Independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett has not fully capitalized on anti-major party sentiment, new data released today by the Rutgers-Eagleton poll reveals.
The poll found that almost 70% of New Jersey voters were open to a strong alternative to the Republican and Democratic Parties. Thirty-seven percent said they would prefer more than two important parties, while 32% said that candidates should not run with party labels at all. But Daggett only gets the support of 20% of likely voters.
“It is striking how many New Jersey voters say they want an alterative, yet how unwilling they are to vote for that alternative when available. And of course, there are widely varying views on what the alternative should be, much as in the health care debate,” said poll director David Redlawsk.
Among voters who say New Jersey needs more than two strong parties, only 25% support Daggett, while 20% of those who say candidates should run without party labels back him.
“Even though Daggett is running a credible campaign, he is failing to attract most disaffected voters,” said Redlawsk. “Much of this is because many voters still know little about Daggett, but the numbers also are driven by history: independents don’t win in New Jersey and voters know that.”
The Rutgers-Eagleton poll surveyed 583 likely voters between October 15 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1%.