Poll: New Jersey voters think Christie should have avoided large price tag on special election

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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New Jersey voters think Gov. Chris Christie should have avoided the large price tag on the special senatorial election and scheduled it for three weeks later, to coincide with the gubernatorial election.

Christie called the special election last week to fill the seat left by former Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who passed away last week. He appointed New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as interim senator.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Monday found that when voters were informed of the $24 million price tag on the special election, 78 percent said Christie should have scheduled it for the same day as the gubernatorial election. The disapproval crosses party lines, with 84 percent of Democrats saying it should have been Nov. 5, as well as 79 percent of independents and 67 percent of Republicans.

The special election, which is set for Oct. 16, has already drawn a full Democratic field and a limited Republican one.

On the Democratic side, Newark Mayor Cory Booker leads in a walk over two veteran congressmen, Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone. He leads with 55 percent in the Rutgers/Eagleton poll, with Pallone at 9 percent and Holt at 8 percent. A fourth Democrat, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, announced her candidacy Monday, after the polls had been conducted.

The costs poll surveyed 763 registered voters from June 3 through June 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The Democratic primary ballot used a sample of 364 registered Democrats and Democratic leaners, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.1 percentage points.

A Quinnipiac University poll also released Monday found Booker leading with 53 percent among Democrats, with Holt at 10 percent and Pallone at 9 percent.

Quinnipiac surveyed 306 Democratic voters in New Jersey from June 7-9, as part of a wider poll. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.

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