According to a recent poll, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has narrowed a previously wide gap in Democratic stronghold New Jersey.
"Gov. Mitt Romney trails President Barack Obama by 7 points in blue, blue New Jersey. Is it a post-convention bounce for Romney and will the president get his own bounce this week?" asked Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Obama, who won New Jersey by nearly 16 points four years ago, held a wider lead in a July poll. No Republican has won the Garden State in nearly 25 years, the Washington Times reported.
Romney has a four-point advantage over Obama among men, whites, Protestants, Catholics and Born Again Evangelical Christians. And New Jersey voters polled believe he can turn the economy around, according to the poll, released Sept. 6.
More than half of likely Garden State voters say the government is controlling things better left to businesses and individuals, the poll found. But 43 percent believe the government should be doing more.
“The biggest party split is on the government’s role: Half of all voters, including 83 percent of Republicans, say government is doing too much; a bit less than half, including 70 percent of Democrats, say government should solve problems,” Carroll said in a statement released with the poll.
The poll, conducted Aug. 27 through Sept. 2, asked likely New Jersey voters to list their “extremely important” issues in the presidential vote:
• 67 percent say the economy;
• 54 percent cite health care;
• 46 percent point to taxes;
• 45 percent list the budget deficit;
• 44 percent say Medicare.
"The votes look to be locked in. Almost 90 percent of Obama's New Jersey voters and more than 90 percent of Romney backers say they'll stand by their man,” Carroll said.
The poll of 1,471 likely has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.