Opinion: A Barack Obama surprise in New Jersey poll results

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Funny how that recent memo from Hillary Clinton loyalist Harold Ickes recapping all sorts of positive poll numbers for her didn’t include a survey from her neck of the woods.

A late April poll of New Jersey voters by Braun Research found -- no real surprise -- that either Clinton or Barack Obama would win the state and its 15 electoral votes in November against John McCain. The surprise was that Obama ran substantially ahead of McCain, more so than Clinton. He beat the presumptive Republican presidential nominee by 24 percentage points; her margin was 14 points.

And here was the real shocker: In a state where Clinton, senator from neighboring New York, won the Feb. 5 primary by 10 points, 45% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now said they wanted to see Obama as the party’s nominee, compared with 38% who picked Clinton.

Less than three months after Clinton’s primary win, ‘some New Jersey voters feel buyer’s remorse,” said poll director Patrick Murray.

The survey was conducted largely before the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s rancorous session at the National Press Club in Washington last week caused major political turmoil for Obama, so perhaps a snapshot taken this week of voter attitudes in the Garden State might not be so rosy for him.


By the same token, the Braun poll was taken in the immediate wake of Clinton’s intensive campaign -- and solid primary win -- in Pennsylvania, a state that shares several media markets with a fair chunk of New Jersey.

-- Don Frederick