Rasmussen, the Republican polling firm, will soon release their latest poll numbers which have the Senate race in New Jersey in a dead heat – with Tom Kean jr up by just one point – 41%-40% over Bob Menendez. Their last poll at the end of August gave Kean Jr a larger 44%-39% lead. While it’s not too instructive to compare different polls with different methodologies taken at different times, the Monmouth University/Gannett poll shows the opposite trend. Their July poll had Menendez up by just a point 38%-37%, but their latest poll has Kean jr pulling away with a 44%-38% lead. Strangely, the July poll had a sample size of 670, whereas their latest poll had a miniscule 391.
The last 6 or 7 publicly available polls all show Kean jr either tied or ahead of Bob Menendez, on average with about a 4 point lead. Those numbers are in stark contrast to Bob Menendez’s internal polls which have him leading Tom Kean Jr by about 6 points.
It’s hard to know who to trust in this case, but as Chris Bowers noted with regard to national polls showing two very different results, it’s possible they may both be right. All the national polls show similar numbers for registered voters, but when likely voters are considered, the results split into two distinct groups – one giving Democrats a small lead, and another predicting a Democratic landslide. Chris argues that the difference can be attributed to the likely voter models, which practically speaking, means that the election will be all about turnout. I don’t see any reason why the same logic wouldn’t apply to New Jersey, which means the power to swing this election could be in your hands. Volunteer, contribute, and do whatever you can from now until election day to make sure we get the landslide election we need so we can finally turn the keys over to responsible adults.