New Jersey Senator Cory Booker holds a 14 point lead heading into his re-election bid on Tuesday, according to the Monmouth University Poll. Voters continue to give the incumbent an advantage when it comes to taking positions more in line with the state as a whole.
Among New Jerseyans likely to cast a ballot in next month’s election, incumbent Democrat Cory Booker garners 54% of the intended vote and Republican nominee Jeff Bell has 40%. Another 1% will vote for a third party candidate and 5% are undecided. Four weeks ago, Booker held a nearly identical 53% to 38% advantage in the Monmouth University Poll, and the underlying fundamentals of the race remain unchanged.
Booker continues to enjoy a large lead among women – 59% to 35% – while men are divided – 49% for Booker to 46% for Bell. Booker also holds a large 78% to 14% advantage among black, Hispanic and Asian voters, while Bell has a slight 48% to 46% edge among white non-Hispanic voters. The Democrat’s strong support from women and minority voters has helped keep this race’s margin in double digits.
“The New Jersey Senate race has been pretty much status quo throughout the fall campaign. One big question is whether Booker can outperform his 11 point win in last year’s special election,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “There is some chatter that he underperformed in that race. I’m not sure I agree with that assessment given the record low 24 percent turnout, but it is a perception that the Booker camp will probably want to put to rest with a bigger win this time.”
Twice as many voters say that Cory Booker’s views on the issues are in line with most New Jerseyans (41%) than feel his views are out of step (19%). Another 40% say they are not sure how the one-year incumbent’s positions line up with the state. Voters are evenly divided on Bell’s positions, at least among those who feel they know enough to offer an opinion. About 1-in-5 say Bell’s positions are in line with the state (21%) and a similar number say they are out of step (18%). Fully 61% of voters say they don’t know enough about Bell’s positions to assess them. Last month, 74% of Garden State voters said they did not know enough about Bell’s issue stands to offer an opinion on this question and 52% were similarly unfamiliar with Booker’s views.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 30 to November 2, 2014 with 750 New Jersey voters likely to vote in the November general election. This sample has a margin of error of ± 3.6 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The questions referred to in this release are as follows:
1. If the election for U.S. Senate was today, would you vote for Jeff Bell the Republican or Cory Booker the Democrat, or some other candidate? [NAMES WERE ROTATED] [IF UNDECIDED: If you had to vote for one of the following at this moment, do you lean more toward Jeff Bell or more toward Cory Booker?]
[QUESTIONS 2 AND 3 WERE ROTATED]
2. Are Jeff Bell’s views on the issues generally in line or out of step with most New Jerseyans, or are you not sure?
3. Are Cory Booker’s views on the issues generally in line or out of step with most New Jerseyans, or are you not sure?
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 30 to November 2, 2014 with a statewide random sample of 750 likely voters drawn from a list of registered voters who voted in at least two of the last four general elections and indicate they are likely to vote in the upcoming election. This includes 634 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 116 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. Final sample is weighted for region, age, gender, and party registration based on state registration list information on the pool of voters who have participated in two of the last four elections. Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and L2 (voter list). 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 3.6 percentage points. Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). 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