By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
GALLOWAY, N.J. — A new poll released by Stockton University on Friday shows that U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) holds a big lead among voters in New Jersey.
The poll, which was conducted among 721 voters from October 7-13, shows that Booker holds a 25-point lead over Republican challenger Rik Mehta. Fifty-seven percent of voters picked Booker over Mehta, who only garnered support from 32% of those who were polled in this sample. Booker, who’s served as Senator since 2013, also holds a 52-35 lead among those who haven’t voted yet. The majority of the 721 voters who responded hadn’t voted yet when they were polled.
Stockton also polled its sample of 721 voters on a pair of broader issues: the upcoming Presidential election, and the public question of legalizing recreational marijuana that’s on the ballot in New Jersey. An overwhelming 66% of those polled support the legalization of recreational marijuana compared to 23% who oppose it. Ten percent of voters were undecided or unsure about their beliefs on legalizing marijuana.
Additionally, the poll showed a strong divide between North and South Jersey in terms of opinion on the Presidential election. Forty-seven percent of South Jersey residents polled chose Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden compared to 45% who support President Donald Trump. This two-point gap between the candidates is a statistical tie due to the poll’s 3.7% margin of error, and it’s also a stark contrast from North Jersey’s 61-30 split between Biden and Trump, respectively.
Biden holds a 13-point lead over Trump (53-40) among those who haven’t voted yet and a larger lead (56-36) over likely voters. The actual results of the election, however, will most likely lean towards Stockton’s 53-40 figure, according to John Froonjian — the executive director of Stockton’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.
“With more Democrats voting early than Republicans, the eventual election result will likely to be closer to the 13-point spread,” Froonjian said.
Froonjian also noted that South Jersey’s highly-competitive Second and Third Congressional District races could be reasons why polling numbers aren’t lopsided in Biden’s favor among South Jersey voters. FiveThirtyEight — a statistics website that aggregates polling data from across the country — is calling the House race between Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) and Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy a toss-up at the time of publication. FiveThirtyEight slightly favors Van Drew by a 54-46 margin, but a poll of 588 voters conducted by Monmouth University found that Kennedy held a five-point lead over the incumbent. Monmouth’s poll was released on October 5.
In the third district, FiveThirtyEight’s projections give Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) an 89% chance of winning the election against Republican challenger David Richter.
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