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New Jersey Gov. Race Tightens

Less than one month before the Nov. 8 general election, two independent polls released today show businessman Doug Forrester (R) making up ground on Sen. Jon Corzine (D) in the New Jersey open-seat gubernatorial race.

A Marist Institute poll shows Corzine leading by a narrow 44 percent to 43 percent margin; his lead grows slightly to 47 percent to 45 percent over Forrester when voters leaning toward one candidate or another are forced to make a choice.

Corzine has a wider 44 percent to 37 percent edge in a new Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers survey although that is down from an 18 point margin the senator held one month ago.

More data on the Marist poll is available here; click here for the Eagleton Institute release.

The arc of this race is strikingly similar to that of Corzine's first bid for elected office in 2000 when he ran and won an open Senate seat.  In that contest Corzine led then Rep. Bob Franks (R) in nearly every poll but never crested 50 percent or enjoyed a lead of more than five or six points.

Corzine ultimately defeated Franks 50 percent to 47 percent -- a small margin given that he outspent the Republican $63 million to $6 million.

New Jersey's Democratic nature (Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry carried it 53 percent to 46 percent last year) makes Corzine the favorite. But Forrester is pulling out the big guns in the race's final weeks. Popular former governor Tom Kean is currently appearing in an ad endorsing the GOP nominee and Forrester is set to appear at an event with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani tomorrow in Westfield, N.J.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 11, 2005; 11:04 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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