Suddenly, Dem has a real shot in NJ governor's race

It seemed like Gov. Jon Corzine wouldn't be re-elected, but one poll now has him within one point of his opponent

By Alex Koppelman
Published October 14, 2009 8:15PM (UTC)
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Once, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine looked like a man who was soon to be out of a job. His time as governor hasn't always gone smoothly, his numbers were in the toilet and a strong Republican, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, is running against him. Now, though, with less than a month remaining before voters go to the ballot box, Corzine's made a comeback, and the race appears to be in a dead heat.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows 41 percent of likely voters leaning to Christie, while 40 percent said they'd vote to re-elect Corzine if the election were held today. 14 percent say they'll back Christopher Daggett, an independent candidate. Two weeks ago, Christie led 43-39 in the same poll, with Daggett at 12 percent.

 There's good news and bad news for Corzine here. Daggett appears to be drawing more support away from Christie than from the governor, which is a good thing for Christie, but might be skewing the poll in his favor. Independent candidates tend to poll better than they actually do come Election Day; that means Christie's real numbers might be higher than this poll would indicate. On the other hand, voters in New Jersey always seem to flirt with Republican candidates before coming home to the Democrats when it's time to vote. Republicans, as a result, also tend to do better in the polls in the state than they do in the voting booth.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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