New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine seems miraculously to have taken the lead in his reelection effort against former federal prosecutor Chris Christie, 40-37 (with independent candidate Christopher Daggett taking 14 percent) — despite the fact that 49 percent of voters disapprove of Corzine’s performance and 46 percent of them have an unfavorable opinion of Corzine himself. Christie was six points up at the time of his nomination in June. It has been speculated that voters have learned since then that Christie is as full of shit as Corzine (see Wayne Barrett on the candidate’s family mob ties), and that the emergence and big-media celebration (Times profile, Star-Ledger endorsement) of third-party candidate Christopher Daggett may have sufficiently split the anti-incumbent rage to save Corzine’s bacon. (Our favorite Daggett quote: “Wall Street guys are terrific people, but you can never ask them to manage anything.” Maybe he should run for Mayor of New York.)
Don’t make too much of it: The Times says that Jersey voters “often break late late for a candidate,” being mentally preoccupied most of the time with traffic reports, Bruce Springsteen, and making their houses uglier.