Thursday, October 8, 2009

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/8/09)

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I don't know that there is much to say here. The race for governor in New Jersey is very simply getting tighter. Jon Corzine found himself again on top of the race in a poll for the second time this week, doubling his total of polls led from (way) earlier in the year. Now, that isn't to say that Chris Christie has lost the advantage -- he hasn't here at FHQ or elsewhere -- but the momentum is squarely against the Republican at the moment. And the sudden jump of independent Chris Daggett in the polls (especially this week into the mid-teens) seems to be drawing directly from the former US attorney. All three candidates are breaking new ground. Daggett is threatening to break the 10% mark, Corzine is inching toward 40% and Christie is now about to fall under 45% for the first time since FHQ began tabulating the averages of this race in mid-June.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race Polling
Margin of Error
Democracy Corps [pdf]
Oct. 6-7, 2009
+/- 4%
614 likely voters
Survey USA
Oct. 5-7, 2009
+/- 4%
639 likely voters

What brought us to this point today? Well, two new polls -- from Survey USA and Democracy Corps -- each showed one of the candidates up by three points. In other words, today's polls were statistical ties. Averaging across the two (without weighting), Christie and Corzine were knotted at 40.5% with Daggett laying claim to the support of 14% of the survey respondents.

With a tie basically prevailing here, every big event (and even some seemingly small ones unforeseen on the horizon) is magnified. As much as the debates may seem like non-starters nationally, they may matter from the perspective that they offer a chance for either major party campaign to shift the narrative coming out of the event and moving forward.

Again, Christie is ahead, but with just under four weeks left to go this one continues to get more and more interesting.

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