Saturday, October 31, 2009

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/31/09)

[Click to Enlarge]

FHQ is a day late on the updates in New Jersey and Virginia, but it was all for a good cause. Of course, we wanted to do our yearly homage to Halloween, and what better way to do that than in the context of the gubernatorial races in the Garden state and the Old Dominion. [I still like last year's celebratory Halloween post better.]

I had the pleasure of talking with my two favorite New Jerseyans tonight about their thoughts on the gubernatorial race in the Garden state. Both are politically knowledgeable and extremely independent thinkers who spend five to six months out of the year out of the state taking in the rest of our beautiful country. If I had to guess -- and they certainly aren't terribly up front about this -- one is a Democratic leaner and the other is a Republican leaner. And that's if I was forced to guess.

Needless to say, I was excited to have the opportunity to speak with them once I found out they were passing through on their way home to vote on Tuesday. Sure, it is nice to look at poll numbers -- representative ones at that -- but the chance for a two respondent poll was too much to pass up.

The results? Bad news for Corzine.

The money quote? "We're going home to vote; not to vote for someone, but to vote against someone."

President Obama was efficient at "banking" early votes a year ago. A year later, Jon Corzine, the incumbent Democrat Obama is trying to pull over the finish line in this race, has a couple of unbanked votes trekking the final leg of their yearly odyssey across the United States coming home to the Garden state. No, my friends aren't necessarily the bellwether that a state like Missouri has been on the presidential level, but they are a pair of what Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling has identified as grudging voters; arguably the face of this election on Tuesday.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Race Polling
Margin of Error
Oct. 29, 2009
+/- 3%
1000 likely voters
Oct. 27-29, 2009
+/- 3%
1093 likely voters

What does any of this mean? Everything and nothing in the close race that is being depicted in the representative samples that are being polled about this contest. The race for governor is still one that finds the two major party candidates consistently within the margin of error of each other. The two surveys from Rasmussen (no net change from earlier in the week) and Stockton/Zogby didn't stray from that pattern. The former found Republican Chris Christie ahead by a handful of points while the latter (the first poll from this collaboration statewide in this race) found Corzine up a point.

And independent Chris Daggett? Well, he's still the wild card. No, the former Republican is not likely to win on Tuesday, but he and those grudging voters will go a long way toward deciding who will eventually win on November 3. Daggett has leveled off in FHQ's averages of this race (between the 10 and 11 point range). Meanwhile the margin between Corzine and Christie continues to shrink. Christie is still ahead, but that lead is under 3 points now.

And incidentally, I think I've got a couple of Daggett voters staying with me tonight.

[Click to Enlarge]

Recent Posts:
State of the Race: Virginia Governor (10/31/09)

On Overseas Military Voting and September Primaries: Epilogue/Prologue

State of the Race: New Jersey Governor (10/29/09)

No comments: