RUT-ROH … Corzine and Obama could be in some serious trouble in the Garden State.
In the final Public Policy Poll before Tuesday’s Governor’s race in New Jersey, the PPP shows Republican Chris Christie with a 47% to 41% advantage over incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine. Chris Daggett polled 11%.
In the Garden State it’s all about the Independents. In a state so dominated by registered Democrats, it has been the Independents that have been moving toward Christie. Even those that were initially siding with third party candidate Daggett, now seem to be moving toward Christie in the final home stretch. If Daggett’s poll numbers slip to 6% or 7% in Tuesdays vote, it could be a big Christie win.
Full results can be seen HERE.
Christie’s advantage is due largely to his support from independents and because he has Republicans more unified around him than the Democrats are around Corzine. Christie leads Corzine 52-29 with indies, as Daggett’s support with that group has declined to 16%. Christie is getting 82% of Republicans to Corzine’s 72% of Democrats.
As the campaign concludes it seems like Daggett’s presence in the race has actually ended up hurting Corzine more than Christie, contrary to the earlier conventional wisdom. 45% of Daggett voters say the incumbent is their second choice to 36% for the challenger. Daggett’s backers report having voted for Barack Obama by a 67-23 margin last year.
Scott Rasmussen has the NJ Governors race Christie 46, Corzine 43.
Town Hall.com adds some analysis which makes sense as to how Christie could pull off a victory. What is even more telling about the above poll is that it splits 44 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican, 20 percent independent/other.
At this point, I can see reasons why Christie will win (voters know Corzine, don’t like him, and don’t expect better in his term) and why Corzine will win (a barrage of negative advertising has convinced them Christie wouldn’t improve things).
The exit question following tomorrow’s results if Christie wins is … has Barack Obama damaged his image? Obama distanced himself from Creigh Deeds in VA as that race was all but lost and will be a Republican landslide win. A landslide win for Republicans in a state that after the 2008 Presidential election political pundits called a “purple” state. However, Obama has made numerous trips to NJ campaigning for the embattled Jon Corzine. Imagine if Corzine does lose? What does that say about the influence of Barack Obama, one year after winning the White House?
Make no mistake about it, the 2009 off year elections will be a partial referendum on Obama.