NJ-Governor: Does Chris Daggett Hurt Corzine or Christie?

I've speculated on whether independent Chris Daggett will take more votes from Democrat Jon Corzine or Republican Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor'...
by | September 16, 2009

I've speculated on whether independent Chris Daggett will take more votes from Democrat Jon Corzine or Republican Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor's race. Public Policy Polling offers something better than speculation, though. Data:

Let's start with the incumbent. Daggett's voters say they went for Corzine 55-37 over Doug Forrester in 2005 and that they voted 57-32 for Barack Obama last fall. 47% of them are Democrats and just 18% are Republicans. Based on all that you would think they're taking from Corzine.

But we also asked Daggett supporters who their second choice would be. And 48% of them said Christie to just 32% for Corzine, seeming to indicate that it's actually the Republican being hurt by the unusually strong independent.

The answer may be a little more nuanced than a simple conclusion that Daggett is hurting either Christie or Corzine. It looks like he's picking up disaffected progressives who can't quite bring themselves to vote for a Republican. So he's hurting Corzine because these voters should be his base but he's also hurting Christie because if he wasn't in the race those voters might be eager enough for change that they would cross over and vote for him.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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