Thursday, August 27, 2009

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (8/27/09)

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Rasmussen today released a new poll in the New Jersey governors race, and the numbers were good for both candidates; depending on what numbers you were looking at. For our purposes here at FHQ, we have a rule of examining the numbers that come out of Rasmussen without the "with leaners" tag. This is something we have been doing since last summer in the presidential race. All the firm is attempting to do is to fit some of the undecideds and "other" candidate folks into the Corzine or Christie camps. Here, then, are the numbers without those leaners:

New Jersey Gubernatorial Race Polling
Margin of Error
Democracy Corps [pdf]
Aug. 25-26, 2009
+/- 4%
608 likely voters
Aug. 25, 2009
+/- 4.5%
500 likely voters

And if you look at our previous averages for this race, this particular poll nicely echoes the status quo. From that view, that's good news for Chris Christie. Of course, since the last Rasmussen poll, Corzine has held steady while Christie has dropped four points from 50% to 46%. And when the leaners are included in the totals the margin shrinks to just eight points, 50%-42%. That would appear to be good news for Corzine. And the picture is even rosier when the earlier August leaners results are compared. On August 4, Christie's lead was 13 points, 52%-39%.

Update: Of course, none of that was as good as the GQR/Democracy Corps poll that came out later in the day. Both candidates gained since the firm's poll two weeks ago, but Jon Corzine gained more, jumping six points from 35% to 41%. Meanwhile Chris Christie had half as large a jump, moving from 40% to 43%. [Though, if you look at the toplines in the link provide above, you'll see that Christie's numbers, when broken down between Christie supporters and those leaning toward the Republican, sum to 44, not 43. It is a minor quibble, I suppose, but considering the graduated weighted average has been stubborn in this race, the half point difference between running it with the 43 versus the 44 is something to take note of.] However, the net effect on the weighted average was minimal. Once the full weight was removed from the Rasmussen poll and put on the Democracy Corps poll (It was the poll most recently in the field.), the race remained stuck on 46-37 in favor of Christie.

It is troubling that the weighted average isn't as responsive in this instance given the recently polling evidence showing a tightening race. Most of that is attributable to the overall amount of polling data that had the race there in the first place. It will just take much more to pull Christie down and Corzine closer in the race in terms of the average. This weekend I'll run another regression on the polls including these and double check where that projection is. With polling likely to increase in the coming weeks as the race nears its conclusion, we will likely have ample opportunity to see such a trend continue. As for now, it appears that there is at least some tangential evidence showing the Bush link/corruption charges are affecting Christie. The Republican has been tweeting for Corzine to return to the real issues (here, here and here). [The middle link makes me think of the escaped convict from Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Now you're really going to follow those links.]

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Recent Posts:
Ted Kennedy's 2008 Endorsement of Barack Obama

All Quiet on the Democratic Change Commission Front

About that New Jersey Governor's Poll


astrojob said...

Unrelated to New Jersey, but I thought I might point out this 2012 poll that might have slipped by you:

Robert said...

I remember getting frustrated last year that your polls were slower to respond to daily/weekly events than others, but your methodology ended up being more stable and reliable than some other polls. I like your analysis.

Josh Putnam said...

Thanks MysteryPolitico. I did have several tweets up regarding that poll (@FHQ archive). But I'll likely have an update of the chart up some time this weekend. I've just been busy with classes starting this week.

Thanks Rob. Again, the whole point of examining these races in Virginia and New Jersey is to test a few things in anticipation of 2012. I think I tweaked too much midstream in 2008 and would like to avoid that if possible in 2012. Ultimately, I'd like to revisit the 2008 data and chart each states poll progressions as I'm doing with Virginia and New Jersey. But that's a whole different research project.

Robert said...

Are McDonnell
and Christie
in trouble OR is this just dirty politics by desparate Democrats?

Josh Putnam said...

Yes. both.

I'm working on something right now on this actually. There are some elements of trouble as well as desperation in this latest round of gubernatorial election news.

Robert said...

I'll wait patiently.