Stockton Poll: LoBiondo 53%, Hughes 34%

Incumbent Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo leads Democratic challenger William Hughes 53 percent to 34 percent in the 2nd Congressional District, with 10 percent undecided or not expressing a choice, according to a poll commissioned by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

When respondents who are leaning toward one candidate or the other are included, LoBiondo is leading Hughes 56 percent to 38 percent, with 4 percent undecided. LoBiondo has opened up a significant lead since a Stockton Poll released Oct. 2 found the incumbent ahead by only five percentage points with leaning voters included.

The poll was conducted by Survey Technology & Research Center (STR). Live interviewers called both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 25-27. The poll was conducted with 600 adults who are likely voters in New Jersey’s 2nd District.

The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.0 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets.

“It appears that many of those who were undecided in the earlier poll are breaking for Frank LoBiondo,” said Sharon Schulman, Chief Executive Officer of External Affairs and Institutional Research.

Schulman noted that the incumbent had significantly more money available than the challenger at the start of October.

Sixty-eight percent have a favorable view of LoBiondo, with 24 percent unfavorable and 8 percent unfamiliar with him or unsure. Fifty-six percent rate the incumbent’s job performance as excellent or good, and 37 percent rate it as fair or poor.

Fourteen percent rate the job performance of the U.S. Congress as a whole as good or excellent, up from 9 percent in the prior poll. Twenty-seven percent rate it as fair, and 59 percent rate it as poor.

Forty-six percent have a favorable view of Hughes, with 26 percent unfavorable. One in five voters (21 percent) are not familiar with the challenger, and 7 percent are unsure about how they feel.

LoBiondo is supported by 89 percent of Republican voters, while Hughes is backed by 72 percent of Democrats. Unaffiliated voters back LoBiondo by a 2-to-1 margin.

In the race for U.S. Senate, 51 percent of 2nd District voters support incumbent Democrat Cory Booker while 43 percent support Republican challenger Jeff Bell when respondents leaning toward either candidate are included. Six percent are undecided, supporting another candidate or not expressing a choice.

Fifty-eight percent in the district hold a favorable view of Booker and 32 percent have an unfavorable view. Eleven percent of those polled are unsure, unfamiliar with him (7 percent) or not expressing a choice. Forty-six percent say Booker is doing an excellent or good job, and 43 percent rate his performance as fair or poor.

Forty-five percent hold a favorable view of Bell and 26 percent hold an unfavorable view. Twenty-one percent in the 2nd District are unfamiliar with Bell, and another 7 percent are unsure or refuse to answer.

Opinions on Gov. Chris Christie are generally positive, with 54 percent holding a favorable view and 44 percent holding an unfavorable view. But 47 percent rate his job performance as excellent or good, and 53 percent rate it as fair or poor.

The issue of jobs is identified as the most important facing New Jersey by 30 percent. Atlantic City casinos have laid off thousands of workers in the 2nd District. Taxes was named by 14 percent as the most important issue, followed closely by the economy (12 percent) and property taxes (12 percent).

A proposed state Constitutional amendment that would allow judges to deny bail to defendants who are flight risks or who pose a danger to the community is favored by 77 percent, while 18 percent oppose it and 5 percent are unsure.

There is also a second proposed Constitutional amendment that would increase the portion of the existing Corporation Business Tax dedicated to environmental programs from 4 percent to 6 percent on July 1, 2019. Fifty-three percent support the proposal, while 39 percent oppose it and 8 percent are unsure.

The poll was conducted by Survey Technology & Research Center (STR) for The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Live interviewers called both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 25-27, 2014. The poll was conducted with 600 adults who are likely voters in New Jersey’s 2nd District. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.0 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets. Stockton Poll: LoBiondo 53%, Hughes 34%