The following analysis of the National Election Pool/Edison Research exit poll was provided for NJN News and the Gannett New Jersey Newspapers:
Polls taken during the summer showed New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine with serious problems among his partisan base. His support among African-American and Hispanic voters was below average and union members were trending toward Chris Christie. Overall, he was significantly underperforming among voters who called themselves Democrats.
Corzine’s base seems to have come home, although it was not enough in the end. Among Democratic voters who cast ballots today, the governor picked up 86% of the vote, including 88% among African-Americans, 65% among Hispanics, 61% among union members, and 83% among political liberals.
In last year’s U.S. Senate race, Frank Lautenberg garnered 89% support among Democratic voters, including 87% among African-Americans, 82% among Hispanics, 68% among union members, and 87% among political liberals. In the 2006 U.S. Senate contest, Bob Menendez took 92% of the Democratic vote, including 82% among African-Americans, 71% among Hispanics, 63% among union members, and 87% among political liberals.
Among voters who say they also voted for Corzine in the 2005 election, the incumbent held onto only 78% of his support, while 17% of prior Corzine voters went for Republican Chris Christie.
Among those who supported GOP nominee Doug Forrester in the 2005 contest, an overwhelming 96% went with Christie, and only 3% voted for Corzine.
Among those who did not vote in the last gubernatorial election but cast a ballot today, Christie took a 50% to 39% advantage over Corzine.