The conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth released its own New Jersey Senate poll this morning that shows Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer in a statistical dead heat with incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg.
According to the group’s survey of 300 likely voters, Zimmer has a one point lead over Lautenberg – 36% to 35%.
The group found that 72% of survey respondents had heard of Dick Zimmer, but only about 40% know enough about him to rate him.
The group also found that 43% of respondents had a favorable impression of Gov. Corzine, while 44% had an unfavorable impression of him.
“Part of Lautenberg's problems may well be the effectiveness of Barrack Obama's change message. It is difficult to see how an 84 year-old with a long political resume can be a part of the change agenda – especially when we see the intense belief, as mentioned earlier, that the Democrats have broken their promise,” wrote pollster Pat McFerron.
The Club for Growth has ruffled feathers in the Republican Party for its past support of more conservative primary challengers over GOP incumbents.
Recent surveys by non-partisan polling organizations do not show as close a race, however. A poll released two days ago by Quinnipiac University showed Lautenberg ahead of Zimmer by seven points, while a Rasmussen Reports poll from last week showed Lautenberg leading by 18 points.
Lautenberg spokeswoman Julie Roginsky doubted that a partisan organization would produce fair poll results.
"We don't respond to blatantly partisan polls conducted by extreme right wing organizations which have a vested interest in the outcome of an election,” she said.
The Club for Growth poll was conducted between July 30 and 31st and has a margin of error of +/- 5.6%.