New Jersey: Latest Post-Primary Poll Shows Lautenberg Lead

Posted June 11, 2008 at 6:25pm

After trouncing Rep. Robert Andrews in the Democratic primary last week by 27 points, Sen. Frank Lautenberg begins the general election campaign with a 9-point lead over his Republican opponent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Lautenberg led former Rep. Dick Zimmer (R) 47 percent to 38 percent, according to a survey of 1,473 registered voters. The survey, which was in the field June 5-8, had a 2.6-point margin of error.

Coming off his contentious primary battle, Lautenberg had a 40 percent to 31 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, with 26 percent undecided. Zimmer had a 21 percent to 11 percent favorable/unfavorable rating, with 67 percent saying they haven’t heard enough about him.

Clay Richards, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release Wednesday that while Lautenberg’s lead is “comfortable … there are warning signs along the path to his re-election bid.”

Richards pointed out that Lautenberg’s job disapproval numbers were at their worst point in 12 years (35 percent) and noted that 54 percent of voters said Lautenberg, who is 84, is too old to effectively serve another six years in the Senate. Another potential problem is that independent voters backed Zimmer 43 percent to Lautenberg’s 35 percent.

— John McArdle