September 17, 2008 - Lautenberg Holds 9-Pt. Lead In New Jersey Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Low Approval Haunts Corzine In Race With Christie

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Less than seven weeks before Election Day, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Republican challenger Dick Zimmer 48 - 39 percent among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 48 - 41 lead for Sen. Lautenberg in an August 12 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Sen. Lautenberg gets a lukewarm 44 - 38 percent approval rating. Voters say 54 - 40 percent, including 50 percent of Democrats, that Lautenberg is too old to serve another six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

But Zimmer gets only a 24 - 8 percent favorability rating, while 66 percent of voters don't know enough about him to form an opinion. Lautenberg has a 43 - 34 percent favorability, with 21 percent who don't know enough to form an opinion.

In the matchup, Lautenberg leads 79 - 10 percent among Democrats and 46 - 35 percent among independent voters. Republicans back Zimmer 82 - 13 percent.

"Voters may feel Sen. Frank Lautenberg is too old, and his job approval rating isn't the greatest, but against a weak Republican opponent he is doing just fine in his bid for re-election," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Lautenberg's nine-point lead may have a lot to do with the fact that two thirds of the voters say they don't know enough to form an opinion about his challenger, former Rep. Dick Zimmer. With seven weeks to go, the Republicans will need a real October surprise to turn this race around."

Governor Corzine

New Jersey voters disapprove 51 - 40 percent of the job Gov. Jon Corzine is doing, his fourth negative score this year. Democrats approve of the Governor 60 - 31 percent, while Republicans disapprove 75 - 19 percent and independent voters turn thumbs down 52 - 38 percent.

In a hypothetical matchup for the 2009 Governor's race, Corzine gets 42 percent to 40 percent for federal prosecutor Christopher Christie, a possible Republican challenger. In that race, independent voters back Christie 41 - 38 percent.

Voters say 50 - 37 percent that Corzine does not deserve to be reelected. Among Democrats, 25 percent say the Governor does not deserve to be reelected.

By a 46 - 42 percent margin, voters have an unfavorable opinion of Corzine. Christie gets only a 25 - 7 percent favorability, with 67 percent who don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Only 35 percent of New Jersey voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state, while 65 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied."

"The hypothetical matchup between Gov. Jon Corzine and prosecutor Christopher Christie is still a dead heat, but at least this time the Governor is two points on the right side of the split," Richards said. "Corzine's job approval rating has slipped a couple of more points and Christie is leading among independent voters who often decide New Jersey elections."

From September 10 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,214 New Jersey registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The survey includes 1,187 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 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 -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

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%    13%    79%    46%    42%    54%    42%    78%
Zimmer               39     82     10     35     47     32     47     15
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      -      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                12      5     10     18     11     14     10      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Lautenberg           67%    48%    41%    51%    36%
Zimmer               23     38     47     35     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                10     13     11     13     13
 
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.
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Lautenberg           48      48
Zimmer               39      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                12      11
 
 
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    Laut   Zimmer
 
Made up              72%    69%    76%
Might change         25     28     22
DK/NA                 3      3      2
 
 
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              42%     9%    72%    38%    38%    45%    33%    71%
Christie             40     78     13     41     47     35     49     12
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      -      1      1      1      1      2
DK/NA                16     13     14     20     12     19     17     14
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              64%    39%    35%    46%    30%
Christie             25     38     45     42     53
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      2      3      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      1      1      1      -
DK/NA                11     20     16     11     16
 
TREND: 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
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Corzine              42      40
Christie             40      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       2
DK/NA                16      17
 
 
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            42%    16%    67%    37%    37%    45%    34%    67%
Unfavorable          46     76     21     50     55     39     54     26
Hvn't hrd enough      9      7     10     10      6     12      9      6
REFUSED               3      2      3      2      2      3      3      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            64%    39%    31%    47%    33%
Unfavorable          28     47     52     42     59
Hvn't hrd enough      6     11     12      9      7
REFUSED               2      3      6      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            42      39
Unfavorable          46      46
Hvn't hrd enough      9      10
REFUSED               3       5
 
 
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            25%    40%    12%    28%    31%    20%    30%    10%
Unfavorable           7      2     11      6      8      5      5     20
Hvn't hrd enough     67     57     75     65     58     74     64     66
REFUSED               2      1      2      1      2      1      1      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            29%    22%    29%    22%    29%
Unfavorable          10      7      8      3      5
Hvn't hrd enough     58     69     62     73     65
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            25      21
Unfavorable           7       7
Hvn't hrd enough     67      69
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
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            24%    44%     8%    23%    32%    18%    27%    14%
Unfavorable           8      2     14      8     11      6      8     10
Hvn't hrd enough     66     52     76     68     56     74     64     74
REFUSED               2      1      2      1      1      2      2      2
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            20%    24%    28%    22%    26%
Unfavorable           9     10     10      5      7
Hvn't hrd enough     71     64     58     73     66
REFUSED               -      3      3      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Dick Zimmer favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            24      25
Unfavorable           8      12
Hvn't hrd enough     66      62
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
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%    15%    64%    45%    42%    45%    42%    57%
Unfavorable          34     68     10     34     45     26     41     15
Hvn't hrd enough     21     16     24     20     12     28     16     23
REFUSED               2      2      2      1      1      2      1      4
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            47%    46%    39%    49%    33%
Unfavorable          25     32     42     30     45
Hvn't hrd enough     28     19     17     20     21
REFUSED               -      3      2      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Frank Lautenberg favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            43      43
Unfavorable          34      35
Hvn't hrd enough     21      19
REFUSED               2       3
 
 
17. 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              40%    19%    60%    38%    36%    44%    33%    62%
Disapprove           51     75     31     52     58     46     57     29
DK/NA                 9      7      9     10      7     10     10     10
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              60%    41%    30%    44%    27%
Disapprove           35     51     56     48     63
DK/NA                 4      8     13      8     10
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................... 
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Apr 18  Apr 26
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006
 
Approve              40      42      38      37      46      51      35
Disapprove           51      48      52      52      43      36      42
DK/NA                 9      10      11      12      11      13      23
 
 
18. 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              24%    14%    37%    18%    18%    29%    20%    42%
Disapprove           58     72     41     65     67     50     61     43
DK/NA                18     14     23     17     16     21     19     15
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              33%    26%    17%    26%    17%
Disapprove           46     58     64     57     61
DK/NA                21     16     18     17     22
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS......................................
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Jan 26  Jul 14
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2005    2006
 
Approve              24      25      25      26      28      44      20
Disapprove           58      59      57      54      53      31      71
DK/NA                18      16      18      20      19      25      10
 
 
19. 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              44%    18%    65%    43%    38%    49%    41%    62%
Disapprove           38     68     16     37     49     28     42     18
DK/NA                18     14     19     20     12     23     17     20
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              49%    45%    40%    47%    38%
Disapprove           29     36     43     38     44
DK/NA                21     19     17     15     17
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Approve              44      46
Disapprove           38      38
DK/NA                18      16
 
 
20. 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              35%    17%    49%    34%    32%    37%    30%    43%
Disapprove           31     53     13     32     41     23     34     22
DK/NA                34     30     38     34     27     41     36     34
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              51%    33%    31%    32%    32%
Disapprove           21     30     35     32     37
DK/NA                28     37     35     37     31
 
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)
                     REGISTERED VOTERS......................................
                                                             Highest Lowest
                                                             Approve Approve
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Dec 7   Feb 20
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2006 *  2008
 
Approve              35      33      36      30      34      39      30
Disapprove           31      34      26      31      34      37      31
DK/NA                34      33      37      39      32      24      39
 
 
22. 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 ery dissatisfied?
                     
                     REGISTERED VOTERS...................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        3%     -     5%     3%     3%     3%     2%     3%
Smwht satisfied      32     19     45     28     26     36     29     38
Smwht dissatisfied   36     40     32     37     36     36     36     35
Very dissatisfied    29     40     18     31     34     25     33     22
DK/NA                 -      1      1      -      -      -      -      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        2%     2%     4%     6%     -
Smwht satisfied      36     35     31     28     23
Smwhtdissatisfied    43     37     34     34     32
Very dissatisfied    18     26     30     31     43
DK/NA                 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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS....................................
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28  Dec 6
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007    2006
 
Very satisfied        3       2       3       4       3       3       2
Smwht satisfied      32      30      29      29      35      37      34
Smwht dissatisfied   36      35      35      33      32      34      38
Very dissatisfied    29      32      33      33      30      25      25
DK/NA                 -       1       1       1       1       1       1
 
 
23. 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%    60%    33%    34%    39%    31%    59%
No                   50     80     25     53     58     43     57     28
DK/NA                13      7     15     15      8     18     12     12
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  51%    36%    30%    39%    30%
No                   33     47     59     51     62
DK/NA                16     17     11     11      8
 
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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.............
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Feb 20  Dec 11
                     2008    2008    2008    2007
 
Yes                  37      37      32      44
No                   50      50      51      43
DK/NA                13      12      17      13
 
 
24. 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               10%     5%    16%     8%     9%    11%     7%    17%
Worse                39     57     22     41     45     34     43     23
The same             47     36     56     48     44     49     46     56
DK/NA                 4      2      6      3      2      5      4      5
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Better               21%     9%     8%    11%     5%
Worse                27     37     44     42     46
The same             50     51     44     43     43
DK/NA                 2      4      4      3      6
 
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?
                     REGISTERED VOTERS.............................
                     Sep 17  Aug 12  Jun 11  Feb 20  Dec 11  Feb 28
                     2008    2008    2008    2008    2007    2007
 
Better               10       9      10      10      14      20%
Worse                39      39      39      35      25      15
The same             47      49      50      53      59      62
DK/NA                 4       3       2       2       2       3
 
 
25. 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                  54%    60%    50%    53%    53%    55%    54%    48%
No                   40     33     44     41     43     38     39     49
DK/NA                 6      7      6      6      5      7      7      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Yes                  48%    53%    58%    58%    52%
No                   50     39     38     35     42
DK/NA                 2      8      4      7      7
 
TREND: 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.
                     Sep 17  Aug 12
                     2008    2008
 
Yes                  54      55
No                   40      39
DK/NA                 6       6