Eagleton Poll: GOP gaining ground

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released today shows that New Jersey voters statewide are moving toward Republicans, as the overall generic ballot tightens five days before Election Day.

Although 41% of registered voters say they will vote for a Democrat, with 31 percent preferring a Republican, likely voters are leaning more Republican; a generic Democrat leads by only 46 percent to 40 percent. Republicans trailed by 11 points in a September Rutgers-Eagleton Poll among likely voters. Only 7 percent of likely voters remain undecided.

The poll shows a noticeable “enthusiasm gap” between GOP backers and Democrats, with about two-thirds of Republicans at the “top of the enthusiasm scale” compared to 42 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents. About half of New Jersey registered voters say they are moderately or very enthusiastic about voting.

“Partisans remain with their party,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “But independent likely voters who moved toward Democrats in September are trending back to Republicans, preferring a generic Republican by a 42 percent to 35 percent margin. If independents turn out, they could tip close races, especially if Democrats stay home.”

Eagleton conduted the poll of 885 registered New Jersey voters between Oct. 21-27. The registered voters sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Eagleton Poll: GOP gaining ground