(CNN) – A hot summer in New Jersey appears to be getting even hotter for Gov. Jon Corzine, as a new poll suggests that Republican challenger Chris Christie has increased his edge over the incumbent Democrat in state's gubernatorial battle.
Fifty percent of likely New Jersey voters questioned in a Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey survey released Tuesday back the former federal prosecutor in this year's election, with 36 percent supporting the first-term governor and 4 percent indicating they'll vote for independent candidate Christopher Daggett. Eight percent of likely voters are undecided. Christie's 14 point lead among likely voters is up from an 8 point lead in a Monmouth University poll conducted a month ago.
But among registered voters, including both those likely and unlikely to cast ballots in the gubernatorial contest, the survey indicates Christie holds a 4 point lead over Corzine, 43 percent to 39 percent, with 10 percent undecided. That's down from a 6 point lead a month ago.
The new poll was conducted after both President Barack Obama teamed up at a campaign rally with Corzine and the arrests by federal prosecutors of dozens of public officials and political operatives in New Jersey.
"We find that Corzine has made some gains with black and Hispanic voters, while Christie has increased his vote share among union workers. But the bottom line is that Christie's supporters are more engaged, which is why the Republican's lead among likely voters has grown," says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
The survey suggests Corzine is taking three out of four Democratic voters, while Christie is winning eight out of ten Republicans and leading among independents by 20 points.
The 14 point lead for Christie among likely voters in the Monmouth poll follows nine point lead in Quinnipiac University survey conducted in mid July.
The new poll's release comes as the Corzine campaign is airing a new television commercial on broadcast and cable TV in New Jersey that features President Obama.
In the spot, using clips from last month's Corzine-Obama rally, the president says: "Jon Corzine wasn't just the first governor to pass an economic recovery plan for his state - he was an ally with the Obama administration in helping us develop a national recovery plan."
Corzine is seen standing next to Obama in the commercial, but doesn't speak. The Christie campaign dismissed the ad, noting that Corzine doesn't speak in the spot. "Considering nearly 200,000 New Jerseyans have lost their job in the last year, unemployment keeps rising and we still have the highest tax burden in the country, it's no surprise Jon Corzine is at a loss for words," says Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien
The Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll was conducted 7/29-8/2, with 723 New Jersey registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for registered voters and 4.5 percentage points for likely voters.
Oh My!!! And listening to the liberals I thought the Republicans had gone the way of the dinosaurs. Perhaps people are waking up...
Corzine has the President backing him and that's all he needs. It's a valiant effort by Mr. Christie though.
That is too bad. As the recovery plan begins to work, it may be too late for Corzine.
I think an hourly poll should be conducted in the New Jersey gubernatorial race because the Ticker hasn’t published enough polls regarding Governor Corzine’s imminent apocalyptic demise in the Garden State. Polls provide talking heads something to quack about. I think I am getting numb to poll after poll…tell me the story when the polls close in November.
Not crazy about Corzine and some of the people he brought into the administration such as his Commish of Education.
But I will vote for him as I don't want this snivily Republican Christie in. The last "Christie" that was in Christy Wlhitman put us in the financial bind we are now in with her bond sales.
A pox on the Republicans and their negative agenda!
Bye Bye Jon Corzine. Good Riddance.
Maybe the corruption in NJ can be cleaned up with Corzine gone.
Not surprising. All my work friends in Texas that grew up in Jersey or moved recently from there say things need to change. Most of anti-Obama email I get is from the Jersey group so I think Corzine is toast.
The more Obama speaks the better the prospects improve for the GOP.
Of course N J needs another crook. Thats what the state is noted for. Get more of them in. cristi knows the "GAME" He's been around the crowd long enough to work the system. Look at who and what he's been up to these past years.
Corzine resigns in as Gov in September. Hands over to Lt.Gov Codey.. Lautenburg resigns his senate seat. Then, Gov Codey will appoint vacant senate seat to Corzine..
Senator Corzine returns...
Only in New Jersey could something like this happen... and will!
Who cares! If they vote him in, just like with Bush, they deserve whatever they get. Every state is suffering right now, but if they vote this guy in, they ain't seen nothin' yet.
I can only hope that Corzine loses the election. His record is miserable.
I agree with Stacy... Please give me a break with the polls. Let's see how many people show up on election day. (in a blue state) The GOP shouldn't be celebrating just yet.
Obama will just give Corzine a job as one of his numerous czars.
Hey, the current Governor is corrupt and it's time for the folks of New Jersey to vot him out of office. He has always thought he is above the Law and his arrogance is overwhelming.
Whether it's a Republican or Independent who wins the Governorship, it will be a moral victory for the people of New Jersey. Can you honestly say this elected official has worked for the people of New Jersey? I don't think so....
Corzine needs to push for GOP's failed policies with ever more energy and try to corner Christie so he can collect more poll numbers-easier said than done.
I lived and worked in NJ for 46 years. I raised a family there and got an education there. The people are not stupid and they will end up voting for Corzine. They will figure out that putting a Republican in office is only going to add to their problems and like all states they have some problems. Their taxes are high. They always were, but, the Governor is not responsible for that. For the people who think he is, they had better do their homework before they put a real problem in office. NJ has a lot more to offer than many states and they don't need a Republican leading them down the wrong path.
New Jersey is a sanctuary for illegal immigrants , and yes is
a blue state
They had better elect some one in New Jersey quickly. If they don't elect someone quickly there will not be anyone around to take office because everyone will be under arrest for some federal crime. Hurry up and elect someone soon hehehe.
The lesser of two evils.....I'd take the Democrat.
I live in New Jersery and no one in my faimly has been polled.
Sometimes I just think they make these numbers up.
Neither is great but my bet goes with Corzine.
John: "The last "Christie" that was in Christy Wlhitman put us in the financial bind we are now in with her bond sales".
I am just across the border and will abstain from commenting on these two contenders of a neighboring state, but could not help noticing the above extract from a previous comment blog. What I remember most about Christine Whitman (R) is that as Head of the EPA she UNRELENTINGLY told us NEW YORKERS that the air was environmentally sound after 9/11. That turned out to be such a blatant lie that even Pinnochio's nose would pale in comparison. (Many should should know the nursery rhyme about this dude whose nose grew every time he lied).
It won't be as big of a loss for losing a Democratic governor. New Jersey has seen its shares of misfortunes lately.
Who knows, maybe Christie won't act like some of the other members of the GOP. We can't judge either one on this. Corzine was just a governor during a bad recession in this state.
Well, I would like to know how Christie plans on being chief prosecutor when he is elected being governor... Wait he can't do that. I am sure that he has raised money for his campaign; where are the TV spots showing what he will do? I haven't seen one from him; only the Republican Governor's Association has been putting up ads that make NJ look like its the only state with problems. If anyone who sees those ads has been paying attention will know that they aren't fully telling the story.
I don't like all of what Corzine has done, but he has done what can be termed the best in a bad situation. He has to correct problems from past governors of both parties and cut spending while the state, like the rest of the country, is struggling with a economic downturn. I don't think Christie could do as well. He would cut things so quickly and without enough understanding that it would cripple state services. No one would like that.