THE RICHARD STOCKTON COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY

Office of Public Relations

Pomona, NJ  08240

 

Stockton–Zogby Statewide Poll Finds Corzine Up by 7% With a Week Left Before Election; Leads Forrester on Issues

 

For Immediate Release  

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Contact:   Tim Kelly

                  Stockton Public Relations

                  (609) 652-4950

Galloway Township, NJU.S. Senator Jon Corzine leads Republican opponent Doug Forrester in the hotly-contested race to occupy the governor’s mansion in Trenton according to a new Richard Stockton College-Zogby International poll of likely voters.

The poll finds Corzine maintaining a seven-point edge over Forrester. The Forrester camp has been rocked in the final weeks of the campaign by allegations of campaign finance violations by Forrester’s Washington, D.C.-based insurance company, Heartland Fidelity Insurance.  That’s the same margin Corzine led by ten days earlier, when a Stockton College-Zogby poll found him up 45% to 38%.

 

The statewide survey of 403 likely voters was conducted October 26 and 27, 2005.  It has a margin of error of +/-5.0 percentage points.

 

While Corzine currently polls below 50%, the poll does come with some positive news for his campaign:  91% of Corzine’s supporters consider themselves strongly committed to the candidate, while that figure is 87% among Forrester backers.  Corzine also has a better image among voters, with 55% of respondents saying they view the Democrat favorably versus 49% for the Republican.

 

 

A key stumbling block for Forrester may come from voters’ belief that Corzine is the best candidate on a range of issues.  Corzine is twice as likely to be seen as the best candidate for education (54% versus 27%) while even on the critical issue of corruption in government, he holds a one-point lead, 34% to 33%.  Republicans had counted on corruption being a key issue following the resignation of former Governor James McGreevey and Forrester had made it a centerpiece of his campaign.  The numbers suggest the issue has not gained traction with voters in the Garden State.

 

Which candidate is better able to handle issue?

Corzine

Forrester

Education

54

27

Environment

47

28

Jobs and the economy

44

41

Taxes

42

34

Safety and security

38

34

Corruption in government

34

33

 

Despite trailing in the poll and failing to make up ground since the previous survey, there is good news for Republican candidate Forrester in the poll.  He is performing better among Republicans than Corzine is among Democrats—while Forrester has the allegiance of 78% of Republicans in the survey, Corzine is taking 72% of Democrats—while Forrester is siphoning off 18% of Democrats.  However, Corzine holds a commanding lead among independents, who support him by a 52% to 29% margin.

 

New Jerseyans Say State on Wrong Track

Whichever candidate takes the reins of state government from Acting Governor Richard Codey will have one immediate problem to deal with: voters are disaffected with the state’s direction.  By a wide 57% to 32% margin, likely voters in the survey said the state is heading in the wrong direction.  This view is particularly strong in the South and Central regions of the state, while those living in Northern New Jersey are more likely to view the state’s direction in favorable terms.  Corzine, whose Democratic Party currently holds the governor’s mansion, polls particularly well with those who feel the state is on the right track, taking three-in-four voters with this outlook (76%) versus fewer than one-in-five for Forrester (18%). Forrester, however, has failed to capitalize with the large number of disaffected New Jerseyans; among those who say the state is heading in the wrong direction, he leads Corzine 52% to 29%.

 

The Stockton College-Zogby Poll is a joint venture between The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and polling firm Zogby International.  The polling partnership includes the previous New Jersey gubernatorial race poll, conducted October 17 through 19, as well as survey research on Southern New Jersey tourism.

 

Zogby International conducted interviews of 403 likely voters chosen at random statewide.  All calls were made from Zogby International headquarters in Utica, N.Y., from October 26 to 27.  The margin of error is +/- 5.0 percentage points.  Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, and gender to more accurately reflect the voting population.  Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.