A new Monmouth University poll has Democrat Andy Kim in a statistically insignificant 48%-46% lead over Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) in the race for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd district.
Kim’s two-point lead among likely voters is well within the poll’s 5.2% margin of error, but Kim’s lead expands to six points, 50%-44%, using Monmouth’s Democratic “Surge” turnout model. A low turnout model puts the race back into the statistically tied category: Kim 49%, MacArthur 46%.
“This race continues to be a tale of two districts. Right now, the Democratic half of the district is running well ahead of past performance. The question is whether enough Trump supporters in the Republican portion will come out to offset it,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
MacArthur leads in the Ocean County portion of the district by 26 points, 50%-34%, while Kim has a 23-point lead in Burlington County, 59%-36%.
The race hasn’t changed much since an August Monmouth poll that put the race within the margin of error in all three turnout models.
MacArthur, a two-term Republican congressman, has favorables of 35%-34%. In August, he was at 35%-25%.
Kim has favorables of 38%-28%. The former Obama White House staffer was at 27%-17% in August.
By a 44%-28% margin, likely voters say they trust Kim over MacArthur to keep health care affordable.
New Jersey’s 3rd district continues to oppose the tax reform plan passed by Congress last year. 51% disapprove of the plan — 36% of them strongly — and 40% approve.
Nearly half the voters (47%) say MacArthur will represent special interests ahead of average residents, while 30% say Kim would do the same.
In the Burlington/Ocean congressional district, President Donald Trump has a 49%-49% job approval rating. That’s better than his 47%-50% approvals from the August poll
Nearly three-quarters of likely voters (74%) say that Trump is a very important factor in how their cast their vote in the race for Congress. Trump opponents (84%) are more likely than supporters of the president (74%) to feel that way. 37% say that MacArthur has been too supportive of Trump, while 10% think he hasn’t been supportive enough; 35% say the Republican congressman has offered Trump the right amount of support.
On a generic ballot test, likely 3rd district voters are split over which party they would like to control Congress: 43% say Democrats, 40% says Republicans, results that fall within the margin of error.
“The partisan enthusiasm gap has leveled off and the president maintains an evenly divided job rating. But Trump remains more of a motivating factor for his opponents than for his supporters in this particular race,” said Murray.
An October 15 Stockton University poll had MacArthur ahead 47%-45%, also a statistical tie. A New York Times/Siena College poll is in the field right now.
The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 18 -22, 2018 with a random sample of 363 likely voters in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, with a margin of error of +/- 5.2%.Monmouth NJ-3 102518