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Monday, November 02, 2009

NewJersey: Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine

Despite or perhaps because of Barack Obama's personal attention in trying to bolster support for Democratic candidate Jon Corzine, Republican candidate Chris Christie has taken a small lead in polling for the New Jersey Governor's race.

Quinnipiac University Poll:

In the see-saw New Jersey Governor's race, Republican challenger Christopher Christie has 42 percent to Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine's 40 points, with 12 percent for independent candidate Christopher Daggett, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Six percent remain undecided.

Public Policy Polling has Christie ahead with a 6 point lead:

Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 47-41 in PPP's final poll of the New Jersey Governor's race, with Chris Daggett at 11%.

Corzine had pulled to within a point of Christie on our poll three weeks ago after trailing by as many as 14 points over the summer, but his momentum has stalled since then and Christie's built his lead back up to 4 points last week and now 6.

With New York's 23rd district race now heating up with Doug Hoffman polling with a double digit lead and Republican candidate Bob McDonnell now leading his Democratic rival Creigh Deeds, by 13 points, a loss in New Jersey would be a trifecta for Republicans and bubble buster for Democrats.

ABC's headline says it all with "Obama Rallies for Gov. Corzine in N.J.; Dems Hope Win There Will Offset Expected Virginia Loss," and the sub header "Dems Hope a Win in New Jersey Will Bolster the President and Party."

Obama's visit Sunday was his third trip to New Jersey for Corzine since July, and the second in 11 days. All of his appearances have been to solidly Democratic communities, an effort to rev up turnout for the incumbent.

Team Corzine also has plastered the state with billboards and stuffed mailboxes with literature, all showing Corzine and Obama together, with the slogan "Yes We Can 2.0." During an Obama visit in July, signs were distributed touting "Obama & Corzine," as if they were running mates.

Risky move by Obama, for if Corzine loses after all the special attention Obama is throwing his way, it would be a severe blow to Obama's image and an indicator that his influence has dwindled considerably.

[Update] Another poll mentioned by Bloomberg also shows Christie ahead, by 1 percentage point.

A Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey poll shows 43 percent of likely voters support Christie and 42 percent back the Democrat Corzine, as support for independent Chris Daggett plummeted over the past two weeks.