Favor Obama Re-election in 2012 by nine points

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – With all 120 seats up for grabs in November, a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll finds that voters prefer to keep Democrats in control of the New Jersey Legislature. A majority (54 percent) want Democrats as a check on Gov. Chris Christie, while 37 percent want Republicans in charge to support their leader’s plans for change. However, the poll finds an undercurrent of anti-incumbency: only 30 percent would vote for their “current legislators” while 54 percent would “prefer to vote for someone new.”

“Though it’s early, voters are quite clear they prefer divided state government,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “They also show a limited understanding of the current environment, since throwing out incumbents would basically mean giving Republicans control in Trenton.”

Looking toward the 2012 presidential election, nearly half the state’s registered voters (48 percent) say President Barack Obama deserves re-election, while 39 percent disagree. Republicans are split on an opponent, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 12 percent, Christie at 11 percent, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin receiving 10 percent support. Forty-two percent did not name a candidate.