NJ-Gov: Two More Terrible Polls for Corzine

Quinnipiac (4/14/-20, registered voters, March 2009 in parens):

Jon Corzine (D-inc): 38 (37)

Chris Christie (R): 45 (46)

Undecided: 14 (15)

(MoE: 2.1%)

Strategic Vision (R) (4/17-19, registered voters, no trendlines):

Jon Corzine (D-inc): 36

Chris Christie (R): 47

Undecided: 16

(MoE: 3%)

Both pollsters also test Corzine against a variety of lesser GOP candidates, and the numbers are pretty dispiriting – mostly a series of small leads for Corzine, but that’s due to name rec.

It’s the GOP primary where things get funkadelic. Strategic Vision gives Christie a 40-15 lead over his nearest competitor, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. But Q-pac has Christie up 39-24 among RVs and just 46-37 among LVs. I suppose we’d rather face the more conservative Lonegan, but does he have time to pull it out? The primary is on June 2nd. I’m not even sure how big a difference it would make – Q has them tied at 41, even though Lonegan is unknown by 72% of the state.

One interesting side-note: The same Q-Poll (different press release) finds that New Jersey voters approve of gay marriage by a 49-43 margin, a twelve-point shift in favor from two years ago. These numbers aren’t quite like the 14-point margin in favor in neighboring New York, but perhaps Corzine will start pushing this issue nonetheless.

NJ has civil unions, but a state panel found in December that they don’t provide full equality and recommended passage of a gay marriage bill. Corzine said he’d sign such legislation, but he hasn’t made it a signature issue like David Paterson has – yet. Even though only a small plurality supports gay marriage, it might nonetheless make political sense to push it. If Corzine does win, it’ll almost certainly be by a very narrow margin, and Karl Rove showed you can win elections like that by playing hard to issues which sharply divide the electorate, as long as slightly more voters are on your side.

New Jersey is intimately familiar with bitter, partisan races, and if Corzine wants to survive, he might have to wage some serious trench warfare.

29 thoughts on “NJ-Gov: Two More Terrible Polls for Corzine”

  1. At least in the Blue States.  People often portray “value voters” as a strictly conservative phenomena, but up here in Massachusetts I know plenty of people who are conservative economically, but vote Dem on social issues.

  2. He’s never been a stellar governor and this mess he’s gotten himself into is much his own doing.  When your state is struggling to get its budget together and your governor gets in a car crash because he decided that mediating between Don Imus and the girls’ basketball team he pissed off demanded his time and personal touch, then you have a really crappy governor.  So if the dipshit goes down, let’s not shed too many tears for him.

  3. Another 50 million dollar campaign won’t do him any good this time. Please, no more gimmicks. Just run the state in a way that most of the people will find acceptable. However his approval rating should be higher just because he never appointed his gay lover to an important government job, and he never lied to rescue workers about the air quality at Ground Zero.

  4. Corzine needs the economy to recover fast in New Jersey and nationally.  If that happens, only then do a good campaign combined with the state’s Democratic reflex carry the day.  Corzine needs people simply to be not-made-anymore.

    I know we always like to say NJ is a big tease for the Rethugs, but you know it’s always the case once one settles into a notion of permanent anything in politics, something happens to throw a monkey wrench into the CW.  This time is different, Christie is a real threat, and NJ voters will give him a chance if he doesn’t screw up his own campaign or unless Corzine gets help from forces out of his control.

    To put it all another way:  if the party labels and political leanings of the state were reversed, we’d all giddily say Corzine is toast without a Christie implosion.

  5. And the Dem generally pulls it out.

    Even when a Florio-scale epic meltdown occurs and the GOP borrows an office for a spell, their winning margin is narrow.

    Jersey is just a tough nut for the GOP to crack… however poorly NJ Dems govern… however blatant their indiscretions… Their worst case sscenario is a squeaker.

    Heck, considering Corzine is not down 20 points, I am encouraged.

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