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Pollster: MacArthur Now Leading Belgard in Congressional Race

Tom MacArthur and Aimee Belgard. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Tom MacArthur and Aimee Belgard. (Photo: Shorebeat)

A Republican pollster says his research is showing a seven point lead for Tom MacArthur over Democrat Aimee Belgard in the race to see who will fill the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ).

Adam Geller, previously the pollster for Gov. Chris Christie, said in a memo posted on MacArthur’s website Monday that MacArthur led Belgard 44 percent to 37 percent in a poll of 400 voters conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2. Those polled were 35 percent Republicans, 36 percent Democrats and 29 percent unaffiliated.

Geller said in the memo that “overall political dynamics and atmospherics” favor a Republican candidate, with the same poll showing President Barack Obama’s approval rating at 43 percent with his disapproval at 53 percent. In a generic ballot, the Republican candidate leads 41 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll.

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“While the overall political environment has shifted in the Republicans’ favor, this district requires two things in order for Republicans to succeed,” the memo said. “An environment that is not lousy for the GOP (think 2008) and a strong candidate with a good message.”

A poll last conducted month by the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey polling institute showed MacArthur and Belgard tied in the race.

On Monday morning, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new ad attacking MacArthur, referencing a lawsuit against his former company involving overtime pay. Last week, MacArthur released an ad defending his record in the insurance industry, saying he is a “self-made businessman” who will stand up for the middle class.