The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Obama leading Romney 49% to 39 % among registered voters. If we look at the trend of the polls in New Jersey as shown on RealClearPolitics.com we see Obama’s lead over the last three months going from +14 to +13 to now +10.
But we have to remember that these polls are all polls of registered voters, not likely voters. It is the likely voters that matter. If we were to look at the likely voters, then the latest Quinniapic poll would probably swing at least a couple percentage points to Romney. It would be more like Obama 47% – Romney 41%.
Then we need to look at the undecided voters. Dick Morris has discussed at length the fact that in the last eight presidential elections, except 2004, almost all the undecided votes go to the challenger. If that is the case then Romney would be winning 51% to 49% among registered voters and 53% to 47% among likely voters.
So this Quinnipiac poll really suggests that Romney may have a substantial lead in New Jersey. But there is another reason to think that Romney might be well ahead in the Garden State. The Quinnipiac poll consisted of 34% Democrats and 24% Republicans – a nine point advantage for Democrats. Since New Jersey often votes Democrat, it is safe to assume that there will be more Democrats than Republicans. But if the poll has exaggerated that number at all – even by one percentage point – then Romney would have an even larger lead.
So, is Romney winning New Jersey? If the undecided voters hold true to form and vote for the challenger, then yes Romney is winning. Either way, New Jersey is definitely now in play.