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G ARIN H ART Y ANG

RESEARCH GROUP
MEMORANDUM
TO: FROM: DATE: RE:

1724 C on n e cti cu t A v en u e, N. W . Wa sh i n gt on , D C 20 0 09 T el : (20 2) 23 4 - 55 70 Fax: ( 202) 2 32 - 8 13 4

Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group April 1, 2014 Recent NJ-12th CD Democratic Primary Survey

From March 25 to 27, 2014, Garin-Hart-Yang conducted a survey among 400 likely Democratic primary voters in New Jerseys 12th CD. Our poll yields the following key findings: The standings in the initial trial heat show that Bonnie Watson Coleman and Linda Greenstein are locked in a statistical tie (28% Greenstein, 27% Watson Coleman), 7% who prefer Upendra Chivukula, and nearly two in five (38%) who are undecided. Compared with a Global Strategy Group poll conducted for the Greenstein campaign in mid-February, our more recent poll clearly shows momentum for Assemblywoman Watson Coleman:
Watson Coleman Greenstein Chivukula Undecided

43% 38% 30% 20% 27% 28%

7%

7%

Global Strategy (2/28-3/3)

GHY (3/25-27)

There are several other trial heat findings which are encouraging for the Watson Coleman campaign. First, Watson Coleman enjoys much more INTENSITY in her support than do her two opponents, which is an important advantage in a primary. Seven in ten (70%)

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G ARIN H ART Y ANG RESEARCH GROUP


of Watson Coleman voters say they support her STRONGLY, compared with 55% for Greenstein voters and 35% for Chivukula voters. Second, the assemblywoman is locked in a tie DESPITE having lower name recognition than Senator Greenstein (who recently won an expensive reelection campaign which no doubt boosted her profile). Nonetheless, among primary voters who recognize BOTH candidates, Watson Coleman LEADS by double digits, 43% to 30%. Indeed, Bonnie Watson Coleman jumps into the lead when voters are presented with short, positive descriptions of the three candidates. We read survey respondents the following statements:
Linda Greenstein is a state senator, the first woman to represent the Fourteenth District. She previously served as a member of the general assembly for ten years, while also serving on her town council and local school board. During her time in Trenton, she has sponsored legislation aimed at protecting seniors and their health care, preserving our environment and supporting renewable energy, and reducing the influence of campaign contributions on the state's political system Upendra Chivukula has lived the American dream, moving here from India as a young child and working hard until he got his degree in engineering before his involvement in public service, which included serving as mayor of Franklin Township. He was elected the first Indian American to the New Jersey assembly in 2002, where he has fought to protect middle-class families, oversaw years of stable taxes, and increased the economic prosperity of his community. Bonnie Watson Coleman, of Ewing, has served in the New Jersey general assembly since 1998, and was the first African American in state history to serve as majority leader and as chair of the state Democratic Party. She is a strong Democrat who has spent her career fighting for civil rights, women's equality, and economic fairness for New Jersey's workers and seniors--including protecting Social Security and Medicare, and fighting for middle-class families.

Watson Coleman leads in the informed vote by 40% to 35%, a clear improvement from the initial trial heat:
Watson Coleman Greenstein Chivukula Undecided

38%

40% 35%

27% 28%

12% 13%
7%

Initial Trial Heat

Informed Trial Heat

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G ARIN H ART Y ANG RESEARCH GROUP


Assemblywoman Watson Coleman demonstrates the most reach of the candidates, garnering a higher share of the vote in Middlesex County (Greensteins base) than Senator Greenstein does in Mercer County, while Watson Coleman leads in Somerset and Union Counties. In summary, the 12th CD Democratic primary is wide open and fluid, with three credible candidates who start the race with solid geographic bases. However, our survey data clearly shows that primary voters are drawn to Assemblywoman Watson Colemans strong fight to uphold core progressive, Democratic principles. It is this intensity (which already shows up in the polling among the voters who know her), which indicates that Bonnie Watson Coleman has strong prospects of victory in the June 3rd primary. This memorandum is based on a representative sample of 400 likely Democratic primary voters conducted March 25 to 27, 2014. The survey has a margin of error of 5.0 percentage points. Garin-Hart-Yang has been Congressman Rush Holts pollster since 1998, and polled for 9th CD Congressman Bill Pascrell, among other New Jersey public figures.

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