A new Rasmussen Reports poll has Republican Christopher Christie leading Gov. Jon Corzine by two points, 41%-39%, with 11% for independent Christopher Daggett.
Rasmussen had Christie ahead 45%-41% in their October 15 poll, with Daggett at 11%.
Rasmussen’s release says that “Christie’s edge in the race has been fading rapidly” – a development unsurprising in light of the New Jersey Democrats’ history of catching up or taking a lead in the polls closer to election day.
“Adding to the challenge this year, Corzine is expected to heavily outspend Christie during the final days which could be a game-changing factor,” wrote the pollster.
Over the last several weeks, the number of Daggett supporters and undecided voters have increased, while support for both Corzine and Christie has decreased. And Daggett’s support does appear to be solidifying.
Corzine’s favorable ratings remain upside down, at 41% favorable to 57% unfavorable, while Christie is at 47% favorable to 47% unfavorable (38% of respondents have a “very unfavorable” view of Corzine, while 27% feel that strongly about Christie). Daggett is seen favorably by 44% and unfavorably by 32%, while 25% were not sure.
Corzine’s approval ratings are virtually the same as his favorable ratings, with 41% of respondents approving and 58% disapproving.
The pollster found that 62% of respondents who initially expressed support for Daggett said they’d stick with them, while 24% said they would end up voting for Christie and 14% said they would vote for Corzine.
When asked which candidate they trusted more on taxes, 39% picked Christie, 28% picked Corzine and 16% picked Daggett. Fourty-two percent trusted Christie more on cutting government spending, compared to 23% for Corzine and 16% for Daggett. Christie was also seen by 42% as the most likely to crack down on government corruption, compared to 26% for Corzine and 17% for Daggett.
All in all, the race is a complete toss-up, Rasmussen found.
“At this point, anybody who says with confidence how this race will turn out is either deluding themselves or attempting to delude someone else. The Democrats clearly have an edge in New Jersey when it comes to turnout, but the wavering Daggett supporters and undecided voters are more likely to head in the Republican direction than to the Democratic incumbent,” wrote the pollster.
Rasmussen surveyed 750 likely voters on October 19. The automated poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%.