STATE—With the general election just weeks away, more than two-thirds of New Jersey’s likely voters (71%) have not heard of, or have no opinion of, former Congressman Dick Zimmer, the Republican nominee for New Jersey’s U.S. Senate seat. According to the latest poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, one in four Republicans (23%) say they’ve not heard of Zimmer and another two in five Republicans (39%) say they have no opinion of him.
“Zimmer jumped late into a fractious primary and won, but he has gotten no traction since,” said Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Zimmer by 50% to 34% in the poll. Another 14% say they’re undecided.
Lautenberg is recognized by more than nine of ten voters who say they will come out and cast a presidential ballot. While the senator’s favorable to unfavorable ratio is just 4:3 among all voters, he is nevertheless strong among Democrats–52% have a favorable view and just 14% have an unfavorable opinion of him. But one in ten Democrats say they don’t know the man who first became a senator in 1982 and another one in four (24%) say they have no opinion of him, favorable or unfavorable.
“If Zimmer could raise any money he might actually be able to put some dents in Lautenberg’s armor,” said Woolley. “But this has been a year so far in which feelings against the Republican president run so deep that it hurts all Republican candidates.”
The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll of 760 likely New Jersey voters statewide was conducted from Sept. 29 through Oct. 5 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
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