Stockton Releases Poll on 1st Legislative District Race
Galloway, NJ – Democrat Bob Andrzejczak holds a double-digit lead over Republican Mike Testa in New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District Senate race, although the Democrats’ lead is much smaller in the state Assembly election, according to a Stockton University Poll of likely voters released today.
Andrzejczak, who assumed former Sen. Jeff Van Drew’s seat in January after Van Drew was elected to Congress, is ahead of Testa 53 percent to 39 percent, representing a 14-point lead with 8 percent undecided or not expressing a choice.
Andrzejczak is viewed favorably by 40 percent of voters compared to 17 percent who view him unfavorably. He was the most well-known of the legislative field, with 37 percent unfamiliar with him. Forty-three percent of voters remain unfamiliar with Testa, whose favorable rating is 35 percent compared to 19 percent unfavorable.
Democratic State Assembly candidates Bruce Land and Matthew Milam are also leading their Republican opponents, Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan, but the race appears much closer. Land tops the field with 27 percent, followed by Milam with 26 percent. McClellan and Simonsen both received 22 percent in the poll.
The Assembly candidates, including the incumbents, remain largely unknown. Land, with the most name recognition, was unfamiliar to 57 percent, while 62 percent were unfamiliar with his running mate, Milan. The numbers were even higher for the Assembly GOP challengers, with Simonsen unfamiliar to 68 percent and McClellan unfamiliar to 69 percent.
The Stockton Polling Institute of the Hughes Center at Stockton University interviewed 500 adult residents of the 1st District who were screened as likely voters. Interviewers working from the Stockton campus called landline and cell telephones Oct 15-21, 2019. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points.
“With state legislative elections the top race on the ballot this year, turnout is expected by many to be low, which tends to favor the slightly better-known incumbents,” said John Froonjian, interim executive director of the Hughes Center. “The Democrats have almost twice as much in campaign funding available heading into the final weeks of the campaign, given them another potential advantage.”
However, Froonjian noted the lead in the Assembly race is within the poll’s margin of error.
Taxes in general (13 percent) and property taxes (10 percent) ranked among the most important issues to voters in the 1st District this year.
Immigration issues, which have been debated in the campaign, were ranked most important by 6 percent. However, when asked directly about immigration, 84 percent saw it as extremely important (52 percent) or somewhat important (32 percent). A bare majority of 51 percent oppose state efforts to prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials to enforce U.S. immigration law.
Thirty-one percent rate Gov. Phil Murphy’s job performance as excellent or good, with 40 percent calling it poor.
“Those numbers illustrate why the Democratic incumbents have tried to establish some distance from the governor, and why the challengers have tried to tie them to Governor Murphy,” Froonjian said.
However, 55 percent said it was extremely or somewhat important for state legislators to be of the same party as the governor to help get things accomplished. Only 41 percent were satisfied with efforts by state officials to create jobs in the 1st District.
President Donald Trump’s job performance, at 38 percent excellent or good, is better than the governor’s, although 50 percent rate it as poor. The district is split over the impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House, with 47 percent in support and 48 percent opposed. Fifty-two percent said their feelings about Trump will not affect their vote in the legislative election, while 47 percent said they will.
As in the rest of the nation, there is a strong partisan divide regarding Trump. Eighty-six percent of Republicans oppose the impeachment inquiry, and 85 percent of Democrats support it. Fifty-four percent of district independents oppose it. Only 35 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of independents said their feelings about Trump will affect their 1st District votes, but 62 percent of Democrats said feelings about Trump would affect their vote.
For full poll results, go to Poll Results
The poll of adult residents of New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. The telephone survey was conducted Oct. 15-21, 2019. Live interviewers who are mostly Stockton University students called cell phones and landlines from the Stockton University campus. Overall, 47 percent of interviews were conducted on cell phones and 53 percent on landline phones. A total of 500 respondents screened as registered and likely voters, or registered and already having voted by mail, were interviewed. Likely voter screening was based on self-reported likelihood to vote on a scale of 1 to 10 or having already voted, knowledge of poll locations and those of age having voted in the 2017 gubernatorial and legislative election.
Both cell and landline phone sample randomly selected from voter lists was provided by Aristotle. Data were weighted based on U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data for New Jersey’s 1st Legislative District on variables of age, ethnicity, education level, sex and region. The poll's margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level for statewide results. MOE is higher for subsets.
About the Hughes Center
The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter) at Stockton University serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey, and promotes the civic life of New Jersey through engagement, education and research. The center is named for William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career includes service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton. The Hughes Center can be found on YouTube, and can be followed on Facebook @StocktonHughesCenter, Twitter @hughescenter and Instagram @ stockton_hughes_center .
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Galloway, N.J. 08205