The Monmouth University Poll correctly forecast the margin of victory in New Jersey's special U.S. Senate election. Among the independent public polls released during the final week of the campaign, Monmouth's poll was closest to the final result.
An October 14 survey of likely voters by the Monmouth University Polling Institute showed Democrat Cory Booker with 52% support and Republican Steve Lonegan with 42%. Other candidates garnered 2% of the vote, while 4% of voters were undecided.
That survey's predicted victory margin of 10 points was nearly identical to the 10.3 percentage point margin recorded in the actual balloting. With 99% of districts counted on election night, Booker won with 54.6% of the vote to 44.3% for Lonegan.
"This was obviously one of the most difficult races to poll since there is no precedent for New Jersey holding a statewide special election, let alone one on a Wednesday in October," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Voter turnout was even smaller than the historically low levels we had already anticipated, but the poll's underlying vote history turnout model proved to be accurate."
[Analysis of New Jersey voter turnout can be found here: monmouthpoll.blogspot.com/2013/10/voter-turnout-for-wednesday-in-october.html]
The independent Monmouth University Polling Institute conducts regular surveys of both the nation and New Jersey. It has also conducted election surveys in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, and Florida. The Monmouth University Polling Institute conducts and disseminates public opinion research to foster greater public accountability by ensuring that the voice of the public is part of the policy debate. The Polling Institute also strives to go beyond the headlines to cover quality of life issues that affect residents in their daily lives.
For more information about the Monmouth University Poll, visit https://www.monmouth.edu/polling or call 732-263-5860.
You can also follow poll director Patrick Murray on Twitter (@PollsterPatrick) and read his blog on polling and other issues at http://monmouthpoll.blogspot.com
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