Quinnipiac is considered a prominent pollster for New Jersey politics, but the Corzine campaign said that today’s poll, which showed Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie expanding his lead over Gov. Corzine from 10 to 12 points, is an “anomaly.”
“It’s not consistent with any of the other major polls we’ve seen most recently. It’s not consistent with our internal polling. It’s difficult to imagine in July in New Jersey single digit undecideds. We’re historically a late breaking state,” said Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy.
In a three way race with independent Christopher Daggett included, Christie’s lead drops to nine points.
Today’s survey comes after two other public polls from Rasmussen and Fairleigh Dickinson University showed the race narrowing, while Corzine’s internal polling shows the Governor trailing Christie by just four.
“Our internal polling shows that it will be a tough race, but Governor Corzine has the important strengths that he can build on. The Governor is seen as uniquely qualified on financial and economic issues. He’s got a partner in President Obama, who’s very popular in New Jersey,” said Darcy, who said that the campaign’s poll showed that only 59% of New Jersey voters knew that President Obama – who remains popular in the state – is openly backing Corzine.
Obama is coming to New Jersey for a rally with Corzine on Thursday.
“Meanwhile, President Bush, Christie's mentor, is still exceptionally unpopular,” said Darcy. “As people across New Jersey become more familiar with Christie, these polls all show that his unfavorables rise.”
The Quinnipiac poll, however, says that just 10% of voters think that tying Christie to Bush is fair criticism.
As evidence that early polls in New Jersey tend to favor Republicans, Darcy noted that state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) led U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken) in many early 2006 polls (Quinnipiac, however, had Menendez ahead in every month but July and September), that Corzine maintained only narrow leads over Republican Doug Forrester in early 2005 surveys before beating him by 10 points, and that many polls showed New Jersey in play for the 2004 presidential election, only to see Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry easily win the state over President Bush on election day.
“I think history teaches us to beware of the results in early public polls – particularly in New Jersey,” he said