Republicans in the 9th Legislative District continue to dominate their Democratic opponents, although many voters remained unsure of whom they were choosing to represent them, according to a new poll released today by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.

"Redistricting and the low-key nature of this campaign seem to have produced the high level of ‘not sure' voters," Daniel J. Douglas, Hughes Center director, said in a statement. "The legislative redistricting process has changed the boundaries of the 9th Legislative District and the all the districts in the state, putting unfamiliar voters in low-interest contests."

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The district includes southern Ocean County, three Pinelands communities in southern Burlington County, and for the first time following this year's redistricting, Atlantic County's Galloway Township and Port Republic. In the Stockton College-Zogby poll Republican incumbent Sen. Christopher Connors's lead over his over his Democratic challenger, Dorothy Ryan, fell slightly to more than 19 points from similar polling done in late September.

The poll said that almost 48 percent of likely voters in the Republican stronghold preferred Connors, while 28 and a half percent chose Ryan. However, another 22 and a half percent polled were unsure and slightly more than 1 percent wanted someone else. Voters similarly preferred the incumbent Republican General Assembly members.

The poll shows that the Republican Assembly candidates have generally expanded their lead over the Democrats since September, with the gap between the top polling Democrat and bottom polling Republican expanding from more than 9 percent to more than 14 percent. Almost 45 percent of those polled chose Brian E. Rumpf, while 40 percent wanted DiAnne C. Gove, both Republicans. Among the Democrats, Bradley Bilhimer had almost 26 percent of the poll, while almost 26 chose Carla Kearney.

But nearly 28 percent remained uncertain of their choice and more than 1 percent wanted someone else. The poll of 602 likely voters in the district was conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, with a margin of 4.1 percentage points.


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