Republican Christopher Christie is leading in four legislative districts Democrat Jon Corzine carried easily four years ago, according to a poll conducted for the Assembly Republican Victory '09 Committee.
The poll also shows Republicans with an opportunity to pick up State Assembly seats in districts 1, 4, 14 and 19.
"This sizeable lead for Christie means the potential for coattails exists for GOP assembly candidates whose central campaign theme includes lowering taxes and reducing government spending, cleaning up political corruption and bringing change to Trenton," Jim Lee, the president of Susquehanna Polling and Research, a Pennsylvania-based firm, wrote in an analysis memo to the Assembly GOP leadership.
In District 1, Christie leads Corzine by 25 points, 55%-30%. In 2005, Corzine carried the district 53%-47% against Republican Douglas Forrester. Republicans win a generic ballot test in the race for Assembly by a 48%-29% margin. The two incumbents, Nelson Albano (D-Vineland) and Matthew Milam (D-Vineland) are considered the most vulnerable Democrats in the Legislature this year.
Christie leads Corzine 52%-32% in District 4; Corzine beat Forrester in the Camden-Gloucester district by fourteen points, 57%-43%. Just 27% of voters say that Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Twp.) deserves re-election, while 40% say it's time for a new person. Republicans lead the generic ballot test 41%-33%.
In the politically competitive, state employee-rich 14th district, Christie has a 43%-38% lead over Corzine. Four years ago, Corzine carried Forrester's home by 8 points, 54%-46%. The GOP leads the generic ballot test by 11 points, 47%-36%.
In the strongly Democratic 19th district in Middlesex County, Christie has a 12 point lead over Corzine, 45%-33%. Corzine beat Forrester in 2005 by 24 points, 62%-38%. Republicans lead the generic Assembly ballot test 46%-31%. Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) has a 25% re-elect number, with 42% saying they want a new person. Wisniewski is temporarily without a running mate: incumbent Joseph Vas (D-Perth Amboy), under indictment on federal and state corruption charges, is not seeking re-election, and his would-be successor, South Amboy Mayor John O'Leary, dropped his Assembly bid on Monday amidst controversies of his own ethical issues.
The Assembly GOP polls were conducted earlier this month and have a margin of error of +/- 5.6%.
According Lee, the poll "shows a ripe environment exists for making GOP gains in the State Assembly."
"This is due to the fact that a strong sentiment for change exists to change the way business is currently being conducted in Trenton, strong margins of support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie in the governor's race — and the real potential for down ballot coattails for GOP assembly candidates — and the fact that most voters say they would be more likely to vote for "a Republican candidate for state assembly who will serve as a check and balance to Governor Corzine and the Democrats' total control of state government in Trenton', rather than ‘a Democrat candidate for state assembly who will work with Gov. Corzine and the Democrats to pass their agenda in Trenton,'" Lee wrote.