The four candidates for state Assembly in Legislative District 1 are locked in an extremely tight election battle, according to a Stockton Poll released today.
Only 3 percentage points separate the candidates less than two weeks before Election Day. Incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak holds a slight lead with 25 percent support, including voters who say they lean toward supporting him. His running mate, challenger Bruce Land, is at 23 percent including those who lean. The Republicans, incumbent Sam Fiocchi and challenger Jim Sauro, are both at 22 percent. Eight percent of those polled are undecided or refuse to pick a major party candidate.
The poll was conducted with 516 likely 1st District voters by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. Live interviewers on the Stockton campus called both landlines and cell phones from Oct. 16-22, 2015. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.3 percentage points.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Republican source cheerfully noted the spending disparity in the context of PAC and DEMS at $3.2 million in the market on broadcast and cable and Fiocchi-Sauro at $210,000.
“The 1st District is usually one of the most competitive districts in the state. It appears to be up for grabs once again,” said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the Hughes Center. “In a low turnout election with state Assembly at the top of the ballot, it could swing in either direction.” The district includes parts of Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties.
Andrzejczak is viewed most favorably among the candidates, with 49 percent having views that are very favorable (19 percent) or somewhat favorable (30 percent). Fiocchi, is viewed favorably by only 34 percent. GOP running mate Sauro has 32 percent favorable ratings. Forty-one percent view Democrat Land favorably.
Thirty-nine percent rate incumbent Democrat Andrzejczak’s job performance as excellent or good, with 38 percent rating it as fair or poor and 21 percent unsure. Twenty-seven percent rate Republican Fiocchi’s job performance as excellent or good. Forty-nine percent rate it as fair or poor, with 23 percent unsure.
The top issues in the Assembly race as identified in the poll are taxes (18 percent), jobs (15 percent), the economy (14 percent) and property taxes (12 percent). A bare majority of 51 percent say the candidates are addressing issues that are important to them, while 37 percent say they are not and 12 percent are unsure.