Corzine Posts First Lead in Race for New Jersey Governor

With less than a month to go before Election Day, a new survey conducted for Stan Greenberg and James Carville’s organization Democracy Corps by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research finds that Democratic Governor Jon Corzine has now moved slightly ahead of Republican Chris Christie, after pulling into a statistical dead heat two weeks ago. Corzine now leads by 3 points, garnering 41 percent of the vote to Christie’s 38 percent and independent Chris Daggett’s 14 percent. Importantly, Corzine has now consolidated the vote among his base, crossing the 80 percent threshold among Democrats and winning more Democrats than Christie does Republicans for the first time.

Christie’s standing has declined markedly in the last two weeks, with 42 percent now rating the Republican unfavorably versus just 30 percent who rate him favorably. This net -12 point favorability rating is a 10-point decline from two weeks ago. Corzine is rated favorably by 37 percent of voters and unfavorably by 46 percent, for a net favorability rating of -9 points. As he has faced a withering assault from Corzine and independent groups over the issue of insurance coverage of mammograms, Christie has lost significant ground with women, especially independent women. He now posts a net favorability rating of -19 with women, down from -7 two weeks ago. Among independent women, the drop is even more pronounced: from -7 two weeks ago to -34 today, with half of independent women giving him an unfavorable rating. This has clearly benefited Corzine in the vote as the governor now leads among women by 14 points (up from 6 points two weeks ago).

Meanwhile, Daggett is now identified by 45 percent of New Jersey voters, an increase of 16 points over the last two weeks, though his net favorability ratings remain only lukewarm at -4 points, about where it has been since we began tracking the race in August. Daggett has, however, increased his share of the vote to 14 points, up 3 points in the last two weeks and his highest level yet. These results are based on a Democracy Corps survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner from October 6-7, 2009 among 614 likely voters in New Jersey. The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent. You can find this release as well as the full survey results at

Democracy Corps is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to making the government of the United States more responsive to the American people. It was founded in 1999 by James Carville and Stanley Greenberg. Democracy Corps provides free public opinion research and strategic advice to those dedicated to a more responsive Congress and Presidency.

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