Biden, Booker have large leads, according to latest Stockton poll

New Jersey looks like it is staying true blue, according to the latest political poll from Stockton University. Both major Democratic candidates, presidential challenger Joe Biden and incumbent U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, are leading rivals by wide margins in the poll, released Friday.

However, Stockton noted that the poll of 721 New Jersey adults reflects Democrats’ eagerness to vote early through the mail-in process.

Among likely voters, former Vice President Biden leads Republican President Donald Trump by 20 percentage points, 56% to 36%, and by 49 percentage points among those who have already voted. However, among the majority that has not yet voted, Biden has a narrower lead of 13 points, 53% to 40%.

Stockton noted that more than half of the Democrats in the poll have already mailed in ballots, but only one in five Republican voters has already done so.

“With more Democrats voting early than Republicans, the eventual election result will likely be closer to the 13-point spread,” John Froonjian, executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton, which operates the Polling Institute.

There was also a wide geographic disparity, Stockton noted, as Biden leads Trump 61%-30% in North Jersey, but only by 47%-45% in South Jersey — a statistical tie. That mirrors the candidates’ favorability ratings: Biden is at 61% in the north and 47% in the south, for a statewide rating of 56% viewing him favorably, compared with 39% unfavorably; Trump is at 47% in the south and only 32% in the north, for a statewide rating of 37% viewing him favorably, compared with 60% unfavorably.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. (File photo)

Meanwhile, Booker has a 25-point statewide lead over Republican challenger Rik Mehta, 57% to 32%, according to the poll. Booker maintains a sizable 52% to 35% lead even among the majority that has not yet voted.

Among other results:

  • 18% named the economy as the top issue in the election, while 13% cited the COVID-19 pandemic and 12% chose health care;
  • Phil Murphy has a favorability rating of 53%, compared with 39% who view him unfavorably;
  • Marijuana legalization has 66% support, while 23% oppose a constitutional amendment and 10% are undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.7 percentage points.