The gubernatorial race is tied, according to a new Monmouth University/Gannett poll.
The poll shows Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie each getting 39%, while independent Christopher Daggett gets 14%.
A Monmouth poll from the beginning of this month showed Christie ahead of Corzine by three points – 43% to 40% — with Daggett taking 8% of the vote.
Today's poll found that once reluctant Democrats are sticking with Corzine, but there may be some base trouble for Christie with the Republican base. Christie had 86% of Republicans' support in the poll released early in the month and has 81% of the base in todays. Corzine, who in July had 71% of Democrats' support, now has 76%.
"Democrats who flirted with Chris Christie earlier in the year have come back into the fold. It also looks like some GOP voters may have become disenchanted with their white knight. That's not a good sign for the Republican at this late stage of the game," said Monmouth Univerity Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray.
Corzine's favorable ratings remain upside down, as they have been for most of the campaign. 37% of respondents gave him a favorable rating, while 51% had an unfavorable impression. Christie, however, is also upside down, though barely – 40% of respondents have a favorable impression while 41% view him unfavorably. The majority – 54% — of respondents didn't know enough about Daggett to form an impression, but of those who did his favorability rating is almost 2-1, with 28% viewing him favorably and 15% viewing him unfavorably.
Daggett's six point increase in the head-to-head number came at the expense of both major party candidates. He has gone from 11% to 22% support among independents – an increase that's corresponded with a 7% decrease in Corzine support and 4% decrease of Christie support among that group.
The poll found that 8% of Republicans plan to vote for Daggett – up from 3% in the early October poll – while 11% of Democrats plan to vote for the independent, which is up from 8%.
Among the lieutenant governor candidates, state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) is the most known. But 80% of respondents still either have not heard of her or have no opinion, compared to 87% for Republican Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno and 90% for Esposito. Among the few that have heard of them, all three lieutenant governors have net positive favorables (11% to 9% for Weinberg, 9% to 4% for Guadagno and 6% to 4% for Esposito.
President Obama remains right side up in New Jersey, with 53% of residents approving of his performance and 39% disapproving. But only 12% of voters said the Obama visit would make them more likely to vote for Corzine, compared to 14% who said it would make them less likely and 73% who said that it would have no effect on their vote.
The Monmouth University Polling Institute surveye 1,004 likely voters between October 15 and 18. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.