May 25, 2000 - Corzine Leads Florio Among Likely Dem Voters, Quinnipiac College Poll Finds; Only 28 Percent Have Seen Any Debates
Businessman Jon Corzine leads former Gov. James Florio 56 - 30 percent, with 14 percent undecided, among likely Democratic Primary voters in the race for the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey, according to a Quinnipiac College Poll released today.

Among all registered Democrats, Corzine leads Florio 47 - 28 percent. This compares to Corzine's 48 - 33 percent lead among registered Democrats in a May 10 poll by the independent Quinnipiac College.

By a 43 - 10 percent margin, likely Democratic Primary voters have a favorable opinion of Corzine, with 20 percent mixed and 26 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion.

Florio has a negative 27 - 36 percent favorability among likely Democratic Primary voters, with 30 percent mixed and 6 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion.

"As Jon Corzine bombards the electorate with unanswered TV ads, Democrats remain impressed by Corzine and turned off by former Gov. Florio," said Quinnipiac College Political Science Professor Scott McLean.

"Don't stick the fork into Florio just yet, though. He'll change minds with at least a few ads of his own. Florio's biggest problem is that there aren't many minds left to change at this point. Two-thirds of Corzine supporters have made up their minds, and 20 percent of Corzine voters say they actually are voting against Florio."

Among likely Democratic Primary voters, 52 percent say government experience is more important for a U.S. Senator, while 25 percent say business experience is more important.

These same voters are split 43 - 42 percent on whether the 1990 tax increase enacted by Gov. Florio could have been avoided or whether it was necessary.

"Florio just couldn't get the boost he needed from the debates," Dr. McLean said. "By keeping the debates off network TV, Corzine's campaign made sure that three-quarters of the likely voters would never see his performance anyway. Now Corzine's job is to get his new converts to the polls."

From May 17 - 23, Quinnipiac College surveyed 944 New Jersey registered Democratic voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent. The survey includes 371 likely Democratic Primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 5.1 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.

Effective May 30, 2000, the Quinnipiac College Poll will become the Quinnipiac University Poll.

For additional data: www.quinnipiac.edu or (203) 582-5201

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

                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Favorable 27%

Unfavorable 36

Mixed 30

Hvn't hrd enough 6

REFUSED 1



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

                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Favorable 43%

Unfavorable 10

Mixed 20

Hvn't hrd enough 26

REFUSED -



6. 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?
                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Florio 30%

Corzine 56

DK/NA 14



7. (If answered Florio or Corzine on Q.6) Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?

                       Likely Democratic Primary Voters


Florio Corzine Voters Voters

Yes/Made up 50% 68%

No/Might change 50 30

DK/NA - 1



8. (If answered Florio or Corzine on Q.6) Would you describe your support for (candidate) as strongly favoring him, or do you like (candidate) but with reservations, or do you support (candidate) because you dislike the other candidate?
                       Likely Democratic Primary Voters


Florio Corzine Voters Voters

Strongly favor 54% 46%

Like with reservations 39 32

Dislike other candidate 4 20

DK/NA 3 2



11. Have you seen any of the televised debates between Jon Corzine and James Florio?
                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Yes 28%

No 72

DK/NA -



12. (If saw debates Q11.)Who do you think performed better in the debates - Florio or Corzine?
                          Among those who saw any debates


Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Florio 39%

Corzine 48

DK/NA 13



13. (If saw debates Q11.) How important were the debates in helping you decide how to vote in the Democratic primary for United States Senator - Very important, somewhat important, not very important, or not important at all?

                          Among those who saw any debates


Likely Democratic Primary Voters

Very important 32%

Somewhat important 37

Not very important 21

Not important at all 8

DK/NA 3



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

                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Government 52%

Business 25

DK/NA 23



15. 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?

                          Likely Democratic
                          Primary Voters


Could have been avoided 43%

Necessary 42

DK/NA 15