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New Jersey Senate: Lautenberg Hangs on to Lead

Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg leads Republican challenger Dick Zimmer by seven percentage points in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Garden State finds Lautenberg on top 49% to 42%.

That’s closer than the race was last month, but Lauternberg continues to hover right around the 50% level of support. Incumbents who poll below 50% are generally considered potentially vulnerable, and the New Jersey senator is the only Democrat in that category at the moment.

However, there is often a gap between potentially vulnerable and truly at risk, especially at this point in the election cycle.

Adding to the challenge for Zimmer is the political dynamics of New Jersey which has a decidedly Democratic leaning.

Lautenberg, who is seeking his fifth term in the Senate, is viewed favorably by 50% of voters statewide and unfavorably by 40%. Those figures are modestly better than a month ago. The senator survived an aggressive primary challenge featuring television ads suggesting that Lautenberg was too old for the job.

Zimmer is viewed favorably by 44%, up from 37% a month ago. Forty-one percent (41%) have an unfavorable opinion of him.

Many Republican Senate seats are potentially in play for Democrats including seats in Alaska,New Hampshire,Oregon,New Mexico,Colorado, Mississippi,Minnesota,Virginia and Kentucky. As a result, Democrats are expected to add several seats to their Senate majority this November.

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s ratings have changed little over the past month. The Democrat earns good or excellent ratings from just 29% of voters, up two points. Thirty-three percent (33%) say he is doing a poor job.

Barack Obama continues to lead John McCain in New Jersey’s presidential election.

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This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on September 16, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


New Jersey Trends: Zimmer vs. Lautenberg

Date

Zimmer

Lautenberg

10/07/2008

37%

51%

42%

49%

33%

51%

36%

49%

44%

45%


Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in New Jersey

 

Lautenberg

Zimmer

Very Favorable

12%

8%

Somewhat Favorable

32%

34%

Somewhat Unfavorable

17%

26%

Very Unfavorable

26%

13%

Not Sure

12%

19%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.