Tuesday, September 22, 2009

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (9/22/09)

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Six weeks to go until election day and in New Jersey nothing is new. Chris Christie continues to lead incumbent governor, Jon Corzine. The only thing remotely new out of the just released Rasmussen poll of the Garden state gubernatorial race is that the undecided mark has dropped off since the last survey the firm conducted in the state earlier in the month. The good news for Chris Christie is that Corzine does not seem to be taking any disproportionate number of these late deciders (at least not enough to make a noticeable difference).

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race Polling
Margin of Error
Sept. 21, 2009
+/- 4.5%
500 likely voters

And where does that leave this race? With only a little over a week before October dawns, this race is startlingly stationary from the Corzine campaign's perspective. It has to be. If you compare the first FHQ graduated weighted average of this race from all the way back on June 11 to this one you will find that Christie has hardly budged, edging up only three-tenths of a percentage point. Corzine meanwhile has only been able to cut into an initial (approximately) ten point lead by a little under a point. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that that's probably not how they envisioned the summer going.

A while back I joked that Creigh Deeds needed to find his Bush/US attorney rating story and run with it. The Virginia Democrat has certainly found something in Bob McDonnell's thesis to help close the gap. But now the tables are turned and the Corzine folks are hoping for some new to help turn the tide in the New Jersey race. [Of course Deeds hopes the thesis has a longer shelf life than the Bush link did for Corzine.] The main difference between the two races is that Corzine is running on his record from the last four years and New Jersey voters, at least the ones seemingly likely to head to the polls in November, don't like it. The upcoming debates may have some impact, but will anyone be paying attention? That's a problem for the incumbent.

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