For GOP, a statewide candidate leading in July for the first time since ’97

Christopher Christie, leading Gov. Jon Corzine 53%-41% in today's Quinnipiac University poll, is the first Republican in twelve years to lead in a statewide race in July, and is likely the first Republican since Thomas Kean, Sr. in 1985 to be at 50% during the summer.

Past Quinnipiac University polls:

July 1997: Christie Whitman 46%, James E. McGreevey 39%
June 2000: Corzine 46%, Bob Franks 26%
June 2000: Al Gore 45%, George W. Bush 40%
July 2001: McGreevey 48%, Bret Schundler 35%
June 2002: Bob Torricelli 44%, Douglas Forrester 36%
June 2004: John Kerry 46%, Bush 40%
June 2005: Corzine 47%, Forrester 37%
June 2006: Bob Menendez 43%, Tom Kean, Jr. 36%
June 2008: Frank Lautenberg 47%, Dick Zimmer 38%
June 2008: Barack Obama 45%, John McCain 39%

For GOP, a statewide candidate leading in July for the first time since ’97