A new poll of “likely voters” shows Jon Corzine maintaining his 3-point lead over Chris Christie for the governorship of New Jersey. Whereas the previous poll gave Corzine a 40-37 edge on Christie, in today’s Rutgers-Eagleton tally each of them lost a point, presumably to third-party challenger Chris Daggett, who jumped from 14 percent to 20. Five percent of respondents were undecided.
Corzine’s leading though 69 percent of respondents that New Jersey is “going in the wrong direction,” 41 percent say that as Governor Corzine is doing a poor job, 52 percent give him an unfavorable rating, and 88 percent say they’re following the election either very or fairly closely…
There are a couple of reasons for this. Corzine, in a reversal of political form, was rich before he attained high office, is spending like crazy out of his own money in this election. And Dave Weigel points out that Christie’s unfavorable ratings, while not as high as Corzine’s, are trending up, which “indicates that the long, negative campaign has tarnished Christie” in race where there’s more than one alternative candidate, and one of them is not getting beat up on a daily basis.
And despite his presumed involvement in getting those high-profile Jersey government corruption indictments this summer, Christie has failed to generate serious interest among conservatives. While the cowboys of RedState are with Christie, though barely (“I understand that a lot of people have problems with the fact that Christie used to be pro-choice, and has only recently converted to a pro-life stance…”), Axis of Right claims, “Christie is likely to blow this election because he’s not conservative enough to offer a distinct alternative to Corzine in the minds of undecided voters.” Christie has enlisted Democratic and environmentalist support, which can’t be helping him on the right. And some find him shorting the voters on rhetorical red meat: The Wall Street Journal sniffs, “If Mr. Christie has some better ideas for reducing the tax burden in the Garden State, he might share the details with voters.”
Maybe conservatives should get behind Daggett, so if Corzine wins they can claim victory.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2009