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Biden, Booker, Marijuana Legalization Near 60% Approval Statewide: Rutgers Poll

Although nearly half of the Garden State’s voters already submitted their ballot, many New Jerseyans don’t trust polls to get the 2020 Election winner right, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

With former Vice President and presidential hopeful Joe Biden leading incumbent President Donald Trump by a double-digit margin (59% to 37%) among all registered voters and by a similar margin among likely voters, the Democratic candidate stands to win New Jersey’s Electoral College votes.

Biden received support from Democratic stalwarts including women (68%), non-white voters (73%), and those in lower income brackets (59%). College and graduate degree holders also favored Biden.

Biden Increases Lead in New Jersey

Biden increased his already-wide margin over President Trump throughout the campaign, according to Ashley Koning. Koning is the director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University.

Koning noted that like many of the prior years, New Jersey would not be a contested state in the presidential elections, mirroring a national trend.

“Much like his lead nationally, Biden’s wide margin over Trump in the Garden State has endured throughout the campaign and has only been solidified after the final presidential debate,” she said.

Ballot Questions

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker continues to maintain his large lead against GOP challenger Rik Mehta in his reelection bid. Among registered voters, he wins 59% to 31% and holding a lead among likely voters, 58%-35%.

In terms of the ballot questions being asked statewide, there is strong support for marijuana legalization and regulation, with 60% of likely compared with 36% against it. There is even stronger support for a constitutional amendment that would make peacetime veterans eligible to receive a property tax deduction, with 78% voicing support.

Opinions on delaying the state legislative redistricting process are more undecided. The Rutgers poll found 49% approving of the delay, 34% are against it, and 18% are still unsure.

More Than Half Lack Faith in Polls

Thirty-three percent of those polled did “not very much” trust the results of public opinion polls when it came to predicting the outcome of the election. Twenty-one percent responded “not at all” when questioned on the subject.

Only 9% of registered voters said they had a “great deal of trust” in the polls, with 34% saying they trust them “a fair amount.”

“After a perceived failure of the polls in 2016, pre-election polling has been met with much hesitation and skepticism this election cycle, making 2020 potentially consequential for the future of the survey industry,” said Koning.

Democrats still hold a significant edge over Republicans on returned vote-by-ballots in New Jersey, but the GOP is beginning to narrow a much wider 2-1 gap that existed just a few days ago. Election officials had received 2,799,994 mail-in ballots as of Oct. 29, a turnout of 46% statewide. So far, 47.3% of all votes cast have come from Democrats. Republicans have returned 25.6% of the ballots, while 26.5% of them have come from voters unaffiliated with any political party.

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