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September 11, 2008

Lautenberg Too Tough To Beat?

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg retains a big lead in his bid for a new term, according to a new poll. Still, plenty of Garden State voters remain undecided, giving ex-Rep. Dick Zimmer a chance to make the race close.

The PublicMind poll, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University, surveyed 840 likely voters between 9/4-7 for a margin of error of +/- 3.4%. Lautenberg and GOP nominee Zimmer were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind)
Lautenberg.......46 / 78 / 14 / 20 (+1 from last, 6/22)
Zimmer...........35 / 10 / 69 / 31 (+7)

Zimmer has growth potential, but his trouble is name identification. While 41% have a favorable opinion of Lautenberg and 29% see him unfavorably, just 25% know enough about Zimmer to have an opinion at all (16% favorable, 9% unfavorable).

Despite Zimmer's lead among independent voters, Lautenberg's overall lead belies the Democratic nature of the state. National Republicans had once hoped to spend money on Zimmer's behalf, but the hill they have to climb could prove too steep.