New Jersey poll shows Dem Corzine leading

The incumbent governor wasn't expected to win reelection, but may now be leading

By Alex Koppelman

Published October 22, 2009 2:50PM (EDT)

As recently as a few months ago, you couldn't find many people who were confident that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat, would win reelection. But now, with Election Day approaching fast, a new poll shows him leading Republican challenger Chris Christie by 3 percentage points.

The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll has 39 percent of respondents saying they support Corzine, to 36 percent who said they're backing Christie. The man throwing a monkey wrench in Christie's campaign, independent Chris Daggett, is at 20 percent.

It's hardly time for Democrats to break out the champagne, though. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points, meaning Corzine's lead could just be a blip. Perhaps more important is that chunk of voters who say now they'd vote for Daggett. Independent candidates tend to poll better than they actually perform on Election Day; any loss in support for Daggett is likely to favor Christie.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2009 Elections Chris Christie Jon Corzine War Room