Suffolk University has just released a new poll of New Jersey. This one has 400 likely voters (358 “very likely” and 42 “somewhat likely”) and is the only one to include “all 12 candidates whose names are printed on the ballot.” They find great numbers for Governor Corzine:
Though most polls are showing the New Jersey governor’s race to be dead even between incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine and former U.S. Attorney and Republican challenger Chris Christie, a new poll by Suffolk University signals that Corzine (42 percent) leads comfortably over Christie (33 percent), with independent Chris Daggett trailing with 7 percent. Three percent of voters selected among the other nine independent candidates listed on the ballot, and 14 percent were undecided…
Undecided voters were breaking to Corzine as well. When initial undecided voters were asked whom they would vote for if they were standing in the voting booth right now, 25 percent chose Corzine, 15 percent Christie, 2 percent Daggett, and 55 percent remained undecided.
Daggett’s 7% is significantly worse than other polls, which they suggest is due to the other names. This, after all, does reflect the actual ballot, so perhaps they are right. 56% of Daggett voters say they may change their minds, which is in line with other polls. Suffolk also notes that 66% of voters think Jersey is on the “wrong track” so it’s not somehow picking up a odd group of optimists. Obama is at 62-30 favorable-unfavorable, but the question asks about Obama rather than job approval, so a higher score is not unexpected.
Looking at the numbers, we’ve seen 42% for Corzine before, but the big result is the Christie collapse. I’m sure we’ll get a lot of polls this week (PPP and R2K, for sure) so we’ll see if they also find Christie in the mid-30s. By the way, if you think asking all twelve candidate is annoying, apparently you’re not alone:
When likely voters were asked if they preferred fewer choices on their ballot, 66 percent said yes, and 34 percent said no.
Suffolk also polled 350 additional voters in Gloucester County, and they again got great numbers for Corzine:
The 2009 New Jersey bellwether of Gloucester County showed Corzine leading Christie 41 percent to 30 percent, with Daggett getting 11 percent. However, Daggett is listed third on the Gloucester county ballots, right after Corzine and Christie, which may account for a slightly higher number than in the statewide poll, since Daggett is listed lower on the ballot in many of the other counties. In the 2005 New Jersey governor’s race, each candidate’s Gloucester County results were within 1 percent of their statewide numbers. Bellwether samples are designed to predict outcomes — not margins — and to supplement the Suffolk statewide polls.
In 2008, Suffolk University bellwethers were 95 percent accurate in predicting straight-up winners in both Democratic and Republican primaries, and, when in agreement with the statewide Suffolk polls of the respective states, were 100 percent accurate in predicting straight-up winners.