U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, (D-12) is up 5 points over Republican challenger Scott Sipprelle in the latest Monmouth University poll.
The poll shows Holt getting 51 percent of the vote among likely voters to 46 percent for Sipprelle.
“This is not unfamiliar territory for Holt, as his first two races were won by very narrow margins. However, redistricting in 2002 added more Democratic voters to the 12th and gave Holt comfortable wins. This year, though, he has to contend with the national anti-Democrat, anti-incumbent wave,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
While both candidates draw in the vast majority of declared voters, Sipprelle holds a formidable lead among Independents in the district with 54 percent saying they’d vote for the hedge fund manager, versus 39 percent for the incumbent.
Holt’s job performance rating among likely voters in the district stands at 48% approve versus 42% who disapprove. 49% of respondents have a favorable view of Democrat versus 35% unfavorable.
Just 36% of likely voters give Sipprelle a favorable rating against 23 percent unfavorable and 41 % offering no opinion.
A strong majority of respondents in the 12th District say the country is on the wrong track, with President Barack Obama also getting a 51% negative approval rating versus 44% with a favorable rating of the president’s job performance. But voters are split on whether they want to see the Democrats or Republicans in control of Congress next year, each coming in at 42%.
The poll was conducted using automated telephone interviewing with 630 likely voters from October 9 to 12, 2010. This sample has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.