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Monmouth University Polling Institute

CD12: Holt Leads by 8

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Challenger still unknown by many voters

Congressman Rush Holt has slightly widened his lead in the race for New Jersey's 12 th  Congressional District, according to the Monmouth University Poll .  The incumbent Democrat garners support from 51% of likely voters in the district, which is identical to his support level from two weeks ago.  However, Republican Scott Sipprelle's support has slipped by 3 points to 43% in the current poll

New Jersey's 12 th  District stretches across the geographical waist of the state.  Holt continues to lead by a wide margin (63% to 30%) in the western part of the district, which includes much of Mercer County and part of Hunterdon County.  Sipprelle, holds a 60% to 35% advantage in the eastern, Monmouth County, portion of the district.  However, Holt has gained support in the central portion of the district, comprised mainly of Middlesex County.  The incumbent now has a 52% to 42% advantage in this region, up slightly from 50% to 46% two weeks ago.

"While he's not out of the woods yet, Rush Holt appears to be solidifying his standing among voters in this district," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Sipprelle actually leads in the independent vote by 11 points (51% to 40%).  However, Holt has been able to trim the Republican's advantage with this voting bloc from the 15 point edge Sipprelle held earlier this month.

Congressman Rush Holt's job performance rating among likely voters in this district stands at 51% approve to 39% disapprove, which is up from his 48% to 42% standing two weeks ago.  He garners personal ratings of 50% favorable to 33% unfavorable.  By comparison, 35% of voters give Sipprelle a favorable rating and 27% an unfavorable one.  Another 4-in-10 (39%) likely voters say they have no opinion of the Princeton businessman with less than a week to go before the election.

The Monmouth University Poll  was conducted by telephone with 1042 likely voters from October 25 to 27, 2010.  This sample has a margin of error of ±  3.0 percent.

The questions referred to in this release are as follows:

1.               If the election for United States Congress from New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District were today, would you vote for Scott Sipprelle, the Republican, Rush Holt, the Democrat, or some other candidate? [At this moment, do you lean toward Scott Sipprelle or lean toward Rush Holt?]  [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

[QUESTIONS 2 AND 3 WERE ROTATED]

2.         Is your general opinion of Scott Sipprelle favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Scott Sipprelle?  

3.         Is your general opinion of Rush Holt favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of Rush Holt?

4.         Do you approve or disapprove of the job Rush Holt is doing as your Congressman?

5.         Are things in the United States going in the right direction or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

6.         Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

7.         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 25-27, 2010 with a random sample of 1,042 likely voters in New Jersey’s 12th 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=640) and live interviews provided by Braun Research, Inc. (n=402).  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

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