Two Democratic assemblymen in the Atlantic County-based 2nd district are in a close race for re-election, according to a new poll released this morning by the Stockton University Polling Institute.
The poll has incumbents Vincent Mazzeo (D-Northfield) at 27% and John Armato (D-Buena Vista) at 26%. That puts Republicans John Risley and Philip Guenther, each with 22%, just outside the margin of error.
The poll, conducted between October 24-30, interviewed 439 adults – not registered voters – who were screened as likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.7%.
President Donald Trump has higher job approval ratings in the 2nd district that Gov. Phil Murphy, according to the poll. Trump is at 38%-52% and Murphy is at 31%-66%.
Voters in the 2nd district are split as to Trump’s effect on the 2019 vote.
Slightly less than half the voters in the 2nd district (49%) say their feelings toward Trump would be considered, while 51% say it would make no difference. 51% say they support impeachment and 44% oppose it.
“A low-turnout election would typically favor incumbents who are generally better known and better funded,” said John Froonjian, the interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center at Stockton “But the 2nd district is always competitive. Partisan party control of these Assembly seats has flipped between the major parties multiple times for several decades.”
Mazzeo has favorables of 40%-19%, with 33% of adults still unfamiliar with the three-term legislator. Armato is at 27%-12%, with 57% still unfamiliar.
A longtime Atlantic County Freeholder, Risley has favorables of 30%-13%, with 54% still unfamiliar with him.
Guenether, who spent 28 years as Mayor of Brigantine, has favorables of 32%-11%, with 53% unfamiliar with him.
“Only 15 percent of respondents are following the election news very closely, and 40 percent are not following the race – another indication this could be a low-interest election,” Froonjian said.