Hard to Call

I talked this morning with Clay Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, about the New Jersey Republican gubernatorial primary coming up next ...
by | May 7, 2009

Voters I talked this morning with Clay Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, about the New Jersey Republican gubernatorial primary coming up next month. Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie has the lead but former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan has the support of more ardent conservatives, which has everyone in the state wondering whose folks will show up.

Richards said this is a particularly tough question for pollsters.

"The Republican primary in any state, and in New Jersey in particular, is probably the most difficult poll that a pollster has to deal with," he said, "due to low turnout and who's going to turn out in a primary."

I asked him why GOP primaries are more challenging than Democratic ones. "The Democratic profile is more monolithic and they tend to look for the same thing," he said. "There's not the same dichotomy between moderates and conservatives.

"In the [Northeastern] states where we poll, Democrats are the dominant party and primary turnout is better." 

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