A Richard Stockton College/Zogbypoll released last Friday is showing New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District race has become too close to call. However, while the district’s Democratic Congressman John Adler dropped from 38% to 37% since the poll was conducted last month, his Republican challenger, Jon Runyan, has surged 10 points. According to the poll, 40% of likely voters say they would vote for Mr. Runyan.
Rep. Adler, a first term congressman, has received much negative press after the Courier-Post spoke to Democratic operatives who revealed the self-proclaimed “Tea-Party” candidate Peter DeStefano was actually planted into the race by Democrats to confuse voters and siphon support from Mr. Runyan. (read more here)
Apparently, the story likely had much impact in the district. Last month, according to Stockton-Zogby, Mr. DeStefano pulled in 7.6% of likely voters for himself. The latest poll shows that support dropping to 4.9%.
Mr. Runyan, a former professional football player for the Philadelphia Eagles, has the wind at his back in the closing days of the campaign, and the New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, formerly held by Republican Jim Saxton since 1984 before Mr. Adler won the district in 2008, may very well turn back to its GOP roots in November. However, the presence of Mr. DeStefano on the ballot can still remain a critical factor if this race stays as close as it currently appears to be.