NJ-6: Monmouth University poll shows Pallone losing ground to Little
Several weeks ago, RCP moved this race from Safe Dem to Lean Dem.
Earlier today, Jim Geraghty wrote that Charlie Cook has now moved New Jersey’s 6th CD to Likely Dem as well.
Today, the Asbury Park Press and the Star Ledger are both reporting that the latest Monmouth University poll shows Anna Little gaining ground, narrowing Frank Pallone’s lead from twelve to seven points. The APP writes:
In the Monmouth County portion of the district, Little leads Pallone 52 to 45 percent. Three weeks ago, Pallone led Little by 49 to 47 percent. Pallone continues to hold a sizable 58 to 37 percent lead in the other parts of the district, including urban strongholds in Middlesex and Union counties.
Pallone’s job performance approval rating among likely voters is 45 percent, virtually the same as three weeks ago, when it was 46 percent. His job performance disapproval rating has gone up from 36 to 46 percent, however.
More voters are now aware of Little: only 31 percent said they have no opinion of her, down from 45 percent three weeks ago.
Last week I wrote:
[…] worth noting is that 45% of respondents said they had “no opinion” of Anna Little. In other words, voters in the district really don’t know much about her. Voters here feel they don’t really have much of a choice, that it’s just automatic for Pallone to win. That’s not good for democracy. […]
Turnout will be key to turn this district red, plain and simple. With a 12 point deficit and two weeks left, the campaign will certainly have its work cut out for it. It will be difficult, but not impossible.
This is what happens when voters begin to realize that they have a choice, and they have the power to break the vise grip of lethargic incumbency. This is what GOTV efforts are all about. In a matter of weeks, support at the grassroots level in the Little campaign has taken a virtually unknown candidate to within striking distance of a 22-year incumbent Democrat, comfortable in his blue district.
Speaking as a Mets fan, all I can say is: you gotta believe!
UPDATE. It appears that the sample used in the Monmouth University poll might be skewing what’s really going on in NJ-6:
The poll […] could underestimate Little’s performance. The Monmouth University poll’s sample was 40 percent Democrats, 22 percent Republicans and 38 percent Independents. […]
In 2006 the Republican sample was 28 percent (a depressed year for Republicans nation wide, but especially dower in the North East) and the independent Sample was 31 percent. In 2008 the Republican sample was 33 percent and the independent sample was 38 percent.It is fairly dubious assertion that this year will yield fewer Republicans at the polls than even 2006. It is even more suspicious that 38 percent of the Monmouth University poll’s sample is 38 percent; this independent sample outperforms their best year by 7 points. For a particularly good Republican year, when both the GOP and Democratic bases were engaged, 2004 is a decent place to start.If you adjust the sample of 647 likely voters (257 Democrats, 141 Republican and 249 Independents) to reflect the exit polls from 2004, (253 Democrats, 201 Republicans and 194 Independents) then the race becomes 51 to 49 percent for Pallone. This is a minor adjustment from Monmouth University’s findings for Pallone but a major boost for Little. It also puts this race within the margin of error for most pollsters.