While most polls show the race for New Jersey Governor to be neck and neck, Public Policy Polling has Republican Chris Christie leading incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine 47-41:
Corzine had pulled to within a point of Christie on our poll three weeks ago after trailing by as many as 14 points over the summer, but his momentum has stalled since then and Christie’s built his lead back up to 4 points last week and now 6.
If Corzine’s momentum has stalled, then perhaps even multiple visits from the president couldn’t push him across the finish line. He’s been helped by the failure of his challenger to make the case for his candidacy, with “only 40% of voters” thinking Christie “made a strong case for why he should be elected Governor,” including 27% of those backing the Republican.
It is that failure which has allowed independent Chris Daggett to run as well as he has. Sometimes, I wonder, if Corzine set him up as a stalking horse in order to divide the opposition vote, a clever strategy for an incumbent with an approval rating below 40%. Seems a lot of people in the Garden State have similar thoughts. One of our readers linked an article making just that point. There’s even a report than a New Jersey Democratic State Committee is paying for “robocalls” for Daggett.
Couple this with Democrats asking the New Jersey Secretary of State to ignore mismatched signatures on absentee-ballot requests and you find the incumbent playing some pretty hardball politics in anticipation of Tuesday’s contest. These are just a few signs of their determination to keep Obama’s man in Drumthwacket.
If come Tuesday night, it’s a close race, with no clear winner declared long after polls have closed, you should be able to eventual outcome. But, no one will ever know who won the plurality of votes. We will know one thing–that the Democrat will have won even as majority of voters did not want him to renew his lease on that celebrated mansion.