- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by just 4 points in a head-to-head matchup in traditionally blue New Jersey, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday.

Mrs. Clinton was at 38 percent support and Mr. Trump was at 34 percent in the poll. Another 11 percent volunteered that they would vote for an independent or third party candidate, though that option wasn’t included, and another 15 percent said they were unsure.

In a four-way race, Mrs. Clinton led with 37 percent, with Mr. Trump at 31 percent, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson at 5 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 4 percent.

“Blue Jersey doesn’t appear quite so blue at this stage of the campaign, but we should keep in mind that neither major party candidate has fully locked in the support of their partisan bases,” said said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“When and if that happens, the benefit should accrue more to Clinton than to Trump simply because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state,” Mr. Murray said.

In the head-to-head matchup against Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton received support from 72 percent of self-identified Democrats, while Mr. Trump had the support of 73 percent of Republicans.

Mr. Trump had a 15-point, 44 percent to 29 percent lead over Mrs. Clinton among non-Hispanic white voters, while Mrs. Clinton held a 54 percent to 14 percent lead over Mr. Trump among black, Hispanic and Asian voters.

Nearly seven in 10 black voters said they will vote for Mrs. Clinton compared to 1 percent for Mr. Trump, though 21 percent said they’re undecided.

“Based on historical precedent, these undecided minority voters should break strongly for the Democratic nominee. On the other hand, not much about the 2016 race has followed historical precedent,” Mr. Murray said.

Mrs. Clinton also had a 16-point advantage among women, while Mr. Trump led by 9 points among men.

Though New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, won in 2009 and received about 60 percent of the vote during his successful 2013 re-election campaign, the state has voted for the Democratic nominee in every presidential contest since 1992.

Mr. Christie, a former 2016 GOP presidential candidate, gave Mr. Trump a big boost and some high-profile establishment backing when he endorsed him in February.

But 42 percent said they would be less likely to support Mr. Trump if he tapped Mr. Christie to be his running mate, compared to 8 percent who said more likely. About half — 48 percent — said Mr. Trump’s picking Mr. Christie as his vice presidential candidate wouldn’t have an impact on their vote.

Among voters who said they were undecided, 51 percent said Mr. Christie as a vice presidential candidate would turn them off, compared to 8 percent who said it would make them more likely to support Mr. Trump and 33 percent who said it wouldn’t make a difference.

Trump claims he can turn New Jersey competitive in November. These results suggest he probably needs to look elsewhere for a running mate if he wants to make that a reality,” Mr. Murray said.

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