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Joe Biden at the Fourth of July Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa, July 4, 2019. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Biden has huge lead over Trump in N.J., new poll shows

New Jersey hasn’t gone red in a presidential race in 32 years

By David Wildstein, October 09 2020 10:17 am

Joe Biden has a 15-point lead over Donald Trump in New Jersey, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released today.

Biden leads Trump 53%-38% among likely voters, but many voters backing Biden say they are driven by their distaste for Trump ,more than for their enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee.

More than half of Biden’s supporters (51%) said their vote was driven by the support for the former vice president, and 45% said it was their opposition to Trump.

“Perhaps a Republican ticket would be faring better even in New Jersey if the nominee didn’t engender so much animus,” said Krista Jenkins, the FDU poll director and professor of politics and government at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “It’s not that New Jersey Democrats love their candidate. With only half of all likely voters who support Biden being motivated by genuine affection for their candidate, to many Biden is a proxy for an ‘Anything But Trump’ candidate.”

In 2016, an early October FDU poll had Hillary Clinton leading Trump in New Jersey by 10 points, 50%-40%.  Clinton won the state by 536,345 votes, 55%-41%.

The last Republican presidential candidate to carry New Jersey was George Bush in 1988.

The poll asked whether voters will vote in person at a polling place on Election Day or through vote-by-mail ballots, and while 48% say VBM and 42% in-person, it’s not immediately clear whether voters understood that New Jersey is mailing ballots to nearly 5.9 million voters and that in-person voting is substantially reduced this year.

Still, by a 53%-38% margin, Republicans say they will vote in person.  Among Democrats, 57% say they will cast VBM ballots and 35% will vote in person.  Among independents, it’s 48% VBM, 40% in-person.

More than seven out of ten New Jerseyans (71%) say vote-by-mail is safe and secure.

The poll was conducted from September 30 through October 6 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.6%.

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