Braun Research for the Rutgers-Eagleton Institute of Politics (8/5-8, registered voters, no trend lines):
John Adler (D-inc): 31
Jon Runyan (R): 25
Peter DeStefano (I): 4
Not Voting: 6
John Adler (D-inc): 35
Jon Runyan (R): 28
Not Voting: 13
The eggheads at Rutgers are out this week with a new poll of New Jersey's 3rd CD, the first poll of this race since John Adler released an internal last month claiming a 51-34 lead over the ex-Eagle Runyan, with 12% going to independent teabagger Peter DeStefano. That poll drew howls of protest from the Runyan campaign, who didn't believe that DeStefano, a man who appears to be in the Witness Protection Program (as no one can seem to be able to track him down), could be winning a double digit-sized share of the vote.
Much has been made of the fact that, zomg, Runyan holds a 36-35 lead among those who are "paying the most attention to the campaign", but the more interesting statistic from this poll is that, among those who say they are likely to vote (n=351), Adler holds a 40-30 lead over Runyan -- or a 36-26 lead with DeStefano in the mix. That's the opposite result you'd expect in a year where Republican enthusiasm has been shown to be more intense than that of Democrats, but it's also probably true that Braun wasn't pushing undecideds off the fence with as much force as other pollsters.
My own thoughts on this race are that Adler should've be a pretty appealing target for the GOP to turn into a one-term wonder, but they certainly gave him a fighting chance by relying on a B-list candidate in Runyan to get the job done.