August 11, 2009 - Corzine Inches Up In New Jersey, Wins Beach Poll, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters, 2-1, Embarrassed By Corruption, Blame Dems

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Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine has gained a little ground on Republican challenger Christopher Christie and now trails the former prosecutor 51 - 42 percent among likely voters in the New Jersey Governor's race, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 53 - 41 percent Christie lead in a July 14 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In a three-way matchup among likely voters, Christie leads Corzine 46 - 40 percent, with 7 percent for independent candidate Christopher Daggett, a little tighter than July 14.

In the two-way face-off, Corzine leads 83 - 10 percent among Democratic likely voters, compared to 76 - 19 percent July 14. Christie leads 89 - 7 percent among Republicans and 64 - 29 percent among independent voters, both unchanged.

A total of 93 percent of New Jersey voters say government corruption is a "somewhat serious" or "very serious" problem and 65 percent of voters say the recent wave of corruption arrests embarrasses them as New Jersey residents.

Voters say 50 - 15 percent that they associate the Democratic Party with corruption more than the Republican Party. Independent voters blame Democrats 56 - 9 percent. Even 28 percent of Democrats point the finger at their own party.

"Is corruption a big problem? Wow, is it! Almost everyone in New Jersey thinks so. And two thirds feel personally embarrassed to live in a state where politicians are pictured in handcuffs," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"More than half associate corruption with the Democratic party. Almost a third say both parties share the blame. Republicans pretty much get a pass."

"Chris Christie has lost a little ground, but he's still up nine points in the two-candidate matchup. Third party candidate Christopher Daggett is going nowhere, but he makes the race interesting, eating into Christie's lead and bringing the gap down to six points," Carroll added.

New Jersey voters disapprove 58 - 36 percent of the job Corzine is doing, a slight improvement on his 60 - 33 percent disapproval July 14. By a 54 - 37 percent margin, they have an unfavorable opinion of Corzine, compared to a 42 - 26 percent favorable opinion of Christie. For Daggett, 92 percent don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

Voters say 42 - 36 percent they would rather spend an afternoon on the Sandy Hook beach with Corzine. Women would rather stroll with Corzine 46 - 31 percent, while men favor Christie 42 - 38 percent. A total of 65 percent of voters say a likable personality is "very important" or "somewhat important" in a candidate.

New Jersey voters know little about the candidates for Lieutenant Governor: 91 percent don't know enough about Republican Kim Guadagno to form an opinion and 81 percent don't know enough about Loretta Weinberg.

Christie would do a better job on the state budget, voters say 47 - 41 percent, and do a better job cleaning up corruption, voters say 54 - 31 percent.

Voters also say 55 - 35 percent that Christie's service as a federal prosecutor gives him enough experience to be governor.

"It's almost all bad for the Governor - a big negative on job performance, where he's down 3 - 1 in some Republican areas. He loses to Christie, too, when we ask who'd do better building budgets and fighting corruption," Carroll said.

"One lonely positive: On the 'nice guy' question of who'd be a better companion on the Sandy Hook beach, Corzine outscores Christie.

"If the Lieutenant Governor choices will make a difference, it hasn't shown up yet. Hardly anyone has heard of Guadagno and Weinberg is far from a household name."

From August 5 - 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,167 New Jersey likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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 feed: http://ww.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. 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? (If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Corzine or Christie? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Corzine              42%     7%    83%    29%    35%    48%
Christie             51     89     10     64     57     45
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      3      6      6      7      6
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              48%    51%    27%    49%    30%
Christie             44     41     66     44     64
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      2      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 8      7      5      6      5
 
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? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Corzine or Christie? This table includes Leaners.
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Aug 11  Jul 14  Jun 10
                     2009    2009    2009
 
Corzine              42     41      40
Christie             51     53      50
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -       -
DK/NA                 6      6       9
 
 
2. If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat, Christopher Christie the Republican, and Christopher Daggett the independent, for whom would you vote?(If undecided q2) As of today, do you lean more toward Corzine, Christie, or Daggett? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Corzine              40%     8%    81%    25%    34%    46%
Christie             46     84      9     55     53     40
Daggett               7      4      5     13      7      8
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      5      5      7      6      7
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              46%    48%    25%    50%    29%
Christie             38     38     58     41     59
Daggett               9      7     10      4      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 8      7      7      6      5
 
TREND: If the election for governor were being held today, and the candidates were Jon Corzine the Democrat, Christopher Christie the Republican, and Christopher Daggett the independent, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Corzine, Christie, or Daggett? This table includes Leaners.
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Corzine              40      38
Christie             46      47
Daggett               7       8
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                 6       7
 
 
3. Is your opinion of -- Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            42%    72%    12%    49%    50%    34%
Unfavorable          26      7     47     22     22     29
Hvn't hrd enough     30     19     40     25     22     36
REFUSED               3      3      1      4      5      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            35%    34%    52%    36%    54%
Unfavorable          27     32     20     26     20
Hvn't hrd enough     34     31     25     36     23
REFUSED               4      3      3      1      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Christopher Christie favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            42      39
Unfavorable          26      20
Hvn't hrd enough     30      40
REFUSED               3       1
 
 
4. Is your opinion of -- Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            37%     9%    70%    27%    35%    39%
Unfavorable          54     85     20     65     57     51
Hvn't hrd enough      6      5      7      6      6      7
REFUSED               2      1      2      3      2      3
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            47%    48%    23%    39%    24%
Unfavorable          38     45     69     48     71
Hvn't hrd enough     11      5      7      8      4
REFUSED               4      2      1      4      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Jon Corzine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable            37      34
Unfavorable          54      58
Hvn't hrd enough      6       6
REFUSED               2       2
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- Christopher Daggett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable             4%     3%     2%     7%     5%     3%
Unfavorable           3      1      4      2      3      2
Hvn't hrd enough     92     94     93     89     90     94
REFUSED               1      2      -      1      2      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable             6%     3%     7%     4%     4%
Unfavorable           4      3      3      2      1
Hvn't hrd enough     88     94     88     93     94
REFUSED               3      -      2      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of - Christopher Daggett favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Favorable             4       5
Unfavorable           3       2
Hvn't hrd enough     92      92
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
6. Is your opinion of -- Kim Guadagno favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable             7%    10%     2%     8%     8%     5%
Unfavorable           2      1      2      2      2      1
Hvn't hrd enough     91     88     95     89     89     93
REFUSED               1      -      -      1      1      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable             9%     6%     7%     2%    10%
Unfavorable           1      2      1      2      2
Hvn't hrd enough     89     91     92     96     87
REFUSED               1      -      1      -      1
 
 
7. Is your opinion of -- Loretta Weinberg favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Favorable            11%     6%    16%    10%    11%    11%
Unfavorable           7     11      4      8     11      4
Hvn't hrd enough     81     82     80     82     77     85
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Favorable            17%    17%     6%     5%     6%
Unfavorable           2      8      7      5     11
Hvn't hrd enough     79     75     86     90     82
REFUSED               2      1      1      1      -
 
 
8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as Governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              36%    11%    68%    26%    32%    40%
Disapprove           58     88     23     70     63     53
DK/NA                 6      1      9      4      5      8
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              40%    48%    24%    38%    25%
Disapprove           47     48     75     51     72
DK/NA                14      5      2     11      4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jon Corzine is handling his job as governor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Approve              36      33
Disapprove           58      60
DK/NA                 6       7
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              23%     8%    43%    14%    20%    25%
Disapprove           63     81     39     75     69     57
DK/NA                15     11     18     11     11     18
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Approve              21%    29%    17%    28%    14%
Disapprove           56     53     74     62     73
DK/NA                23     18      9     10     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Approve              23      27
Disapprove           63      59
DK/NA                15      13
 
 
10. 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
 
Approve              45%    20%    73%    36%    44%    45%
Disapprove           38     62      9     50     46     32
DK/NA                17     18     19     14     11     23
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Frank Lautenberg is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Approve              45      43
Disapprove           38      40
DK/NA                17      17
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Approve              39%    16%    62%    34%    37%    41%
Disapprove           38     57     13     49     47     30
DK/NA                22     26     25     16     16     29
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Robert Menendez is handling his job as United States Senator?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Approve              39      40
Disapprove           38      37
DK/NA                22      23
 
 
13. 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?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very satisfied        4%     2%     5%     2%     4%     3%
Smwht satisfied      29     14     53     19     24     34
Smwht dissatisfied   30     30     29     30     32     28
Very dissatisfied    36     54     12     48     40     33
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very satisfied        2%     4%     3%     4%     4%
Smwht satisfied      35     38     20     30     18
Smwht dissatisfied   32     26     30     36     30
Very dissatisfied    27     31     46     30     47
DK/NA                 4      1      -      -      0
 
 
14. What is the most important issue to you in deciding how to vote for governor this year?
                            LIKELY VOTERS
                            Tot
 
Taxes Total                 31%
 Taxes general              13
 Property tax               16
 Income Tax                  1
 Taxes other                 1
 
Economy Total               20%
 Economy general             9
 Unemployment/Jobs          10
 Cost of living              1
 
Politicians Total            9%
 Politicians general         2
 Political corruption        6
 Governor/State leadership   1
 
 
Budget Total                 8%
 Budget general              4
 Budget deficits             1
 Gov too big/spending        1
 Budget priorities           1
 Budget other                1
 
Healthcare/Costs/Ins/HMO's   5%
 
Lack of ethics/Morality      5%
 
Education Total              4%
 Education general           2
 Funding education           2
 
Crime/Violence               1%
Immigration                  1%
Senior issues                1%
 
Other                        5%
DK/NA                        7%
 
 
15. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for Governor, do you think would do a better job handling the state budget - Jon Corzine or Christopher Christie?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Corzine              41%    10%    78%    30%    35%    46%
Christie             47     81     12     57     54     41
DK/NA                12      9     10     13     10     13
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for governor - Jon Corzine or Christopher Christie do you think would do a better job handling the state budget?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Corzine              41      36
Christie             47      50
DK/NA                12      14
 
 
16. Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for Governor, do you think would do a better job cleaning up corruption - Jon Corzine or Christopher Christie?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Corzine              31%     7%    61%    20%    25%    36%
Christie             54     82     22     65     62     46
DK/NA                16     10     18     15     14     17
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, which candidate for governor - Jon Corzine or Christopher Christie do you think would do a better job cleaning up corruption?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Corzine              31      30
Christie             54      54
DK/NA                16      17
 
 
17. Do you think being a federal prosecutor has given Christopher Christie enough experience to be governor of New Jersey?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  55%    76%    33%    60%    59%    51%
No                   35     15     57     31     33     37
DK/NA                10      8     10      9      8     12
 
TREND: Do you think being a federal prosecutor has given Christopher Christie enough experience to be governor of New Jersey?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Yes                  55      57
No                   35      30
DK/NA                10      13
 
 
18. Do you think Jon Corzine's background as an investment banker has made him a better governor, a worse governor, or hasn't it made a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Better Gov           24%    11%    43%    16%    23%    25%
Worse Gov            19     28      7     25     20     18
Hasn't made diff     53     59     46     56     53     53
DK/NA                 4      2      4      3      4      4
 
TREND: Do you think Jon Corzine's background as an investment banker has made him a better governor, a worse governor, or hasn't it made a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Better Gov           24      20
Worse Gov            19      19
Hasn't made diff     53      58
DK/NA                 4       3
 
 
19. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who would you rather spend an afternoon at the Sandy Hook beach with - Jon Corzine or Christopher Christie?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Corzine              42%    18%    73%    32%    38%    46%
Christie             36     64     10     41     42     31
DK/NA                22     18     17     27     21     24
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Corzine              48%    45%    35%    46%    34%
Christie             29     31     44     33     44
DK/NA                23     24     20     21     21
 
 
20. When you decide how to vote for governor, how important is it to you that the candidate have a likeable personality - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very important       22%    15%    28%    16%    19%    24%
Smwht important      43     47     44     42     38     48
Not too important    22     26     18     23     25     19
Not imptnt at all    13     12     10     18     18      9
DK/NA                 -      -      -      -      -      -
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Very important       35%    22%    16%    19%    20%
Smwht important      37     45     44     41     44
Not too important    21     22     24     19     23
Not imptnt at all     7     11     15     21     13
DK/NA                 1      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: When you decide how to vote for governor, how important is it to you that the candidate has a likeable personality - very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Very important       22      22
Smwht important      43      45
Not too important    22      19
Not imptnt at all    13      13
DK/NA                 -       1
 
 
21. Does Christopher Christie's choice of Kim Guadagno for lieutenant governor make you more likely to vote for Christie for governor, less likely, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
More likely           7%     9%     5%     6%     9%     6%
Less likely           5      2     10      4      4      7
Doesn't make diff    84     87     81     87     84     84
DK/NA                 3      2      4      3      2      4
 
 
22. Does Jon Corzine's choice of Loretta Weinberg for lieutenant governor make you more likely to vote for Corzine for governor, less likely, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
More likely           9%     1%    18%     7%     7%    11%
Less likely          10     18      2     12     11      8
Doesn't make diff    78     79     77     80     79     77
DK/NA                 3      2      4      1      3      3
 
 
23. Which party would you like to see control the New Jersey State Legislature after the elections in November - the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Democratic Party     43%     2%    92%    28%    35%    51%
Republican Party     45     94      5     49     51     39
DK/NA                12      4      3     23     13     10
 
                                          Philly
                     Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Democratic Party     56%    49%    30%    51%    31%
Republican Party     36     38     62     38     53
DK/NA                 8     13      8     11     16
 
TREND: Which party would you like to see control the New Jersey State Legislature after the elections in November - the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?
                     LIKELY VOTERS
                     Aug 11  Jul 14
                     2009    2009
 
Democratic Party     43      45
Republican Party     45      43
DK/NA                12      11
 
 
24. How much of a problem, if at all, is government corruption in New Jersey today? Is it a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Very serious problem 71%    77%    62%    78%    72%    71%
Smwht serious        22     18     29     18     21     23
Not too serious       3      3      4      2      4      2
Not a problem at all  2      2      3      -      -      3
DK/NA                 2      1      2      1      2      2
 
 
25. In general, which party do you associate more with political corruption in New Jersey
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Republican party     15%     7%    30%     9%    14%    16%
Democratic party     50     74     28     56     58     43
DK/NA                34     19     42     35     28     40
 
 
26. As you may know there has been a recent wave of corruption arrests in New Jersey. Most of those arrested were Democrats. Does this make you less likely to vote for Jon Corzine or not?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  28%    53%     8%    31%    31%    25%
No                   67     41     89     64     65     68
DK/NA                 5      6      3      5      3      7
 
 
27. Does the recent wave of corruption arrests embarrass you as a New Jersey resident?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom
 
Yes                  65%    70%    58%    68%    64%    66%
No                   33     29     39     32     34     33
DK/NA                 2      1      3      -      2      1