The race for New Jersey's fifteen electoral votes is no longer close, with Barack Obama leading John McCain 50%-37%, according to a new Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released today. A September FDU poll showed Obama with a six point lead.
“To be competitive in New Jersey, McCain needed to make a strong play for voters dissatisfied with the results of the Democratic primary. That simply has not happened.” ” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and a survey analyst for the PublicMind poll. "(Vice presidential candidate Sarah) Palin, rather than providing either reassurance or consistency for the Republican message, has provided the political equivalent of a roller coaster ride. It’s a lot of excitement but not something you want to experience all the time.”
The poll shows that Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton over Obama in the February 5 New Jersey primary are just as likely as other Democrats to be voting for Obama. Voters who said Palin is a good choice for vice-president declined to 34% from 47% in early September. Those saying Palin is not a good choice increased to 54% from 34% in early September.
Obama has a double-digit lead even though voters are almost twice as likely to say that McCain (53%) rather than Obama (27%) has the background and experience necessary to be president. Obama trumps McCain by a two-to-one margin on the question of which candidate understands the needs of average people.
“When the economy is uncertain as it is now,” said Cassino, “voters are anxious for candidates to be sympathetic to the average person.”