A Stockton College/Zogby Poll today shows LD 1 incumbent Democrat State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-1) pummeling GOP challenger David DeWeese, 56% to 23% with 19% unsure.
“Senator Van Drew’s high favorability rating, coupled with voters’ lack of familiarity with Mr. DeWeese, puts Senator Van Drew in a good position at this point in the race. However, Mr. DeWeese has over a month to campaign and raise his profile with voters,” said Daniel J. Douglas, director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, which commissioned the poll.
Van Drew’s favorability rating is 71%, while DeWeese is unfamiliar to 70% of the likely voters, Douglas said.
Democratic incumbent Assemblymen Nelson T. Albano and Matthew Milam lead their Republican challengers Suzanne M. Waters and Samuel L. Fiocchi. Albano garnered most of the voters polled with 47%, followed by Milam at 39%, Walters at 32% and Fiocchi at 28%.
“All of the Republican challengers improved considerably from the Hughes Center’s polling conducted in May 2011,” Douglas said.
That information clashes with a GOP memo issued Tuesday by State Party Chairman Sam Raia, which focused on voter disaffection with President Barack Obama translating into a DeWeese win over Van Drew.
Cape May County Regular Republican Organization Chairman Mike Donohue disputed the poll's accuracy.
"As the saying goes, the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day," said the GOP chairman. "This poll has a very bumpy history. Here is how Democratic Assemblyman Nelson Albano characterized this poll in 2009, 'They were off two years ago. They were way off. They're way off again this year. They're very off.'
"Agreed," Donohue added.
According to the Stockton poll, when asked about whether New Jersey was headed in the right direction or was on the wrong track, 1st District voters were split, with 45% responding that the state was headed in the right direction while 44% thought New Jersey was on the wrong track.
Opinions of President Barack Obama were similarly split, with 49% viewing him favorably and 50% viewing him unfavorably.
Gov. Chris Christie was viewed favorably by 52% of those polled, while 45% viewed him unfavorably.
Stockton-Zogby condcuted the poll of 600 likely voters in the new 1st Legislative District from Sept. 20 – 27. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.
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