Poll: Corzine Leads N.J. Senate
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ After trailing 2-to-1 in a poll as recently as two months ago, millionaire U.S. Senate candidate Jon Corzine has turned the tables on his Democratic primary opponent, former Gov. Jim Florio.
With the election less than two weeks away, a new Quinnipiac College poll of likely Democratic voters said 56 percent would vote for Corzine and only 30 percent would support Florio. Fourteen percent of those likely to vote remain undecided.
The poll has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
In a poll taken two weeks ago, Corzine led Florio by 15 percentage points, 48-to-33.
Corzine, a retired Wall Street executive who is worth at least $300 million, has already spent $20 million to establish name recognition and to attack Florio’s record as governor.
After winning election in 1990, Florio enacted $2.8 billion increases in income and sales taxes to fund schools, balance the budget and provide property tax relief. The decision cost him re-election against Christie Whitman in 1993.
Florio maintains the tax increase was needed because former Republican Gov. Thomas Kean left him with a $600 million deficit. Many party officials blamed the backlash against the tax hikes for the Democrats’ loss of control of the Statehouse.
On Wednesday, Florio started airing political spots aimed at Corzine. Florio campaign officials refused to say how much they plan to spend in the final days to counter Corzine’s estimated $4 million two-week ad assault.
The poll was taken May 17 to 23, interviewing 371 Democrats who said they were likely to vote.
Florio and Corzine are seeking the seat being vacated by Democrat Frank Lautenberg, who is retiring at the end of his third term.
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