Poll shows Adler leading as ex-NFL star closes money gap

Former NFL star Jon Runyan (R) raised more than $500,000 in the last quarter, outpacing Rep. John Adler (D-N.J.) for the first time. 

Runyan, however, continued to use his own money to flesh out his campaign coffers. He raised $301,409 from supporters and contributed $200,000 of his own money, according to a release. He currently has $472,056 banked for his challenge to Adler. 

Meanwhile, the freshman Democrat raised $415,000 for the quarter and has more than $2 million cash on hand, according to his campaign.

An internal poll released by the Adler campaign shows the congressman holding a 17-point lead over Runyan in a three-way contest that includes independent Peter DeStefano, who bills himself as a Tea Party candidate. Adler leads Runyan 51 to 34 percent in the survey, with DeStefano receiving 12 percent of the vote. Moreover, 58 percent approve of Adler’s job performance.

Runyan’s campaign called the poll “bogus.”

“John Adler is running scared and that’s why he’s releasing bogus, internal polls in July that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on,” Chris Russell, a spokesman for Runyan, said in a statement. “Two years ago he was the beneficiary of a split Republican Party and a terrible national environment for Republicans — yet he still only won by 3.5 points. This year, Republicans are united.”