(CNN) - With two months until election day, two new polls in New Jersey indicate that Republican challenger Chris Christie maintains the edge over Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in the Garden State's gubernatorial battle.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday morning suggests that Corzine, who's fighting for a second term, trails Christie, the former federal prosecutor for New Jersey, by 10 points - 47 percent to 37 percent - with 9 percent of New Jersey likely voters questioned backing Independent candidate Chris Daggett and six percent undecided.
Christie's lead is up four points from a Quinnipiac poll conducted in early August.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind survey also released Tuesday morning indicates that Christie holds a 5 point lead over Corzine, 47 percent to 42 percent, in a two-person race, with 6 percent unsure. Christie was ahead by 6 points in Fairleigh Dickinson's last poll, conducted in July.
Both surveys suggest that Christie's support among Republican voters is slightly stronger than Corzine's backing by Democrats, and both polls indicate that the Republican has a double-digit advantage among independent voters.
Christie is trying to become the first Republican to win statewide office in New Jersey since then-governor Christie Todd Whitman won re-election in 1997.
"The Republican appears to be in pretty good shape headed into Labor Day," says Peter Woolley, director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll. "The question is whether he has peaked while Corzine still has voters to win over."
According to the Quinnipiac University survey, a recent string of negative ads by the Corzine campaign that attack Christie may be backfiring. Of the more than three-quarters of people questioned who have seen Corzine ads criticizing Christie for giving contracts to people with ties to former President George W. Bush, 56 percent say the ads are an unfair attack, while 36 percent say they are a legitimate campaign issue.
"The Democratic attacks about Christie's loan to his former co-worker score a little higher," says Quinnipiac University Polling Director Maurice Carroll. "Christie gets a split on his ads criticizing Corzine for failing to protect New Jersey against the economic downturn."
But both polls do indicate a 10 point rise in Christie's unfavorable rating from July.
The Quinnipiac University survey was conducted August 25-30, with 1,612 New Jersey likely voters questioned by telephone. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
The Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind survey was conducted August 24-30, with 715 New Jersey likely voters questioned by telephone. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states holding gubernatorial contests this November. In Virginia, Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds, a state senator, trails Republican candidate Bob McDonnell, the former state attorney general, in recent polls. Virginia's Democratic incumbent governor, Tim Kaine, is term limited and can't run for re-election.
While both gubernatorial contests focus on state issues and the strengths of the candidates, since both seats are currently held by Democrats, national Republicans would like to make both races a referendum on President Barack Obama and his party.
I hope he wins. Time for a NEW change.