There is a lot going on in New Jersey right now: the Bridgegate trial, casino expansion, questions about infrastructure and replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund, debates over minimum wage and pension fund payments, reassessment of school funding formulas, and November elections of our own … just to name a few. We here at the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll have been doing our best to cover many of these important issues in the Garden State; you can see our latest release on Gov. Christie and NJ issues here.
But with the first 2016 presidential debate a little over an hour away, it’s a good time to take a look at how New Jersey voters feel about the race to the White House and the country as a whole. New Jersey has not been a swing state for quite some time, typically pretty solidly blue since the Clinton years (Bill Clinton, that is). On our latest poll, we asked New Jersey registered voters about who they would vote for if the election were held today – both with and without Johnson and Stein in the mix. When all candidates are included, Clinton leads by double digits: 50 percent to 29 percent for Trump, 6 percent for Johnson, and 4 percent for Stein. When those who picked someone besides the two main party candidates are asked to choose between Clinton and Trump, the results are slightly more in Clinton’s favor by a few points: 59 percent Clinton to 35 percent Trump.
Even though Clinton leads, her favorability ratings continue to not be anywhere close to what they once were in New Jersey pre-2016. Nevertheless, she has regained some ground since spring, now at 44 percent favorable (up five points) to 47 percent unfavorable (down three points). Trump continues to do poorly in the state (though still slightly better than New Jersey’s own governor): 27 percent favorable to 66 percent unfavorable. New Jersey voters are somewhat split on the direction of the country: 43 percent say it’s going in the right direction, and 53 percent say it is off on the wrong track.
Stay tuned to our Twitter account tonight for some more tidbits on how the 2016 race looks in the great Garden State! Click here to see a PDF of full results – questions and tables: Rutgers-Eagleton Poll 2016 Election Head to Head September Tables.
Results are from a statewide poll of 802 adults contacted by live callers on both landlines and cell phones from Sept. 6 to 10, 2016, including 735 registered voters reported on in this release. The sample has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percentage points. Interviews were done in English and, when requested, Spanish.