 James Treffinger 8 William Gormley 14

WLDN'T VOTE (VOL) 8 DK/NA 46



15. Do you think it is more important for a United States Senator to have experience in government or experience in business?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Government 52% 54% 57% 46% 47% 55%

Business 33 35 28 38 38 30

DK/NA 15 11 15 16 15 15



16. In general, if a wealthy candidate relies on their own money to fund their political campaign, does that make you more likely to vote for that candidate, less likely to vote for that candidate, or doesn't it make a difference?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More likely 12% 12% 9% 13% 12% 12%

Less likely 11 10 13 12 13 10

Doesn't make a diff. 76 78 76 75 74 77

DK/NA 1 1 2 - 1 1



17. Thinking back to the 1990 tax increase under former Governor James Florio, do you think that the 1990 tax increase was something that could have been avoided, or do you think that the 1990 tax increase was necessary in order to pay for government services?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Could have been avoided 55% 72% 45% 56% 60% 52%

Necessary 30 17 38 33 31 29

DK/NA 15 11 18 11 8 20



18. Have you seen any of Jon Corzine's television advertisements?

                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Yes 63% 65% 63% 64% 60% 65%

No 36 34 36 36 39 34

DK/NA 1 1 2 - 1 1



19. (If "Yes" on Q18) Have they made you think more favorably of Jon Corzine, less favorably of Jon corzine, or haven't they affected your opinion of Jon Corzine?
                         Have seen Corzine's television advertisements
                          Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


More favorably 42% 38% 48% 42% 38% 45%

Less favorably 11 17 8 10 12 11

No effect 44 43 40 45 48 41

DK/NA 3 2 3 3 3 3