New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is weathering recent controversies stemming from his tenure as the state’s U.S. Attorney, a new poll finds. The Republican challenger leads New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) by 10 points among likely voters, or 47-37 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today. The survey also found 7 percent of likely voters support independent candidate Christopher Daggett. A Quinnipiac poll taken three weeks ago found Christie with a narrower lead over Corzine, 46 to 40 percent. Daggett garnered 7 percent.
The new poll also found 77 percent of likely voters have seen ads produced by Corzine attacking Christie for contracts he awarded when he was New Jersey U.S. Attorney. Of those people, 56 percent said the ads are an unfair attack, compared with 36 percent who said the contacts are a legitimate campaign issue.
In addition, 49 percent of likely voters who have heard the news about an unreported loan Christie made to a then-subordinate in the U.S. Attorney office, Michele Brown, believe the Corzine camp’s criticisms of it are unfair. Forty-three percent said the attacks are fair. The poll also found 96 percent of likely voters believe government corruption is a “somewhat serious” or “very serious” problem. Voters associated Democrats with corruption, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Democrats are more likely to be corrupt compared with 16 percent who cited Republicans. Christie has campaigned on a platform of ethics reform.
The poll of 1,612 New Jersey likely voters was conducted Aug. 25 to 30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.