Wednesday, October 14, 2009

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/14/09)

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The chatter around the New Jersey gubernatorial race this Tuesday three weeks before the election centered on whether independent Chris Daggett could actually win the election in the Garden state. 77% of the new Quinnipiac survey's respondents thought not, but that didn't keep the good folks at NBC News' First Read from wondering aloud about the possibility. Well, at the very least it didn't prevent First Read from making a flawed connection between Jesse Ventura's win in the Minnesota governors contest in 1998 and Chris Daggett in 2009.

Yes, environmentally, Minnesota had an electorate that was seemingly against both major parties down the stretch in that race whose candidates were deadlocked in the polls. However, New Jersey and Chris Daggett are missing two very important ingredients from the Ventura formula: money and election day registration. [Oh, and if the Minnesota ballot in 1998 was anything like this -- which is a heck of a lot better than this -- Daggett will have had something Ventura did not: a ballot problem.] Does any of this mean Daggett cannot win? Well, there is an awful lot of mounting evidence, but I suppose the idea can't be completely dismissed.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race Polling
Margin of Error
Oct. 7-12, 2009
+/- 2.8%
1264 likely voters

Meanwhile, the two major party candidates remained in a statistical tie in yet another poll. Jon Corzine continues to hover just under the 39% mark in FHQ's averages, but Chris Christie dropped yet again; this time to just less than 45% (His lowest mark since FHQ began watching the race in June.). With each passing day, the Republican is inching ever closer to Corzine, who seems destined to come in somewhere very close to the 40% mark from here on out (Perhaps not in the voting itself, but the polling sure seems that way.).

And where does that leave this race? Well, it is a tie with a very interesting third party twist. Like the Public Policy Polling survey yesterday, the Quinnipiac poll finds Daggett's support to be on the weak side of the ledger (59% of the Daggett supporters said they still may change their minds.), and Christie is the leading second choice for those respondents. To that latter point, however, Christie leads by only 7 points (40-33), which is about half of what PPP showed yesterday. If the polls continue to show a tie between Corzine and Christie for the next three weeks, the second choice question will absolutely be the number to watch as this race runs its course.

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Recent Posts:
State of the Race: Virginia Governor (10/13/09)

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/13/09)

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