The lead has switched in the race for New Jersey's 3 rd Congressional District, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll . Republican challenger Jon Runyan now leads Democratic incumbent John Adler by 48% to 43% among likely voters in this district. In a poll released on September 30, Adler held a nominal 42% to 39% edge.
Runyan has a sizable 50% to 37% advantage among independents. Last month, Adler had a 43% to 32% edge with this voting bloc. Runyan has also widened his lead in the Ocean County portion of the district to 54% to 37%, and nearly evened the playing field in Burlington County and Cherry Hill - trailing Adler there by just 3 points, 44% to 47%.
"There was some concern by Republicans that a so-called Tea Party candidate would hurt their nominee's chances. If anything, it may be hurting Adler," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The poll asked half of the respondents the vote question with Pete DeStefano identified as the New Jersey Tea Party candidate and half were offered a generic "other candidate" as a third choice. Either way it was asked, all third party candidates combined receive no more than 5% of the vote.
Furthermore, 51% of likely voters have heard about the controversy surrounding the Tea Party candidate, who according to published reports has been aided by Democrats close to the Adler campaign. Among those aware of the controversy, about half (49%) think that Adler's campaign was involved in the DeStefano candidacy. And among those who think Adler's people were involved, 72% say that it has made them think worse of the Congressman.
John Adler's job performance rating among likely voters in this district now stands at 41% approve to 44% disapprove. That's a marked decline from the 49% approve to 34% disapprove rating he held last month.
Adler garners personal ratings of 42% favorable to 38% unfavorable, compared to 45% to 26% last month. Currently, 41% of voters give Runyan a favorable rating (up from 35% last month) and 28% unfavorable (up from 23%). About 3-in-10 (30%) have no opinion of the Republican challenger, which is down from 43%.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by automated telephone interviewing with 1037 likely voters from October 22 to 25, 2010. This sample has a margin of error of ± 3.1 percent.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. If the election for United States Congress from New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District were today, would you vote for Jon Runyan the Republican, John Adler the Democrat, or some other candidate? [At this moment, do you lean toward Jon Runyan or lean toward John Adler?] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]
[QUESTIONS 2 AND 3 WERE ROTATED]
2. Is your general opinion of Jon Runyan favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Jon Runyan?
3. Is your general opinion of John Adler favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of John Adler?
4. Do you approve or disapprove of the job John Adler is doing as your Congressman?
5. Have you heard anything about the controversy surrounding a self-described Tea Party candidate running for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd District?
[The following question was asked only of those who said “Yes” to Q5, moe= +/- 4.2%]
6. Do you think John Adler’s campaign had anything to do with getting the Tea Party candidate on the ballot?
[The following question was asked only of those who said “Yes” to Q6, moe= +/- 6.1%]
7. Does this make you think worse of John Adler or does it not change your opinion of him?
8. Are things in the United States going in the right direction or have they gotten off on the wrong track?
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?
10. Who would you rather see in control of Congress next year – the Democrats, the Republicans, or does it make no difference?
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey. The poll was conducted on October 22-25, 2010 with a random sample of 1,037 likely voters in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. The sample was drawn from a list of households with voters who cast ballots in at least two of the last four general elections and further screened for those who say they are either “certain” or “likely” to vote in this November’s election. Interviews were conducted using both automated voice interviewing services provided by Survey USA (n=637) and live interviews provided by Braun Research, Inc. (n=400). The voter list was obtained from Aristotle, Inc.
For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.0 percentage points. Sampling error increases as the sample size decreases, so statements based on various population subgroups, such as separate figures reported by gender or party identification, are subject to more error than are statements based on the total sample. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and results by key demographic groups.
Download this Poll Report with all tables