Corzine's Lead Tightens in N.J. Gov. Race

New Jersey's governor's race has tightened, with Republican businessman Doug Forrester (search) gaining ground on Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (search), according to a new poll.

Forty-four percent of likely voters surveyed in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind (search) poll released Tuesday said they favor Corzine, while 38 percent backed Forrester.

The telephone poll of 602 likely voters was conducted Oct. 4-9 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In a radio debate Tuesday night, Corzine and Forrester both said they would sign medical marijuana laws if elected, and both would decline the $175,000 governor's salary.

They agreed, too, on the need to fire 800 or so political appointees in patronage jobs on the state payroll.

The poll seemed to confirm recent good news for Forrester.

Corzine's one-time double-digit advantage among likely voters had shrunk to 7 percentage points in the latest Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers Poll (search) released Sunday, and a WNBC/Marist Poll released Monday had Corzine in front by only a single point, based on a smaller sample of likely voters with a higher error margin.

Forrester has made strides on key issues in the race, including property taxes, the soul of his campaign, according to the Fairleigh Dickinson poll. The Republican pulled ahead of Corzine on the question of who can better deal with the problem of high property taxes, 34 percent to 23 percent.

Corzine maintains a 16-point lead over Forrester as the candidate viewed with the experience to be a good governor, according to the poll.

The November election is one of only two governor's races in the nation this year. The other is in Virginia.