Thursday, July 2, 2009
What is this? A presidential race? Another day brings another new poll in the New Jersey gubernatorial race. There's no real news here other than the fact that Chris Christie is below the 50% mark against Jon Corzine for the first time since his Republican primary victory on June 2. But I'm not reading too much into that. For one thing, Fairleigh Dickinson, if you look across the full list of polls conducted in this race since the first of the year, has been an outlier in terms of the number of undecideds that are revealed in each poll. There's no reason to doubt the FDU results, but it is clear that both Christie's numbers in this poll and the undecided proportion of the responses are different from what we've witnessed in the most recent polling of the race in the Garden state. Oddly enough, Corzine's numbers are fairly close to where they have been in other polls.
Does that mean Christie is being undervalued or that there is some evidence of the "Democrats and independents will come home to Corzine in November" hypothesis in this undecided figure? I'd have to say the former. FDU's final poll of the presidential race in New Jersey last year had Obama up 18 points with about a week to go (which wasn't too far off), but with 10% still undecided. That's a pretty substantial number of undecideds that late in any presidential race, much less 2008 (in a blue state). No other polling organization covering the New Jersey race (other than Strategic Vision) had anything approaching that high a number that late in the contest.
In other words, despite the low total in this most recent poll from Fairleigh Dickinson, Chris Christie is likely still at or above that magic 50% mark. And just for the sake of comparison, the Republican challenger's weighted average only dropped by two tenths of a point from yesterday's update.
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State of the Race: New Jersey (6/30/09)