Potosnak within 4 in NJ – 7

Some GREAT news to share with the list about Openly LGBT Congressional candidate Ed Potosnak.

Here is a poll they just got back a poll last night that shows that his message is working and his opponent is in major trouble. A whopping 46% of people in NJ- 7 want Leonard Lance out of office, and it’s not just Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents who are dissatisfied with Leonard Lance’s “Washington insider” approach to representing his constituents.

The team they have put in place has put the campaign within striking distance for this November.  When voters learn more about Ed, and how he wants to get the job done is Washington, he already is coming within 4% of defeating Leonard Lance!  (Lance 47-Potosnak 43).

The most stunning news to me is that only 31% of respondents think that Leonard Lance should keep his job.  This tells me, that after already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and barely winning his Republican Primary, Lance is ripe to be taken out.  This race is quickly shaping up to be one of the best chances to pick up a Democratic seat as well as add another LGBT candidate to Congress.  

You can learn more at www.EdPotosnak.com


Below is the poll memo


1724 Connecticut Aven ue, N.W.

Was hingto n, DC 20009

Tel : (202 ) 234- 5570

Fax : (202 ) 232- 8134


TO: Ed Potosnak for Congress

FROM: Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group

DATE: June 28, 2010

RE: Recent NJ-7th CD Survey Results

Between June 23 and 24, 2010, the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group conducted a

survey among 400 likely voters in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district. This

survey, which has a margin of error of +5%, is fully representative of the 7th CD’s

demographics, including partisanship. For example, there are slightly MORE

registered Republicans in our sample, and in terms of party self-identification, there

is a net GOP advantage of 38% Republican and 35% Democrat.

Even with the Republican-leaning nature of this district, the survey data yields two

encouraging findings: (A) Congressman Lance, as evidenced by his unimpressive

55% showing in the June 8th GOP primary, is not immune to the national antiincumbent

trend, and (B) Ed Potosnak has the potential to run an extremely

competitive campaign against the incumbent.

We asked a broad survey question to measure the electorate’s temperature on this

year’s congressional elections without naming the actual candidates. We found that

7th CD voters prefer electing “new people” over reelecting “current members of

Congress” by nearly three to one (55% to 19%). What’s ironic is that it is Lance

voters who are the MOST pre-disposed to electing new people, by a nearly six to

one margin.

On EVERY single measurement of an incumbent’s standing, Congressman Lance is

well-below the critical 50% threshold. For example, just 31% of 7th CD voters

would like to see Leonard Lance reelected to Congress, while a 46% plurality think

it is time to make a change and elect someone else.

The overall 31% “reelect” is a low number for Lance, but what is notable is his poor

showing among Independents (24% reelect, 47% make a change) and even among

Republicans (43% reelect, 39% make a change).

Thus, it is not surprising that the initial trial heat standings show Lance with an

unimpressive lead despite the fact that Ed Potosnak is virtually unknown to 7th CD

voters (12% name recognition). Currently, Leonard Lance holds 43% of the vote,

Ed Potosnak garners 30%, and 27% are undecided.

Congressman Lance’s current advantage, albeit with the incumbent’s support below

the 50% threshold with considerable softness (just 43% of Lance voters are firmly

committed to their candidate), is almost purely a result of his commanding name

recognition advantage.

In fact, when we present equal and positive descriptions of BOTH candidates, the

challenger makes up significant ground. For LEONARD LANCE, he was described as

having been assistant counsel to former Governor Tom Kean, and in his first term

in Congress as having fought for fiscal responsibility and a strong advocate for

environmental protection. For ED POTOSNAK, he was described as a Rutgers

graduate who became a scientist and teacher and started his own small business,

and who has the real-world experience.

After these descriptions, the INFORMED trial heat standings show the challenger

pulling into a competitive position: 47% Lance, 43% Potosnak, 10% undecided.

The strong appeal of Ed Potosnak’s non-politician profile in an anti-incumbent year

is borne out by Potosnak’s 49% to 40% lead among Independents, and by his

three-to-one lead among undecided voters.

Finally, the fluid nature of this electorate AND Congressman Lance’s vulnerability is

evidenced by the final trial heat, which we asked after we presented criticisms of

BOTH candidates. In this trial heat, Lance drops to 38% support, while Ed

Potosnak climbs to 48%. While we do not purport this is “real-life,” it is

nonetheless notable that 7th CD voter preferences change from a 13-point Lance

lead at the beginning to a 10-point Potosnak advantage at the end, which is a

significant amount of movement in a relatively short amount of time.

While the 7th CD electorate has a strong bias against incumbents, we do not

underestimate Congressman Lance’s campaign skills that he has picked up in his

nearly two decades in politics. However, we believe the overall political dynamics

of 2010 make Ed Potosnak a credible and attractive challenger who has the

potential to run a competitive and winnable campaign.

5 thoughts on “Potosnak within 4 in NJ – 7”

  1. The polling memo you quote states:

    “Currently, Leonard Lance holds 43% of the vote,

    Ed Potosnak garners 30%, and 27% are undecided. ”

    So Potosnak is within 13, not 4.

  2. Strange expression. You can’t be all four at the same time!

    Your headline is obviously misleading:

    Currently, Leonard Lance holds 43% of the vote,

    Ed Potosnak garners 30%, and 27% are undecided.

    That’s a 13-point lead, not 4%.

    I don’t pay much attention to changes in people’s responses after they’ve been fed messages the internal pollster wants to test. That’s campaign strategy, not polling that warrants “Potosnak within 4” headlines.

    I don’t expect an upset in that district but would be pleased if it happens.

  3. Seeing how a relatively unknown candidate does in a poll after respondents are given positive and negative messages about both candidates can be a useful internal campaign tool to test possible themes & targeted messages.

    But it shouldn’t be hyped into any kind of result describing the state of the race. How voters respond to carefully selected messages in the focused time of a telephone call doesn’t begin to predict how things will play out in the reality of an actual race with the struggle to be noticed, competing messages, the cost of advertising, and real world events that may unfold.

    That said, there is very good  news in this poll — the fact that Lance is only at 43% and that a virtually unknown Potosnak is at 30%. It clearly shows that Lance hasn’t cemented a hold on the district and is potentially vulnerable, and that Potosnak has potential.

    Potosnak is going to need to raise big bucks to compete here (TV time in NJ isn’t cheap!). And in the end, his best hope may be that Governor Christie’s negatives keep piling up, erasing any national Republican advantage with the reality of an unpopular state Republican governor.

    I’d love to see this race end up in play – and I believe it can be. (And, yes, I’ve already given Potosnak some $, and hope to give more as the campaign progresses).  

  4. Not for this district since Lance will no doubt win comfortably. But rather the fact he is at 43% in the trial heat. Reminds anybody of all the GOP internals showing Dems in similar positions?

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