Ardern's personal popularity as preferred prime minister was up five points to 55 per cent, while National leader Judith Collins fell three points to 20 per cent.
Hundreds of students are crammed into a common area at the Victoria University of Wellington to hear her speak, and her message of hope is being punctuated by thunderous applause.
New Zealand and global media are convinced New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will romp to re-election this weekend, based on public approval for her response to the Wuhan coronavirus.
She burnished her reputation this year with her "go hard, go early" approach to the coronavirus, which has resulted in the national elimination of COVID-19.
"There is cause for optimism", Ardern tells the crowd. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information.
The poll numbers translate to 59 seats for Labor, 40 for National, 11 for the Greens and 10 for ACT.
Ardern's center-left Labour party came to power in 2017 even though it lost the election. Collins assumed the leadership in the summer after internal party dissension.
For her part, Collins, 61, says polls have been wrong before, notably about Brexit and the 2016 USA presidential election. Asked by a reporter whether she'd be commiserating on Saturday, Collins laughed. "I give my everything", she said.
The race has turned from the beginning of the year, when polling indicated National was tracking ahead of Labour.
Kiwis are set to hand Ms Ardern a second term as prime minister in Saturday's election according to a TVNZ poll released on Thursday night. She famously brought her infant daughter Neve to the UN General Assembly in NY.
Despite the global scope of COVID-19, there has been virtually no debate about the foreign affairs and trade implications of the pandemic.
Ardern became one of the world's youngest leaders three years ago.
The Prime Minister has been praised for her response to the Christchurch terror attack past year and her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The day after the attack, Ardern wore a hijab when meeting with survivors and later delivered a landmark speech when she declared "They are us".
"The relative lack of policy differences mean that much of the debate has been about competence - which party and which leader can be trusted to "get the job done", said Geoffrey Miller, analyst at political website Democracy Project.
After Christchurch she again offered comfort to the nation, when the White Island (also known as Whakaari) volcano erupted last December, killing 21 people and leaving dozens more with horrific burns.
The political equation changed with the pandemic.
She argues that only her centre-left Labour Party can be trusted to keep New Zealanders safe with a combination of strict border controls and widespread Covid-19 testing.
However, while her country has eliminated the threat of the virus for now, the road ahead looks far more rocky. A small outbreak in Auckland led to lockdown restrictions being reimposed in the country's largest city in August, with looser rules elsewhere. The only new cases found recently have been among returning travellers, who are in quarantine.
About 3.5 million people are expected to vote in Saturday's poll. A position paper from her foundation argues that Indigenous Maoris have faced disproportionate and excessive punishment from the legal system when caught with the drug.
A vote in favour of euthanasia would see new laws automatically go into effect while a vote for marijuana would still require lawmakers to pass new legislation.