Monday, September 28, 2009

Impact of Early Voting in New Jersey: A Follow-Up

A couple of weeks ago, FHQ looked into the impact that early voting might have in this year's gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. The conclusion there was that the impact would be minimal. What was glossed over in the process, though (and something FHQ was called on via email), was that New Jersey has a new law on the books this year allowing for no excuses absentee voting by mail. The 2009 gubernatorial election in the Garden state will be the first time this gets a statewide test.

The question, as posed before, is, "Will Republican Chris Christie be able to utilize the enthusiasm gap -- as manifested in recent polls' likely voter models -- to bank early votes and put Corzine on the defensive* down the stretch?"

Though the potential is there for mail-in absentee voting to have an impact, there has not been any overt push by either campaign on that front. Ballots can start going out as early as tomorrow, though (five weeks before the election), so early voting chatter may ramp up.

*This would require more of a last minute get-out-the-vote effort than if votes had been banked early on.

Hat tip to Paul Gronke at Election Updates for the link to the New Jersey Courier opinion piece.

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