Monmouth/Gannett poll: Christie leads Corzine by 8 points

Republican Christopher Christie continues to lead Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in independent polls. A Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll released today shows Christie leading Corzine by eight percentage points among likely voters, 47%-39% with 5% for Independent Christopher Daggett.

Christie led by ten points in a Quinnipiac University poll released last week, and had an eight point lead in a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Thursday.

"A Republican holding a steady poll lead is unprecedented in recent New Jersey elections and this shouldn't be discounted. But the results also indicate there is a lot of churning in this electorate," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Despite the incumbent's continued unpopularity, there is still a sense that anything can happen."

Corzine's job approvals are upside-down, at 37%-52%. He has upside-down favorable of 39%-45%. Christie had favorable of 41%-29%.

More than half (55%) of likely voters view the 2009 gubernatorial campaign has negative.

"Negative campaigning in New Jersey is nothing new, but past polling tells us that voters usually don't notice that negative tone until October. Getting the electorate to register its disapproval of the campaign's conduct immediately after Labor Day is truly an accomplishment," said Murray.

Among independent likely voters, Christie is running fifteen points ahead of Corzine, 45%-30%. Christie leads among Republicans 82%-8%, while Corzine leads among Democrats 77%-8% — a 10-point improvement since the summer. Corzine has increased his support among Black and Hispanic voters.

The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll was conducted by telephone with 752 New Jersey registered voters from September 8 to 10, 2009. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.6 percent. This report also includes analysis on a smaller group of 531 "likely voters" with a + 4.3 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and originally published by the Gannett New Jersey newspaper group (Asbury Park Press, Courier-Post, Courier News, Daily Journal, Daily Record, and Home News Tribune). Monmouth/Gannett poll: Christie leads Corzine by 8 points