Quinnipiac (4/14/-20, registered voters, March 2009 in parens):
Jon Corzine (D-inc): 38 (37)
Chris Christie (R): 45 (46)
Undecided: 14 (15)
Strategic Vision (R) (4/17-19, registered voters, no trendlines):
Jon Corzine (D-inc): 36
Chris Christie (R): 47
Both pollsters also test Corzine against a variety of lesser GOP candidates, and the numbers are pretty dispiriting – mostly a series of small leads for Corzine, but that’s due to name rec.
It’s the GOP primary where things get funkadelic. Strategic Vision gives Christie a 40-15 lead over his nearest competitor, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. But Q-pac has Christie up 39-24 among RVs and just 46-37 among LVs. I suppose we’d rather face the more conservative Lonegan, but does he have time to pull it out? The primary is on June 2nd. I’m not even sure how big a difference it would make – Q has them tied at 41, even though Lonegan is unknown by 72% of the state.
One interesting side-note: The same Q-Poll (different press release) finds that New Jersey voters approve of gay marriage by a 49-43 margin, a twelve-point shift in favor from two years ago. These numbers aren’t quite like the 14-point margin in favor in neighboring New York, but perhaps Corzine will start pushing this issue nonetheless.
NJ has civil unions, but a state panel found in December that they don’t provide full equality and recommended passage of a gay marriage bill. Corzine said he’d sign such legislation, but he hasn’t made it a signature issue like David Paterson has – yet. Even though only a small plurality supports gay marriage, it might nonetheless make political sense to push it. If Corzine does win, it’ll almost certainly be by a very narrow margin, and Karl Rove showed you can win elections like that by playing hard to issues which sharply divide the electorate, as long as slightly more voters are on your side.
New Jersey is intimately familiar with bitter, partisan races, and if Corzine wants to survive, he might have to wage some serious trench warfare.