STATE – The third consecutive monthly Quinnipiac University poll of New Jersey’s gubernatorial race shows former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie over 50%.
He is the first Republican statewide candidate to hit the 50% mark in independent polls in 24 years; the last was Thomas Kean, who won re-election in 1985 with 70% of the vote.
Christie leads Corzine by nine points, 51%-42%, according to the new Quinnipiac poll but the barrage of negative advertising against the Republican has increased the share of the electorate that dislikes him. Quinnipiac reports Christie’s unfavorable rating has grown to 26 percent, up from just six percent in November.
A Rasmussen Reports poll released a week ago claims Christie has a 13-point lead over Corzine, 50 percent to 37 percent, while 42 percent now have an unfavorable view of the GOP challenger, up six from the July survey.
Sixty-three percent disapprove of Corzine’s performance as governor according to Rasmussen while Quinnipiac place the incumbent’s job approval rating of 36% with 58 percent disapproving.
Buried in the poll results, independent Chris Daggett, who is drawing votes from both major party candidates, would receive support from 13 percent of the unaffiliated voters. Those numbers suggest Daggett, a highly respected former environmental protection administrator who selected an education expert as his running mate, could emerge as a viable contender once both major candidates lose their appeal through negative advertising.
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