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Sen. Lautenberg in dead heat in New Jersey

June 10, 2008 at 7:25 PM

TRENTON, N.J., June 10 (UPI) -- New Jersey voters are split down the middle between four-term U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg and his Republican challenger, a poll indicates.

Rasmussen Reports conducted the poll of 500 likely voters Wednesday, the day after the state primary. Lautenberg defeated Rep. Rob Andrews with more than 60 percent of the vote, while Dick Zimmer, a former congressman, handily beat two candidates on the Republican side.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they support Lautenberg, while 44 percent went for Zimmer, a statistical tie. The poll discerned that 83 percent of Republicans support Zimmer, while 70 percent of Democrats back Lautenberg.

The Republican Party has not won a senatorial race in New Jersey since 1972. But the poll suggests the party might pick up the seat in a year that promises to be a disaster elsewhere for Republicans.

Lautenberg, the third-oldest U.S. senator, would be 90 by the time he completes a fifth term.

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