With three weeks to go until Election Day, a Quinnipiac University poll released today showed an eight-point lead for President Barack Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney among likely New Jersey voters.

Flickr user: kristin_a

The 51-43 percent Obama lead was a slightly wider gap than the 51-44 percent findings in a QU September 6 survey.

The results showed 55 percent of women back the president, while men nearly split their votes between Obama and Romney.

"It's still a blue state, and the color didn't fade after the first presidential debate," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The answers were gathered after the Denver debate, which featured a lackluster performance from the incumbent. Many analysts declared Romney as the debate's clear winner, but it did not appear to have an effect on Jersey voters.

Carroll noted an eight-point lead is not a lot, but it's more than enough to win.

Still, eight percent of likely voters said they might change their mind in the next three weeks. Obama and Romney face off in their second debate tonight, with one more planned before Election Day.

New Jersey bled blue for the U.S. Senate race as well, according to the poll. Democratic incumbent Senator Robert Menendez topped State Senator Joseph Kyrillos by 18 points (55-37). Menendez stretched his ten-point lead from September 6.

  • WATCH: Last week's U.S. Senate debate

Kyrillos, who could benefit from a final push by Governor Chris Christie, continued his struggle with name recognition over the past several weeks.

Carroll added, "More than half of New Jerseyans still don't know him well enough to decide if they like him or dislike him."

Likely voters gave Menendez a 47-26 favorability rating.

The poll surveyed 1,319 people by live phone interview from October 10-14.

 


Quinnipiac University