Quinnipiac poll: Obama has razor-thin lead in N.J.; McCain trails by just 3 points

Quinnipiac poll: Obama has razor-thin lead in N.J.; McCain trails by just 3 points

Quinnipiac: Obama 48%, McCain 45%: Getty Images PhotoQuinnipiac: Obama 48%, McCain 45%: Getty Images Photo
The contest between Barack Obama and John McCain in New Jersey is too close to call, with a new Quinnipiac University poll showing the battle for the state's fifteen electoral votes at 48%-45% among likely voters.  Obama led McCain by ten percentage points, 51%-41% in an August Quinnipiac poll.

This is the fourth independent poll within the last week to show New Jersey as an emerging battleground state in the presidential campaign.  A Monmouth University/New Jersey poll released this morning shows Obama leading by 8 points, and a Marist College poll released Friday night had identical numbers to Quinnipiac, 48%-45%. A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll from last week had Obama up by six points.

“The McCain-Palin ticket has narrowed the gap dramatically, but it will take more than this post convention bounce for the Republicans to win in true blue New Jersey.  The upcoming debates probably will provide a clue to whether Sen. McCain can build on his current momentum, or whether the tide will turn back to the Democrats,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. 

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Obama leads McCain by 8 points in new Monmouth University/Gannett poll

Barack Obama leads John McCain by 8 points in a new Monmouth University/Gannett pollBarack Obama leads John McCain by 8 points in a new Monmouth University/Gannett poll
Barack Obama leads John McCain in New Jersey by eight percentage points, 49%-41%, according to a new Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll released today.  

“McCain has made some gains in New Jersey, which should not really be a surprise to anyone who has followed election polling in this state,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.  “Republican candidates often see some positive movement in September polling, but have had problems maintaining that momentum.  Only once in the past ten years – the 2000 U.S. Senate race – has the Republican candidate continued to narrow the gap through election day.  We’ll have to wait and see if this is really a trend.”

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Hackett sentencing set for Oct. 1

Originally scheduled for Monday, Sept. 15, the sentencing of former Orange Mayor Mims Hackett has been re-scheduled for Oct. 1, according to Michael Drewniak, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

One of 11 public officials netted last year in a statewide federal corruption probe, Hackett in May pleaded guilty in federal court to attempted extortion.

Hackett also served as assemblyman in the 27th District, a post he resigned after his arrest last fall.

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In assessing financial crisis, Lautenberg and Zimmer both invoke change theme

 Both employing the language of change, U.S. U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker file photoU.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park): Politicker file photoSen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) and his Republican rival, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer, today issued finger-pointing statements in response to investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and Merrill Lynch & Co. agreeing to be acquired by Bank of America..

Zimmer in part blamed Lautenberg for the crisis, while Lautenberg blamed President George W. Bush.

"For 24 years, Senator Lautenberg has been sitting idly by as New Jersey taxpayers have faced an energy crisis, an affordability crisis and now a financial crisis," Zimmer said in part of his statement. "His policies of high taxes, corporate welfare and pork-barrel spending are hurting New Jersey taxpayers.

"It’s time for a change," added the Republican senate candidate. "I have a strong record of putting taxpayers first and advocating for fiscal responsibility. As your senator, I will work to bring transparency and accountability to Wall Street and Washington so we can work to avoid these economic difficulties in the future."

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Allen won't take herself out of GOP lieutenant governor mix

State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington): Politicker photoState Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington): Politicker photo 

TRENTON - Happy to be back in the action after being hospitalized for pneumonia, state Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) says now's not the time for a gubernatorial run.

She ran for U.S. Senate once and learned then that failing enormous personal wealth and machine connections - the former out of reach in her case, and the latter tantamount to giving up her independent brand - a statewide run is a long shot at best. 

But she won't take her name out of contention for lieutenant governor.

"I don't think there's anybody who would say, if asked, if it would help the party, that he or she wouldn't run (for lieutenant governor)," said Allen. 

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Nest makes it official: no decision on Ferriero until after the election

Bergen County Democratic Vice Chair Kay Nest, who’s filling in while indicted Chairman Joe Ferriero takes a leave of absence, said tonight that the party will not make any decision on its permanent leadership until after the November 4th election. 

That decision was the product of a  discordant meeting of the Bergen County Executive Committee members that took place this morning. 

“The Executive Committee of the Bergen County Democratic Organization met today regarding the future of the party.  Though there were clearly differing opinions on a variety of topics, all in attendance agreed to move forward as one united party.  A unanimous vote was taken, and all in attendance agreed to postpone any discussion regarding the change in leadership and focus on electing Democrats in the upcoming November election.  I am humbled by the confidence the Executive Committee has shown in me, and I will not let them down,” said Nest in a prepared statement. “I have no doubt, that a united Democratic Party will be successful in November, from the bottom to the top of the ticket.”

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The Bush factor

TRENTON - The Republicans argue that their presidential candidate is named McCain, not Bush.

"The last time I looked, George Bush was not on the ticket," said Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington), a common refrain among Republicans eager to put the pedal down and get distance between themselves - and the sitting president. 

"I think if John McCain had been elected, we would be in a very different position," said Karrow, who’s supported McCain going all the way back to his 2000 presidential campaign. 

But apparently the GOP can’t extricate themselves from the president, as evidenced by State Democratic Chairman Joseph Cryan's delight in the fact that a week from now, Bush will be in Colts Neck, raising money at a private fundraiser for congressional candidates, Medford Mayor Chris Myers in the 3rd District, and state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) in the 7th.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

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