Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Mark Blumenthal makes an observation about polling in the New Jersey governor's race between Democrat Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie:
While the vote for Christie varies widely across the different surveys, the vote for Corzine is much more consistent. In fact, all of the results fall within the range of 39%, plus or minus 5% (which happens to be the margin of sampling error typically reported for surveys of 500 interviews). Look at our chart below, altered (using the choices tool) to display only the Corzine percentages and trend line, and you can see the pattern plainly. Since July, the blue dots appear to be randomly scattered around the blue line. The trend is essentially flat.
To state the obvious, Corzine isn't likely to win with 39% of the vote. For Christie to only take 38%, independent Chris Daggett would have to take far more of the vote than he is right now.
Still, there is a path to victory for Corzine, without voters suddenly shifting dramatically in their assessment of his administration. Corzine can win if he takes 43%, Christie takes 42% and Daggett and other third-party candidates take 15%. The more bad press that Christie receives, the more that result appears plausible.
That said, the national employment report today illustrated Corzine's problem. Virtually every economist says that the economy is turning the corner. But, do to the job climate (a lagging indicator), regular people aren't yet feeling the recovery.
Six months or a year from now, incumbents will probably be in a better position to seek reelection. Corzine, though, only has two months.
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