NJ Republicans are loving Trump — but most of the state dislikes him
New Jersey Republican-leaning voters are more likely than ever to vote for Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.
According to the poll, released this week, 38 percent would chose Trump if they had to cast their votes now. He's well ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in with just 11 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 10 percent.
The poll's period overlapped with the New Hampshire primary, which Trump won with more than 35 percent of the vote, but participants interviewed both before and after were just as likely to pick Trump, according to the Eagleton Institute of Politics.
Despite his support among New Jersey Republicans, Trump isn't particularly popular overall in the still-blue-leaning Garden State. According to the poll, 31 percent of respondents — not just Republicans — have a favorable impression of Trump, while 57 percent have an unfavorable impression.
Those figures are roughly in line with Gov. Chris Christie's favorability ratings. Christie dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month.
Rubo and Cruz had lower favorability ratings at 27 and 20 percent. Rubio has had a more middle-of-the-road impression on New Jersey than Trump — with just 37 percent saying they had an unfavorable impression. Cruz's unfavorability numbers creep up toward Trump's, at 48 percent.
Things look much rosier for Trump when only Republicans are counted: His favorability vs. unfavorability comes in at 58 percent vs. 30. That's far better than any of his competition.
The poll also found Democrats favoring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — 55 percent to 32 percent. That's despite the fact that more voters overall in New Jersey have a favorable impression of Sanders — 46 percent vs. 42.
Clinton's unfavorability count is strong — 47 percent. Just 29 percent have the same poor impression of Sanders.
Clinton and Sanders both do far better among just Democrats — three-quarters having a favorable impression of her, and two-rhitds of him.
“New Jersey voters look like the rest of the country when it comes to the 2016 race,” Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling at Rutgers University, said.
For both parties, Trump and Clinton hold strong leads in their parties, despite poll results that show their candidacies to be divisive for the general population.
Trump easily won the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday — giving him victories in three out of four early nominating contests.