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April 19, 2016

One of the tried-and-truisms of politics is, “It’s a long way to the election,” or, in New Jersey’s case, to the June primary. And it’s not clear if our votes will make any difference by the time we get there. Thus, it’s probably a good idea to keep that distance and time in mind when assessing the findings of the latest Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Donald Trump continues to do well with New Jersey Republicans, breaking the 50 percent mark for the first time: 52 percent of Republicans said they’d vote for Trump if the primary were held today, according to the poll. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has fought his way to a distant second in the Garden State, with 24 percent.

On the Democratic side, the poll shows Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continuing to lead Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but Sanders has closed her lead to single digits: 51 percent (down four points) to 42 percent (up 10 points). Some 57 percent of “confirmed” Democrats support Clinton. But the secretary of state’s favorability rating is at an all-time low: 39 percent favorable to 50 percent unfavorable.

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