Outside of the state of New Jersey (to be expected, given the countdown to Election Day in the Garden State), it is a pretty quiet day on the campaign trail.
NJ-Gov: Pair of New Polls Put Governor Corzine In Lead
Two new polls out of the Garden State show a continuation of a trend that has been building since late summer: Republican Chris Christie's rapid descent from the political stratosphere. Both polls show incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine moving into a narrow lead as he fights for re-election. A new poll from Rutgers/Eagleton (PDF File) puts Corzine in the lead at 39%, with Christie trailing at 36% and Independent candidate Chris Daggett with his best performance to date (20%). Later in the day, Democracy Corps confirmed the three-point edge for Corzine (42-39), but was not quite as bullish on Daggett's numbers (13%). A third poll came in late in the day from SUSA, and like all of SUSA's recent polls, it skews a bit to the right (only a 4% spread between Democrats and Republicans). The SUSA poll has Christie up 41-39 with 19% for Daggett.
Corzine got a big boost yesterday, when President Barack Obama came to the Garden State and fired up the faithful. In so doing, he showed he was not afraid to take some shots at his Republican opponents:
Now, listening to Jon's opponent, you'd think that New Jersey was the only state in America that's been swept up in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, which by the way did not start under Jon Corzine's party's watch. There seems to be some selective memory here about how we got into this fix. Listening to his opponent, you'd think
New Jersey was the only state in America that's been facing layoffs. You'd think New Jersey was the only state in America where hardworking men and women are worried about their family's futures. I don't need to tell you, you know the truth.
It's not just Teaneck that's been going through tough times. It's not New Jersey that's been going through tough times. Americans in every corner of this country have been going through tough times. And let's be honest: This crisis came about because of the same sorts of lax regulation and trickle-down economic theory that the other guy's party has been peddling for years. I'm telling you, these folks, they got a lot of nerve. They leave this big mess and suddenly they're complaining about how fast we're cleaning it up.
Corzine also campaigned with former President Clinton and Vice-President Biden earlier in the week.
ME-Gov: PPP Finds Pure Toss-Up in 2010 Gubernatorial Election
A few days after finding the critical same-sex marriage initiative vote as a dead heat, the team over at Public Policy Polling (PPP) find the same indecision on the question of who will serve as the state's next Governor. In a generic ballot test (used because it is an open-seat race with few well-known candidates), Democrats enjoy a four point edge over the GOP (30-26), with 18% open to the idea of a third party candidate (remember, of course, that Maine had an Independent governor, Angus King, from 1995-2003). When candidates were named, however, Republican Peter Mills tests the best, leading both leading Democratic candidates narrowly.
IL-Gov: Dems Lead Generic Governor Ballot In Curious Ras Poll
The idea that PPP would throw a generic gubernatorial ballot question into their poll was understandable--it is an open seat race, and none of the leading candidates are terribly well-known. For some reason, however, the team at Rasmussen Reports followed suit...in Illinois. Illinois, of course, has an incumbent governor: Democrat Pat Quinn, who took over for the disgraced Rod Blagojevich. In this generic ballot, Democrats had a modest lead (43-37). Curiously, Rasmussen also had very different job approval numbers for Quinn than a recent in-state poll by Southern Illinois University. SIU had Quinn in the mid-60s; Rasmussen, conversely, had the Democrat in the mid-40s.
FL-Gov/FL-Sen: Rasmussen Likes GOP In the Sunshine State
The new general election polling data from Rasmussen in the Sunshine State will do nothing to dispel the notion that their likely voter screen skews absurdly in the direction of the GOP. In the gubernatorial race, Rasmussen gives Republican Bill McCollum a double-digit edge (46-35) over Democrat Alex Sink, a margin that not even Republican polls on the race have been willing to claim. Meanwhile, on the Senate side, Rasmussen is claiming that right-wing insurgent candidate Marco Rubio is a better bet in the general election (with a 46-31 lead over Democrat Kendrick Meek) than is moderate GOP establishment candidate Charlie Crist (who leads by a smaller 46-34 margin). This stands in stark contrast to a poll taken earlier in the week by Quinnipiac, which had Crist up double digits against Meek, but actually had the lesser-known Rubio trailing Meek by three points.
THE RACE FOR 2012: Obama Leads GOP Challengers, According to PPP
In addition to new numbers in Maine and Virginia, PPP also conducted a national poll this week that looked ahead to potential trial heats for the 2012 Presidential Elections (PDF file). Barack Obama still maintains leads over all of his likely Republican rivals, with Mike Huckabee the most competitive challenger (47-43), and Tim Pawlenty performing the weakest (50-30). According to PPP, Obama has a 51% approval rating, virtually unchanged from September.
IN OTHER NEWS....
- Another pollster in NYC has incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg with a double-digit lead over Democratic challenger Bill Thompson (52-36). It could be about turnout, though--Thompson trails by just nine among registered voters (47-38).
- For those quick to blame Democratic woes in Virginia solely on Creigh Deeds, not so fast--PPP says Tim Kaine would be losing to McDonnell, as well, and by almost the same margin (51-43).
- Will we have exit polls in New Jersey in two weeks? It looks like it will be up to the courts to decide
- Worth a look--some very nice analysis of the pending state legislative elections in New Jersey and Virginia.