Maybe the times really are a-changing. A poll to determine New Jersey’s favourite rocker has Jon Bon Jovi edging Bruce Springsteen.

Results were released today from more than 20,000 votes cast on the website of the Asbury Park Press — the two rockers’ hometown newspaper. In a close race, Bon Jovi received 11,140 votes (50.66 percent), while Springsteen polled up 10,851, or 49.34 percent.

Though participants were limited to one vote each, there was no geographical restriction so it’s possible that the votes that put Bon Jovi ahead came from outside New Jersey or even the U.S.

“I would have thought Bruce Springsteen would have the edge, for a few reasons: he came first, he is, based on the numbers, the bigger star, but most important, he seems inextricably connected to New Jersey,” said former Asbury Park Press staff writer Matty Karas. “I can imagine Jon Bon Jovi (and his band) having emerged from Detroit or Los Angeles or Boston or Florida or any other number of places. I can’t imagine Springsteen having emerged from anywhere but the Jersey Shore. His songs tend to have a specific sense of place that Bon Jovi’s don’t. Tommy and Gina of ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ could live anywhere. There’s no question, on the other hand, where the characters in ‘Born to Run’ and ‘My Hometown’ live.”

“There’s something unique and endearing and cool about the fact that New Jersey even thinks about who its favorite rockers are,” said Karas, the music curator for REDEF. “I think that says something about how much New Jerseyans in general think about, and identify with, their home state. New Jerseyans have an incredibly strong sense of place. You don’t see people in Massachusetts arguing over whether Aerosmith or the Cars or the Pixies are their state’s favourite rockers, and I don’t recall hearing California arguing the cases of Guns N’ Roses vs. Motley Crue vs. Van Halen vs. Metallica vs. the Eagles vs. the Grateful Dead.”