Poll Update (10/26)

Nine new polls as the elections loom a week away:

2009 New Jersey GovernorSuffolk University10/25/2009423325
2009 New Jersey GovernorSurveyUSA10/21/2009394120
2009 New Jersey GovernorDemocracy Corps (D)10/21/2009423919
2009 New Jersey GovernorRutgers University10/20/2009393625
2009 New Jersey GovernorRasmussen Reports10/19/2009394120
2009 Virginia GovernorWashington Post10/25/200944551
2009 Virginia GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)10/19/200940528
2009 Virginia GovernorSurveyUSA10/19/200940591
2009 Virginia GovernorChristopher Newport University, Virginian-Pilot10/13/2009314524

I know I mentioned this last week, but the New Jersey graph looks almost identical to the 2008 Minnesota Senate Election and the addition of a Daggett (I) trendline to the New Jersey Graph below solidifies my point:

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

Christie's (R) decline seems to be linearly associated with Daggett's surge while Corzine's (D) support has remained consistent. The most recent sample points do however illustrate a departure from this correlation; Dagget's and Christie's numbers have declined in the last week while Corzine's have increased. Christie's earlier support seems to have migrated to Daggett, and now that Corzine is back in the race, some Daggett voters are shifting to their second choice, Corzine.

In the next week I expect a minor Christie resurgence, and a solidification of Daggett's support around the 15% threshold. I expect both major party candidates to head into next Tuesday's election hovering around the 40% mark.

Virginia is another story, Deeds (D) has all but lost:

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Deeds was dominated in the money race, and had perception issues during the debates; the last of which occurred on Tuesday, October 20th:

Deeds and McDonnell were generally polite, although they interrupted each other several times in a series of feisty exchanges made possible by an open-ended format.

When the moderator asked Deeds which taxes he would support increasing, McDonnell tried to jump in: "I can answer that!"

"No, you can't!" Deeds responded, glaring at McDonnell before saying that he would consider raising any tax tied to transportation funding.

Still, the lively 60-minute debate appeared to do little to change the dynamics of a race in which Deeds trails McDonnell in public opinion polls, fundraising and advertising. The questions covered mostly familiar ground, and there seemed to be no game-changing moments.

Source: Washington Post

The last pre-election fundraising reports were due on Wednesday; the highlights are below:

                 Deeds (D)       McDonnell (R)
Receipts      $ 16,264,941.15   $ 21,466,447.67
Expenditures  $ 15,327,168.54   $ 19,633,513.91
Cash on Hand  $    937,772.61   $  1,832,933.76

Filing Period: 10/01/2009 - 10/21/2009

Source: Virginia State Board of Elections

Deeds was basically defeated in every aspect of the campaign, and his polling numbers reflect these various deficiencies. Our mathematical projection gives Deeds less than a 1% chance of victory, and from a purely logical standpoint, this seems realistic. Deeds has lost, unless something absurd happens.

New Jersey also conducted their final debate last week on Thursday, October 22nd:

The third and final debate in the tightening New Jersey governor's race turned into something of a free-for-all on Thursday night as Gov. Jon S. Corzine tried to portray the state's battered economy as poised for a slingshotlike recovery, while his Republican rival, Christopher J. Christie, depicted him as lamentably out of touch.

But the two were constantly harassed by a pesky Christopher J. Daggett, the independent candidate, who pointed to a new poll that showed him within striking distance, and who taunted Mr. Corzine and Mr. Christie over property taxes, corruption and the environment.

The hourlong debate, broadcast on the jazz station WBGO in Newark, broke little new ground, but allowed the three men to deliver their closing arguments.

Source: New York Times

The latest fundraising filings from New Jersey have not yet been posted, although the 11 day deadline has passed. Hopefully the data will be available next week. In the meantime you can read through last period's reports at the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Corzine bankrolled his own campaign, while Christie and Daggett relied upon matching public funds. As a result Corzine had the capability to out raise his opponents, which he has done up to this point and I see no reason why this trend when end with the release of the new data.

More in a week for our probably last polling update. I'll also, hopefully, have a few other surprises.

Published on October 26th at 10:20 PM CT :: 0 Comments

Poll Update (10/19)

A number of polls out of New Jersey, and a single from Virgina:

2009 New Jersey GovernorSurveyUSA10/14/2009394021
2009 New Jersey GovernorNew York Times10/14/2009403723
2009 New Jersey GovernorRasmussen Reports10/14/2009414514
2009 New Jersey GovernorQuinnipiac University10/12/2009404119
2009 New Jersey GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)10/12/2009394021
2009 Virginia GovernorRasmussen Reports10/12/200943507

Based upon the frequency of new surveys, most pollsters seem to have given up on the Virginia Gubernatorial election. Deeds (D) has led in just two polls since January, and currently trails by about seven points. Corzine, on the other hand, has done a much more effect job of closing his summer gap.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Both states had debates in the last week, but they're unlikely to make or break November's voting. I'll start with the Virginia debate which took place last Monday evening. The debate appears to have been fairly boring, with little fanfare. Bloomberg provided a pretty good round up, from which I've excerpted below:

During the debate, McDonnell (R) sought to tie Deeds (D) to the push by the Obama administration to reduce emissions blamed for global warming through a limited number of permits that companies could trade and sell. McDonnell said the plan would raise utility costs by $1,700 per family, a claim that the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Factcheck.org has said is "not true."

Deeds said McDonnell "wants this campaign to be decided on issues he's going to lie about."

Source: Bloomberg

The issue of taxes seemed to have been largely ignored as was McDonnell's old graduate thesis. The focus of the debate was the state's economy; Deeds stated that Clinton and Obama better served the state's economy while McDonnell stated that the Bush's had done a better job. It's interesting that McDonnell explicitly stated that he support Bush era policies even though the state in which he is seeking has office voted against Bush's party for the first time in 44 years.

The New Jersey candidates participated in a recorded debate last Friday, which was later broadcast on Saturday. The New York Times published an excellent synopsis of the debate:

Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) chastised his two rivals (Christopher J. Christie, the Republican, and Christopher J. Daggett, the independent) for "trying to pretend that the recession is only in New Jersey," and warned that Mr. Christie would offer tax cuts to wealthy individuals and big businesses at the expense of middle-class families.

Mr. Daggett criticized the governor's policies on taxes and spending and ridiculed Mr. Christie for proposing a variety of tax cuts without explaining what budget cuts he would use to pay for them.


Mr. Christie, who focused most of his critique on Mr. Corzine, was not about to be upstaged by Mr. Daggett, who put in a strong performance in the first debate and has seen his poll numbers rise while Mr. Christie has seen his drop.

Source: NY Times

Corzine appears to be aptly positioned to take the lead heading into the final weeks as Dagget continues to poll strongly. It's neck and neck, but Christie is trending in the wrong direction. The New Jersey race strongly mirrors Minnesota's 2008 Senate contest based upon the trend lines and the emergence of a legitimate third party candidate.

There is tentatively one more Virginia debate, and the potential for two more New Jersey debates; the next of which will be on Thursday.

More in a week.

Published on October 14th at 2:03 AM CT :: 0 Comments

Poll Update (10/12)

Numerous polls from this week, and a few last releases from last:

2009 New Jersey GovernorNeighborhood Research (R)10/8/2009353629
2009 New Jersey GovernorDemocracy Corps (D)10/7/2009413821
2009 New Jersey GovernorSurveyUSA10/7/2009404317
2009 New Jersey GovernorNJ Assoc of State Colleges & Univ.10/5/2009384319
2009 New Jersey GovernorRasmussen Reports10/5/200944479
2009 New Jersey GovernorFairleigh Dickinson10/5/2009383725
2009 New Jersey GovernorResearch 2000, DailyKos (D)9/30/2009424612
2009 Virginia GovernorRichmond Times, Mason Dixon10/8/2009404812
2009 Virginia GovernorWashington Post10/7/200944533
2009 Virginia GovernorSurveyUSA10/4/200943543

Nothing fundamentally changed; Corzine (D) still modestly trails while, Deeds (D) remains further behind:

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

I first want to talk about the upcoming debate in Virginia. The debate started at 8 PM ET today, and is sponsored by the League of Women Voters and AARP. If you live in the Virginia viewing area, the debate should be broadcast on the NBC affiliate.

This is a big stage for Deeds; he needs to directly address the issue of taxing as it relates to his transportation plan. He stumbled last debate and it appears to have hurt him in the polls. He must clarify his position if he still hopes to emerge victorious in just three short weeks.

Moving North up the Atlantic Coast, the Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey debated last Thursday. NJ.com has a brisk recap if you're interested. The discussion was apparently very heated and at times focused on Christie's (R) heavy set physique. I don't think this debate matters in any way shape or form. It's an off year election where most of the voting population probably hasn't tuned into the top of the ticket debates, to think that the Lieutenant Governor's debate affects public opinion is probably a step too far.

Then on Saturday, the New Jersey Star-Ledger endorsed their candidate:

The Star-Ledger today endorses independent candidate Chris Daggett and recommends his election as the next governor of New Jersey.

The newspaper's decision is less a rejection of Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie than a repudiation of the parties they represent, both of which have forfeited any claim to the trust and confidence of the people of New Jersey. They share responsibility for the state's current plight.

Source: Star-Ledger Editorial Board at NJ.com

This is excellent news for Corzine, perhaps better than had he himself been endorsed. Dagget (I) appears to be drawing a fair amount of support away from Christie, while Corzine's baseline has remained steady. Dagget's (I) support seems to have consolidated after his esteemed debate performance on the first of the month. The next NJ debate takes place this Friday, October 16th. The three leading candidates will again take the stage, but this time at William Patterson University. The debate will be broadcast on TV and online through the NJ Network (PBS).

I'll try and update the graphs to reflect Dagget's numbers but I'm not making any promises. More in a week.

Published on October 12nd at 6:37 PM CT :: 0 Comments

Poll Update (10/5)

The latest round of Virginia polling accounts for September 18th's gubernatorial debate, while New Jersey's candidates hosted their first debate last Thursday:

2009 New Jersey GovernorMonmouth University, Gannett9/29/2009404317
2009 New Jersey GovernorQuinnipiac University9/28/2009394318
2009 Virginia GovernorRasmussen Reports9/29/200942517
2009 Virginia GovernorSurveyUSA9/29/200941554
2009 Virginia GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)9/28/200943489

The current NJ projection will likely change when the public reaction from the first debate is factored into the polling; but for now Christie (R) still leads:

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

I haven't watched the entire NJ debate, but a complete video is available [NJ Network] as well as a summary from the Washington Post. From what I have watched, the following exchange, as summarized by the Washington Post, reflects the dynamics of each candidate and the three main choices New Jerseyans will have come November 3rd:

If the race turned only on Corzine's record, he would probably lose. But Christie has vulnerabilities as well. He is a former U.S. attorney who made his reputation prosecuting politicians of both parties, and he has used those skills to prosecute the case against the incumbent. But he has yet to offer a credible plan to solve the budget woes.

The next governor will face a budget deficit estimated at $8 billion. Christie has pledged he will not raise taxes, but cannot say how he would balance the budget without new revenue. He has identified possible areas, to cut but they fall short of what is necessary to get the job done. Corzine and independent candidate Chris Daggett scoffed at Christie's remedies.

"Mr. Christie has no plan," Corzine said. "It's a fantasy." Daggett, who would cut some taxes but also significantly expand the state sales tax, chimed in: "It's easy to criticize when you have no plan of your own. . . . The tooth fairy is not going to come to solve this problem."

Source: Washington Post

The New Jersey election seems to have been reduced to the following question: Would you rather stay on the current path, or try something completely new and unquantifiable? In the 2008 presidential election, New Jerseyans choose the later, by electing Obama, but will they remain loyal to the incumbent Democrat?

This week we've seen a big change in Virginia polling. Last week the race was within two points, now there's a thirteen point spread:

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

The National Review Online seems to attribute this sudden rise by McDonnell (R), and subsequent decline by Deeds (D) to a post-debate press conference. During the debate Deeds stated that he would "not raise taxes" to pay for his transportation plan, but afterward he appeared to flounder on the issue as evidenced in the following video:

Creigh Deeds simply needed to take a position on whether to raise taxes to pay for his transportation plan, and he imploded. I don't think either position would have necessarily hurt him politically, but choosing and then changing his position definitely wasn't a good idea. The next debate is October 12th, and he better be prepared to clarify his position, by simply choosing a position, or he will lose this election.

More in a week.

Published on October 5th at 11:36 PM CT :: 0 Comments

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