SSP Daily Digest: 11/6

House: Congratulations to Rep. John Garamendi, who was sworn in yesterday, and Rep. Bill Owens, who was sworn in today. Garamendi and Owens are joining the Democratic caucus as quickly as possible so that they can be eligible to vote on healthcare reform this weekend. (D)

AR-Sen: Remember how yesterday NRSC chair John Cornyn caved to the party’s right flank, and said that he wouldn’t spend money in primaries or endorse in the future? Well, that lasted about a day: turns out that state Sen. Gilbert Baker, the GOP’s best shot in Arkansas, will be having a fundraiser in Washington DC on the 19th… at the NRSC. (The NRSC did announce that it still didn’t amount to endorsement, and that other Arkansas candidates were still welcome to have fundraisers at the NRSC. Uh, call me when there’s actually a fundraiser for head teabagger Tom Cox at the NRSC building.) More generally, CQ has a nice overview of the tightrope Cornyn is walking as he tries to make some inroads in swing states in 2010.

CA-Sen: Perhaps in an attempt to give some cover to Cornyn (whose hand-picked candidate, Carly Fiorina, is raising the ire of the Chuck DeVore-supporting right wing), eight GOP Senators all endorsed Fiorina yesterday: a couple from leadership (McConnell, Kyl), the moderate women (Snowe, Collins, and Murkowski), some chit-cashing from last year (McCain and Graham), and one from total right field (Coburn). Tom Coburn’s endorsement is especially surprising in view of fellow wackadoodle Jim DeMint’s endorsement of DeVore. DeMint, for his part, is still attacking John Cornyn’s recruitment efforts today, perfectly encapsulating the right-wing mentality while saying “He’s trying to find candidates who can win. I’m trying to find people who can help me change the Senate.”

FL-Sen: After Charlie Crist’s bizarre denials that he ever supported the Obama stimulus package, the White House left Crist out to dry yesterday, saying that, yes, in fact, he did support the stimulus.

KS-Sen: This may fall under the “endorsement you don’t want to tout too loudly” category, although with most of the big-name endorsements so far going to Rep. Jerry Moran in the Kansas Senate race, Rep. Todd Tiahrt will probaly take what he can get. Former AG and Senator John Ashcroft endorsed Tiahrt.

MT-Sen: Here’s what has the potential to be one of 2012’s hottest Senate races, already shaping up. Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state’s lone at-large Congressperson, met with the NRSC concerning a possible run at Jon Tester.

CA-Gov: With ex-Gov. Jerry Brown suddenly finding himself with the gubernatorial primary field to himself for now, a familiar face has popped up yet again. Dianne Feinstein, who all year has alternately expressed interest and dismissed rumors of her interest, is now back to saying that she still hasn’t ruled out a gubernatorial run. She’ll wait to see what proposals for fixing the badly-broken state the various candidates put out before deciding whether or not to get in herself.

IL-Gov: Somehow this got lost in all the shuffle surrounding Election Day, but it’s kind of important: after a short period of being the subject of speculation, Jim Ryan made it official that he’s running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Illinois. He probably becomes the frontrunner in the GOP field, by virtue of name rec: he was the state’s Attorney General from 1994-2002, and lost the 2002 governor’s race to Rod Blagojevich. The rest of the GOP field is a hodge-podge of state Senators and county-level officials, with state GOP chair Andy McKenna maybe the best known of the rest. Ryan’s biggest problem may be hoping people don’t confuse him with imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan or weird-sex-fan and 2004 Senate candidate Jack Ryan.

MN-Gov: Another gubernatorial entry that seemed to fly below the radar this week is also a big one: Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak filed to run for governor yesterday. The well-liked Rybak seems like one of the likeliest candidates to prevail in the very crowded Democratic field.

NJ-Gov: There are going to be a lot of coulda-shoulda-wouldas in the next few weeks in New Jersey, and here’s a big one already. State Senate leader (and former acting Governor) Richard Codey says that the White House contacted him repeatedly over the summer about taking over for Corzine on the ticket, and that Corzine and Codey even discussed it. Codey deferred to Corzine’s decision to stay in — although Corzine nearly decided to pack it in. Reportedly, internal polls over the summer showed Codey beating Chris Christie by double digits.

NY-Gov: David Paterson is going on the air with two different TV spots (including one where he admits to “lots of mistakes”), apparently trying to bring up his approvals before deciding whether or not to run again in 2010. Paterson is still looking to move forward on the contentious issue of gay marriage, though, planning to put it on the agenda for next week’s special session. It may not have the votes to clear the Senate, but it hasn’t really been put to the test yet. (The worry is that moderate Republicans in the Senate who might have been on board earlier may be leerier now, afraid of getting Scozzafavaed by the right.)

NY-23: A rare bit of history was made on Tuesday, in that a seat flipping to the president’s party in a House special election (as opposed to a tough retention, as in NY-20) is highly unusual. The most recent case was in VA-04 in 2001, when Republican Randy Forbes picked up a swing district left open by the death of Dem Norman Sisisky. (Subsequent gerrymandering turned the 4th into a safe GOP seat.) The previous instances before that were in 1989, 1988, and 1983.

TX-32: Pete Sessions Deathwatch, Vol. 3? One more article piles on the “loser” meme regarding Sessions’ series of NY-23 screwups — and it comes from his hometown paper in Dallas. Meanwhile at home, Sessions is now facing a primary challenge from the right, from financial analyst David Smith. Smith is upset about the Scozzafava thing, but mostly focusing on Sessions’ TARP vote. Still, a primary challenge from the right against one of the House’s most conservative members? Seems like that’d be like going after Tammy Baldwin from the left.

WI-02: Oh, wait. But that’s exactly what some guy is doing. And he’s not just a rube who fell off the biodiesel-fueled organic turnip truck while reaching for his bong: it’s an actual member of the Board of Supervisors of Dane County (where Madison is). David de Felice is upset that Baldwin hasn’t pushed harder for single-payer health care.

WI-08: Two different new entries in the Green Bay-based 8th. Physician and Air Force vet Marc Trager got into the Republican field to go against Democratic sophomore Rep. Steve Kagen, where businessman Reid Ribble seems to have the inside track based on fundraising and NRCC-touting so far. And yet another random right-winger is imagining his own head superimposed on Doug Hoffman’s body: former Niagara mayor Joe Stern will run as a grassroots conservative independent in 2010.

NY Comptroller: A piece on New York 1 speculates that NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, fresh off a much narrower-than-expected loss to Mayor Mike Bloomberg, could challenge New York State Comptroller Bill DiNapoli in the Democratic primary next year. DiNapoli, you may recall, was appointed to the seat after Alan Hevesi resigned. Thompson said he’s not currently looking at the race, but says that nothing is off the table. (D)

WA-Init: Referendum 71 was finally called by the press (for the side of equality). Although more votes remain to be counted in the currently 52-48 race, it would require a bizarre turnaround in King County (where it’s currently at 70% approval) to change the result. Meanwhile, Seattle‘s mayoral race is still up in the air; Mike McGinn leads by a 515-vote margin (out of 130,000 counted so far).

Census: As expected, the Vitter amendment requiring the Census to include a question on citizenship was blocked by Democrats. Conservatives don’t want undocumented immigrants to count for apportionment, and there’s an added incentive for David Vitter, as Louisiana might be able to salvage its 7th seat if such legislation were passed.

Primaries: MoveOn and DFA are allocating millions of dollars to potential primary challenges against any Democrats who join a Republican filibuster on health care. (The only one who’s on the fence about that and actually up in 2010 is Blanche Lincoln, and nobody of consequence has stepped up to primary her from the left yet, although Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has alluded to the idea.)

Polling: Mark Blumenthal has a good wrapup of how the various pollsters did on Tuesday. As others have pointed out, IVR polls outperformed live pollsters, at least in the two gubernatorial races (even though they still got weird results in the crosstabs, especially on race). Blumenthal also analyzes what went wrong in NY-23 polling. Also on the polling front, it looks like Nate Silver may have succeeded in scaring off Strategic Vision LLC. As he reports today, not only did they never get around to suing him, but they haven’t released any polls since the imbroglio began, despite that this week’s election would be the prime time to do so.

WATN?: Finally, we have sad news to report: the Mumpower has finally been contained. Republican Carl Mumpower, the out-of-the-box thinker who lost spectacularly to Rep. Heath Shuler in 2008, got bounced out of his position as Asheville City Councilor on Tuesday.

Election 2009 Results Recap

New York: In NY-23, we lost, apparently because the conservatives won, because in their brave new world winning no longer means earning more votes than the other candidates, but rather defeating the candidate that will vote with you most of the time in order to pave the way for the candidate who would theoretically vote with you all the time but has no chance of getting elected in your swing district. I quake in fear of next November, when conservatives will enjoy the mightiest of all glorious historic victories, with the crushing general election losses of Marco Rubio, Chuck DeVore, Rand Paul, Ovide Lamontagne, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Peter Schiff, Chuck Purgason, Ken Buck, and Patrick Hughes, thus purifying the soil for decades to come.

Uh, more specifically, in NY-23, Bill Owens (D) defeated Doug Hoffman (C) and Dede Scozzafava (R), 49-45-6, with about a 6,000 vote margin (out of 131,000) separating Owens and Hoffman.

Elsewhere in New York, two powerful incumbents got scares. New York City’s I/R mayor Michael Bloomberg beat Democratic comptroller William Thompson by a much narrower-than-expected margin: 51-46. And Democratic Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is barely leading Republican Ed Mangano, 48-48 (with a 237-vote margin, which may change as absentees are counted). Republicans picked up two open New York City council seats in Queens (including the one vacated by new comptroller John Liu), bringing the Democrats’ control of that body down to a perilous 46-5.

New Jersey: Republican former US Attorney Chris Christie defeated Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in the Republicans’ big score of the night, beating Corzine and independent Chris Daggett 49-44-6. The big story here may be the unexpected collapse in Daggett’s numbers (he had been polling near 20% several weeks ago); I’d guess that a swath of moderate but fervently anti-Corzine voters realized that they were planning to waste their votes on a spoiler (Daggett) and in the end held their noses and voted for Christie. The other big story: the robo-pollsters (PPP, SurveyUSA) not only getting the result right but coming close on the spread, while some of the more traditional pollsters saw a Corzine victory. Christie’s amply-cut jacket didn’t have much in the way of coattails, though: Republicans picked up a total of only one seat in the Assembly, with Domenick DiCicco poised to pick up an open seat in Gloucester County in Philly’s suburbs, leaving Dems in control of the chamber, 47-33.

Virginia: Here’s where the Democrats really stunk it up, although the handwriting on the wall could be clearly seen from months away. In the gubernatorial race, Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Creigh Deeds by a substantial margin, 59-41. Further down the ticket, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling was re-elected over Jody Wagner, 56-44, and Republican Ken Cuccinelli won the AG’s race over Steve Shannon, 58-42. Democrats also took some damage in the House of Delegates, although they seemed to stave off total wipeout: Republicans netted five seats, to move the total from 53 (and 2 GOP-caucusing indies)-45 (with 2 formerly Dem vacancies) to 58 (plus the 2 indies)-39 (with one Dem incumbent-held seat, the 21st, going to recount).

Maine: In what seemed to be the night’s biggest heartbreak for many in the netroots, Question 1, a vote to repeal gay marriage, passed by a 53-47 margin. Nevertheless, Mainers defeated an anti-tax initiative (Question 4, 40-60) and expanded medical marijuana access (Question 5, 59-41).

Washington: In the nation’s other corner, Referendum 71, a vote to approve legislation creating “marriage in all but name” expanded domestic partnerships, is passing 51-49. (Assuming it passes, this would be, by my reckoning, the first time gay rights have been expanded through statewide vote; since King County has reported disproportionately few of the state’s ballots, that margin is likely to grow.) Washington also rejected anti-tax I-1033, 44-56, and King County elected Dow Constantine as County Executive by a comfortable 57-43 over Susan Hutchison (in the first time this has been run as a nonpartisan race — unfortunately for Hutchison, somewhere in the last few weeks her Republican cover got blown). The Seattle mayor’s race will probably be the last race in the country to get resolved: with less than half reporting, anti-establishment progressive Mike McGinn leads establishment progressive Joe Mallahan 50-49.

California: In the night’s other House election, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Garamendi defeated Republican attorney David Harmer in CA-10, 53-43 (with the balance going to Green and Peace & Freedom candidates). That’s a bit underwhelming in a district where Barack Obama won 65-33, but in a low-turnout special, it’s not remarkable.

North Carolina: Charlotte got only its second African-American mayor and its first Democratic mayor in 22 years, as 38-year-old Anthony Foxx beat the polls en route to a 51-49 over Republican Andy Lassiter. Democrats also now have an 8-3 edge on the city council. College town Chapel Hill now has an openly gay mayor: Mark Kleinschmidt, who narrowly defeated conservative Matt Czajkowski, 49-47.

Ohio: Somehow I can’t see Cleveland becoming the next Las Vegas (maybe $pringfield, Ohio will), but Ohio voters just opted to legalize casino gambling in Issue 3, 53-47.

Pennsylvania: Republicans picked up a seat on the state Supreme Court; Jane Orie Melvin defeated Democrat Jack Panella 53-47. The GOP now controls the court 4-3, which has bad implications for state legislative redistricting next year.

Michigan: Another Dem screw-up that may bury the prospect of a pro-Democratic gerrymander in Michigan next year is a loss in the one hotly contested state Senate seat anywhere last night. In SD-19, Republican Mike Nofs won 61-34, picking up a seat formerly held by Democratic now-Rep. Mark Schauer. Republicans now control the Senate 22-16 (all seats are up in 2010, meaning Dems now need to flip four for control — of course, they’d also need to hold the gubernatorial race, which may not happen either). In Detroit, incumbent Dave Bing held on to win the mayor’s race, 58-42.

Georgia: We’re headed to a runoff in Atlanta, where city councilor Mary Norwood and state Senator Kasim Reed finished 1 and 2, with 46% and 36% respectively. Reed may be able to pull it out, though, if he consolidates African-American votes in the general (the 3rd place finisher, Lisa Borders with 14%, is also African-American). The most interesting legislative race seems to be the previously Dem-held HD-141, where it’s unclear whether Dem Darrell Black or GOPer Angela Gheesling-McCommon (each of whom got 23%, although Black has a 16-vote edge) will face off against independent Rusty Kidd (who got 44%) in the runoff.

Got any other races you want to share results from, or want to talk about? Let us know in the comments!

SSP Daily Digest: 11/3

Has anybody heard anything about there being an election of some sort today? I’ll look into it, but this is the first I’ve heard. In the meantime…

AR-Sen (pdf): Talk Business Quarterly had a strange poll earlier in the year where they had a huge disparity between Blanche Lincoln’s favorables (mediocre) and her re-elect (terrible), and now they’re back with another poll showing pretty much the same thing. Her favorable is 42/46, but she gets a 25/61 on the oddly worded question “Would you vote to re-elect Blanche Lincoln as your United States Senator no matter who ran against her?” Gov. Mike Beebe doesn’t have much to worry about, though; he may be the nation’s most popular politico these days, with a favorable of 71/15.

NC-Sen: Research 2000 did another poll on behalf of Change Congress, this time looking at North Carolina. They see the same pattern as PPP and most other pollsters: tepid re-elect numbers for Burr (21 re-elect/45 someone new, with 39/46 favorables), but a decent lead for Burr against SoS Elaine Marshall (42-35) and Rep. Bobby Etheridge (43-35).

NJ-Gov (pdf): One last poll straggled across the finish line yesterday afternoon, from Fairleigh Dickinson University. They give Jon Corzine a 43-41-8 edge over Chris Christie and Chris Daggett, but it’s a very large timeframe (Oct. 22 to Nov. 1). Unusually, this incorporates the smaller sample that was the basis for the standalone poll that FDU released over the weekend (which was in the field from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28) had a topline of 41-39-14 for Christie)… which is good news, I suppose, as it showed either movement to Corzine in the last few days or just that more Corzine voters were picking up their phones over the weekend, but a strange technique (why not release the Oct. 29-Nov. 1 data as a separate poll?). Because of the sample overlap, didn’t add this one to the pile, leaving their final regression line total at a remarkable 42.0-42.0.

Meanwhile, this being Jersey, both parties are engaged in some last-minute chicanery: the Democrats are reportedly robocalling Republicans to encourage them to vote for Daggett, while Republicans are seeing what we’re all seeing — a race that’s within a percentage or two, and one that’s possibly to be decided in the post-game of recounts and even litigation — and are getting a jump on the post-election framing by leveling allegations of ‘election fraud’ (without proof, or even specifics, of course).

TX-Gov, TX-Sen: The first Univ. of Texas/Texas Tribune poll of the GOP gubernatorial primary gives a bigger edge to incumbent Rick Perry than other pollsters have; he leads Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison 42-30, with a surprisingly large 7% going to Debra Medina from the party’s Paulist contingent. (Rasmussen has the most recent poll of the race, from September, and actually found KBH ahead, 40-38.) On the Democratic side, they find only chaos, with Kinky Friedman actually in the lead with 19, followed by Tom Schieffer at 10, Ronnie Earle at 5, and Hank Gilbert at 3. In the general, Perry is surprisingly vulnerable to Generic D (34-33, with 8 going to “Generic third party”), while Hutchison performs better (36-25, with 9 to third party) against Generic D. Against actual human Democrats, though, Perry seems safe (beating Friedman 38-23 and Schieffer 36-25).

They also look at the Senate race that may or may not ever happen and get more inconclusive results; polling all participants together in one pool, they find Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Democratic Houston mayor Bill White tied at 13 each, followed by Democrat John Sharp at 10 and a gaggle of other Republicans, none of whom break 3. Here’s the poll’s one heartening tidbit: Barack Obama actually has a better favorable (41/52) than either Perry (36/44) or Hutchison (39/27).

MD-04: Here’s one more potential challenge to Rep. Donna Edwards in the safely Democratic 4th. (Delegate Herman Taylor is already scoping out the primary.) Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey, a former senior staffer on the Hill, is now considering a run in the Dem primary too. The bulk of the district’s votes are in mostly-black Prince George’s County in the DC suburbs. It sounds like members of the local business community are looking for a more establishment challenge to the fiercely progressive Edwards.

NY-23: New York State, the last state in the nation to comply with the Help America Vote Act, is finally switching over to optical scan machines from its ancient (but awesome) lever machines. The 2009 election is just a “pilot” run, so the entire state hasn’t adopted the new machines yet, but most of the counties which make up the 23rd CD have. This means one of two things: results will come in more quickly than usual thanks to speedier and more reliable equipment… or results will come in more slowly that usual, thanks to the inevitable learning curve. (D)

Meanwhile, this seemed inevitable: overzealous electioneering by revved-up teabaggers. Police have been called to several locations in the North Country for violations of the 100-foot polling barrier by rabid Doug Hoffman fans.

SC-05: Republican State Sen. Mick Mulvaney today made official his race against veteran Democratic Rep. John Spratt. Mulvaney is one of Mark Sanford’s closest allies, so in the next year expect to see lots of the photo that’s at this link.

Mayors: One last mayoral poll out, in a close race between two different flavors of progressive. Joe Mallahan leads Mike McGinn 45-43 in the Seattle mayoral race, according to SurveyUSA. SurveyUSA also finds Democrat Dow Constantine surging into a comfortable lead over stealth Republican Susan Hutchison in the King County Executive race, 53-43. Previous SUSA polls had given a small edge to Hutchison, suggesting that a lot of voters weren’t paying much attention yet and hadn’t found out that she was a Republican.

Illinois Filings: Yesterday was the filing deadline in Illinois, and lots more names trickled in after yesterday’s digest. For starters, we actually did get a Dem on the ballot in IL-06 (and all the other GOP-held House districts), although it really seems to be Some Dude: the heretofore unknown Benjamin Lowe. In IL-07, more electeds eventually showed up, in addition to state Sen. Rickey Hendon. So too did alderwoman Sharon Dixon, alderman Bob Fioretti, and former state Rep. Annazette Collins. And I’m left wondering about the weird saga of Patrick Hughes, the great wingnut hope in the Senate race; after rumors of not having enough signatures, he withdrew around 10 am yesterday, but then filed again after 4 pm. Most likely that was a ploy to get the last line on the ballot (which was why Cheryle Jackson waited so long to file on the Democratic side) — but I’m preferring to envision a scenario where he had to hold a benefit show to scrape together those last few signatures, then rush back to Chicago along Lower Wacker Drive, trashing about 80 police cars while trying to get to the Cook County Assessor’s Office Board of Elections before it closed.

Teabaggers: Could it be that the legacy media are finally noticing that the rise of the teabaggers, as seen in their decapitation of the Republican establishment candidate in NY-23, could spell only deeper trouble for Republicans in 2010? Politico and Roll Call both take notice today, that this dynamic is poised to repeat itself in the crucial Senate race in Florida… and, for that matter, Connecticut, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado, and Illinois. In fact, the real question may be: where are the Senate races where there won’t be a hot establishment/movement Republican primary? (Weirdly, Pennsylvania may be that place, where running the teabagger that nobody loved may actually turn out to be an asset for the GOP.)

Babka: Hey! Do you want not just bragging rights among your fellow electoral junkies, but also a delicious chocolate babka? Don’t forget to submit your entries in the SSP elections prediction contest! Do it in the prediction thread, though, not in the digest, at least if you want it to count.

NJ-Gov: Poll Roundup

The polls have been coming hot and heavy in New Jersey, and this race is nothing but a pure tossup, with just as many polls giving a Corzine lead as a Christie lead. Last time we had anything to say about New Jersey, we were feeling a little cocky after Quinnipiac had given Jon Corzine a 5-point lead last Wednesday. Rather than go into extreme detail about every bump and dip in the roller coaster ride since then, let’s just recap everything that’s been released in the last half a week, from oldest to newest:

Pollster Dates Corzine (D) Christie (R) Daggett (I)
Democracy Corps10/27-2843 38 12
Research 200010/26-2841 42 14
SurveyUSA10/26-2843 43 11
FDU Public Mind10/22-2839 41 14
Stockton10/27-2940 39 14
Neighborhood (R)10/27-2935 42 8
Rasmussen10/2943 46 8
YouGov10/27-3043 41 8
Monmouth10/28-3042 43 8
PPP10/31-11/141 47 11
Quinnipiac10/27-11/140 42 12
SurveyUSA10/30-11/142 45 10
Monmouth10/31-11/143 41 8
Democracy Corps10/29-11/141 36 14

Rather than try to convince you there’s a pattern here, I’ll merely direct you to the regression lines, which, as of this minute, pegs the race at precisely 42.0% Corzine, 42.0% Christie, and 10.1% Daggett (with a notable downtick in Daggett’s trendline, as many recent polls have him falling back into the single-digits, and a somewhat less noticeable Christie uptick — his red line gets overlapped by Corzine’s blue line). There initially seemed to be a bit of a Corzine swoon over the weekend (as seen in the Corzine drops in Quinnipiac and SurveyUSA), but the Monmouth and Democracy Corps polls that just rolled in don’t seem to be bear that out. And SurveyUSA‘s writeup of their most recent poll points to what you may be thinking: there may be a weekend sample selection bias thing going on here, with last weekend being a particularly busy one for younger people, between Halloween and the state being torn apart, brother against brother, by the World Series (I’m sure you remember that Barack Obama’s polling numbers used to fall off over the weekend as we were racing to the end a year ago). Bottom line: this race is as tossuppy as a tossup has ever been tossed.

RaceTracker: NJ-Gov  

NJ-Gov: Will Corzine outperform the final polls?

The polling for Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in New Jersey is all all over the map. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a wide split.…

Governor Corzine and his campaign have done a terrific job in getting this far. Indeed, at the end of August it looked all over with Christie consistently hitting 50 percent. But even then there was always the nagging feeling that you never say never with regard to a Democrat in New Jersey.

The basis for this is the positive numbers for Republicans throughout this decade in the state – the 2004 Presidential race, the 2006 Senate race, the 2008 Senate and Presidential races. In each case of course the Democrat went on to win comfortably.

Further, and what I was particularly interested in here, there is the belief that the final polls will favor Republicans by at least a couple points. A hidden Democratic vote if you will. So, is this fact or merely wishful thinking?

Here are the final polls in each case mentioned earlier. I’ve included the 2005 gubernatorial race for obvious reasons.

2004 President

Result –

Kerry +6

Final Polls –

(Strategic Vision) TIE

(Quinnipiac) Kerry +5

(Star-Ledger) Kerry +4

(Survey USA) Kerry +12

(Rasmussen) Kerry +12

(FDU Public Mind) Kerry +7

2005 Governor

Result –

Corzine +10

Final Polls –

(WNBC/Marist) Corzine +5

(Rasmussen) Corzine +5

(Survey USA) Corzine +6

(Quinnipiac) Corzine +7

(Monmouth/Gannett) Corzine +9

(Star-Ledger/Rutgers) Corzine +6

(Fairleigh Dickinson) Corzine +2

(Strategic Vision) Corzine +6

(Stockton College-Zogby) Corzine +7  

(Record/Research 2000) Corzine +9

(New York Times) Corzine +9

2006 Senate

Result –

Menendez +9

Final Polls –

(OnPoint Polling and Research) Menendez +9

(Quinnipiac) Menendez +5

(Strategic Vision) Menendez +7

(USA Today/Gallup) Menendez +10

(Mason-Dixon/MSNBC-McClatchy) Menendez +7

(Monmouth University/Gannett) Menendez +3

(WNBC/Marist Poll) Menendez +8

(Rasmussen) Menendez +5

(Fairleigh Dickinson/PublicMind) Menendez +10

(Reuters/Zogby International) Menendez +12

(Rutgers/Eagleton) Menendez +4

(Zogby Interactive) Menendez +6

(CNN/Opinion Research Corporation) Menendez +7

(Research 2000) Menendez +6

(CBS News/New York Times) Menendez +1

(Bennett, Petts & Blumenthal) Menendez +9

(Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg) Menendez +4

2008 President

Result –

Obama +15

Final Polls –

(Rasmussen Reports) Obama +15

(Monmouth University/Gannett) Obama +21

(Survey USA) Obama +10

(Fairleigh Dickinson University) Obama +18

(The Record/Research 2000) Obama +16

(Strategic Vision) Obama +15

(Marist College) Obama +17

(Quinnipiac) Obama +23

2008 Senate

Result –

Lautenberg +13

Final Polls –

(Survey USA) Lautenberg +15

(Strategic Vision) Lautenberg +8

(Marist College) Lautenberg +7

(Quinnipiac University) Lautenberg +22

(Monmouth University) Lautenberg +16

(Rasmussen Reports) Lautenberg +14

(Fairleigh Dickinson University) Lautenberg +16

So from that I get the following:

1) The Democrat outperformed the polls only in 2005 and 2006.

2) The most accurate pollsters in the state are probably Quinnipiac and Monmouth.

NJ-Gov: Quinnipiac Bears Good News

Quinnipiac (10/20-26, likely voters, 10/7-12 in parentheses):

Jon Corzine (D): 43 (40)

Chris Christie (R): 38 (41)

Chris Daggett (I): 13 (14)

Don’t know: 5 (5)

(MoE: ±2.8%)

Yet another twist in the roller coaster ride that the New Jersey gubernatorial race has become as it races through the final stretch. Yesterday was a stomach-clenching drop as PPP and Rasmussen gave a small edge to Chris Christie, helped along by Chris Daggett losing momentum. But today Quinnipiac finds a 5-point Jon Corzine lead (even with Daggett pulling in the same 13 that PPP saw yesterday), the first time they’ve seen Corzine on top. 38% of Daggett supporters say they might change their mind, with 43% saying Christie is their 2nd choice and 27% saying it’s Corzine.

Corzine seems to have made a bit of improvement on his still-lousy favorables as well: he’s up to 41/52, while Christie has sunk to his lowest marks, 37/42. This points to a race that couldn’t be more of a tossup; if there’s any doubt,‘s regression line today (with the new Quinnipiac included — and, unfortunately, that Suffolk outlier too) averages it all out at a 41-39 Corzine lead.

RaceTracker: NJ-Gov

SSP Daily Digest: 10/27

CA-Sen: Everyone has been treating Carly Fiorina as already running for Senate, but she’s never officially announced anything. It looks like Nov. 6 is her launch date, though; she has a “very important announcement” scheduled at a Pleasanton event.

NV-Sen: With right-wing former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle’s entry into the GOP primary a few days ago, I hinted at the prospect of a bloody civil war erupting in Nevada — and here’s some more fuel for that fire. Movement conservatives in the Silver State are setting up a specifically anti-Sue Lowden PAC, dedicated to stopping the media-designated frontrunner. The Fair Nevada Elections PAC seems run by Paulists, who remain upset over Lowden’s actions in the 2008 caucus, when she was the state GOP party chair, which ended with voting being shut down when it looked like Ron Paul would wind up winning delegates. While there’s no explicit Paulist in the primary (unlike, say, Kentucky and Connecticut), Angle seems like the most kindred spirit for these types.

CA-Gov: Meg Whitman’s sputtering campaign got a boost when she nailed down the endorsement of popular GOP moderate Richard Riordan, the former Los Angeles mayor — which might keep her from losing votes to ex-Rep. Tom Campbell on her left. Her other opponent, state Treasurer Steve Poizner, also announced his own endorsement, from American Conservative Union head David Keene. Not that any Californian would have any idea who Keene is, but this seems like a more fruitful endorsement vein to mine, as all three candidates are on the party’s moderate side — good for the general, but bad for making it out of the primary dominated by California’s rabid base.

MA-Gov: There’s a new poll of the Massachusetts governor’s race showing embattled Dem incumbent Deval Patrick walloping his opponents — and it comes from Rasmussen, of all places. Despite only 36% of respondents thinking Patrick should run (49% say don’t run), Patrick leads GOPer Christy Mihos and independent Tim Cahill 34-23-23, and leads Charlie Baker and Cahill 34-24-23. This doesn’t jibe at all with their previous poll from August, which gave the GOP candidates leads over Patrick but didn’t account for Cahill’s presence, absorbing anti-Patrick votes — but it does pretty closely match Suffolk‘s September poll, so maybe Patrick is stabilizing a bit after some terrible numbers over the summer.

NJ-Gov: After a week of unadulterated good news, the two most recent polls from New Jersey show Jon Corzine taking a slight turn for the worse. And the reason seems to be clear — Chris Daggett is starting to lose votes, perhaps as a share of soft Daggett voters who dislike Corzine more than they dislike Chris Christie are realizing that they’re contributing to a spoiler effect and shifting to Christie, helped along by RGA ads attacking Daggett. PPP (pdf) finds Christie leading Corzine and Daggett 42-38-13. Rasmussen gives toplines (based on their re-allocation of Daggett leaners) of 46-43-7 for Christie, while their “initial preference” this time, interestingly, gives an even better result for Christie, at 42-38-14. (Discussion underway in DCCylone and JFM110‘s diaries.

OH-Gov (pdf): The Ohio Newspaper poll (conducted by University of Cincinnati) projects a close race in the Ohio gubernatorial race, as Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland leads GOP ex-Rep. John Kasich 49-46 among likely voters. Contrary to what one might expect, Kasich pulls closer among all registered voters, with a 48-47 Strickland lead.

VA-Gov: Three different polls in Virginia, all of which showing Creigh Deeds trailing by double digits. (Ooops, almost typed “triple digits.”) The Washington Post is the most encouraging with a mere 55-44 lead for Bob McDonnell; Deeds has a 56-43 lead in northern Virginia, which may help retain some of the tight House of Delegates seat there. PPP (pdf) sees the race as 55-40 for McD (with similar-sized leads for the GOP’s LG and AG candidates); SurveyUSA has the widest spread, at 58-41 for McD. Deeds’ fundraising seems to be dying down, also, as the establishment realizes this one is over; McDonnell outraised Deeds $4 million to $3.1 million in the first 3 weeks of October (with most of Deeds’ money coming from the Tim Kaine-led DNC).

FL-08: Alan Grayson saying something bombastic is getting to the point of not being newsworthy anymore (he called a Fed official a “K Street whore” on a radio show a month ago, although the pearls are just getting clutched today), but fellow camera-hogging Rep. Anthony Weiner gets some ups for saying what we’re all thinking: “Is this news to you that this guy’s one fry short of a Happy Meal?”

IL-07: Rep. Danny Davis, after a drawn-out period of vacillation, finally got off the fence, and filed to run for President of the Cook County Board (although he plans to also file for his 7th District seat too; he has until Nov. 9 to withdraw one of his petitions). Assuming that he continues to follow through, this creates an open seat in the dark-blue, African-American-majority 7th and a hotly contested Dem primary.

KY-St. Sen.: The special election is on, in Kentucky. GOP state Sen. Dan Kelly was appointed to a state circuit court judgeship yesterday, creating an open seat that Dems have a shot at picking up. The election is set for Dec. 8, the same day as a House special election to fill the seat of Dem Robin Webb (who was promoted to the state Senate in another recent special election).

Mayors: The Charlotte mayoral race will go down to the wire; PPP finds that Anthony Foxx and John Lassiter each poll at 45. Foxx leads among African-Americans 80-9, while Lassiter leads among whites 63-29 (Charlotte is 33% black).

Blue Dogs: Here’s an interesting fundraising tidbit: donations to the Blue Dog PAC fell to only $12,500 in September (from only three donations — from Ernst & Young, the Food Marketing Institute, and the NRA). They had averaged more than $176K per month in the first half of the year. Is this a blip, or a sign of things to come?

FEC: If you can’t get enough about campaign finance disclosures and regulations, we’ve got the blog for you. The FEC has its own blog now… if you can consider something that has no bomb-throwing invective or pictures of hilarious cats to be a blog.

New polls showing trouble for Corzine & a Christie comeback? (w/poll)……

Well, both PPP and Rasmussen have released brand new NJ-Gov polls, with identical results, both bad for Corzine.

The takeaway is that it appears the Christie/Republican attacks on Daggett are working, and strangely somehow are turning the model into one where Daggett hurts Corzine more than Christie.

PPP released its poll this morning and shows Christie up 42-38, with Daggett at 14.  PPP explains that Daggett voters now are saying Corzine, rather than Christie, is their 2nd choice, by a 44-32 margin.  That’s a reversal of before.  Strangely this doesn’t come from Daggett lcsing ground and Christie gaining; rather, Daggett is actually holding steady in his own support.  So the crosstab results could just be statistical noise, with subsamples having very high margins of error.

But Rasmussen suggests there is more than just noise going on.  Rasmussen continued its dishonesty in its latest NJ-Gov poll, but this time with a twist:  the real topline looks better for Christie than the published one.  The real topline with “initial preferences” shows the same result as PPP, at 42-38, with Daggett at 14.  Their published topline is Christie up 46-43, with Daggett at 7–actually a narrower Christie lead than the real topline.  Rasmussen cooks its numbers as a rule this year, but their close-to-election numbers boomerang back to the norm of other pollsters…they pretty much have no choice to maintain their reputation.

Two polls, two identical results, two both showing a flip in which side is bleeding to Daggett.

PPP explicitly suggests that Christie’s attacks on Daggett are doing the trick.  I didn’t think tying Daggett to Corzine would be effective, especially when the attack narrative started so late, barely a month out.

I hope these polls are wrong and it really remains a dead heat.  I’m aware of the Suffolk poll from a few days ago showing Corzine up by a big margin, but that poll was flawed and has “outlier” written all over it.

I really hope Corzine can pull this out, because we’ve reached the point where his defeat would look worse than it should have, given the latest expectations that his comeback was near-complete.

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

NJ-Gov: PPP & Rasmussen – Christie 42, Corzine 38

Two new polls out today paint a disturbingly similar picture of the state of the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

From PPP:

After his lead was reduced to a single point in a Public Policy Polling survey two weeks ago, Chris Christie has now widened his advantage to four.

Christie’s at 42% in the newest poll to 38% for Jon Corzine and 13% for Chris Daggett.

Earlier in the race it had appeared that Daggett was hurting Christie more, but now supporters of the independent candidate say by a 44-32 margin that their second choice would be Corzine. 43% of voters planning to support him are Democrats while only 9% are Republicans.


This comes only about an hour after the latest Rasmussen survey was released showing nearly identical topline numbers – that is, prior to the pollster’s re-allocation of Daggett votes:

The initial preferences were Christie 42%, Corzine 38%, and Daggett 14%. After Daggett-supporters and undecideds were pushed, it became Christie 46%, Corzine 43%, and Daggett 7%. Last week, Corzine had led by 37%-36%-16% on first preferences, and Christie was up by 41%-39%-11% after people were pushed. The margin of error is ±3%.


The Strange Case of New Jersey

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpr…

The New Jersey governor’s election is less than two weeks away, and it deserves far more attention than I have been giving it. Nevertheless, I will now belatedly share some thoughts that have been stewing in my head.

Here is a snapshot of the race as of 10/25:


There are several unmistakable trends here. The challenger Attorney Chris Christie gains a double-digit lead over the incumbent, for fairly obvious reasons. Then, mysteriously, he proceeds to lose it. Incumbent Governor Jon Corzine’s share of the vote mostly remains flat but – and this is important – trends slightly upward. While the two main candidates blast each other, third-party candidate Chris Daggett draws support at an accelerating rate.

Mr. Corzine’s positive trend should encourage Democrats; it indicates that he is actually building support, not just tearing down Mr. Christie. In addition, expect Mr. Daggett to overperform on election day as he reaches viability. Normally, third-party candidates perform below their polling; this election, however, with both major candidates highly unpopular, constitutes anything but a normal situation.

The strangest and most interesting part of the campaign, however, has been the story of Mr. Christie.

More below.

He challenged an unpopular incumbent, under hugely favorable macropolitical conditions, and by summer had attained a double-digit lead. Then Mr. Christie’s support began sliding, a trend that continues to this day. He went from polling barely below 50% to polling barely below 40%.

I am at a loss to explain why this has happened. The fundamentals behind the race haven’t changed; the economy remains weak and Mr. Corzine much disliked. Scandal has not upended Christie; if anything, it has hurt Corzine more. Obviously the governor has run the better campaign, but campaigns generally do not erase double-digit leads.

Indeed, this race runs counter to a fundamental theme of politics: if a challenger of an unpopular incumbent attains a substantial lead, it is almost always a futile effort eroding the advantage. The unpopular incumbent – whether it be Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, or Rick Santorum – will inevitably lose. In fact, I cannot name a single election in which a candidate with a double-digit edge, facing a disliked incumbent, has lost that edge barring major scandal.

Part of the answer may lay with Chris Christie himself. The man seems, plain and simple, a bad candidate. For some reason or other, the inhabitants of New Jersey just don’t like the guy. It’s the same problem that cursed John Edwards and Mitt Romney during the primaries. No matter how well-run their campaigns, no matter how good their ideas, people just wouldn’t vote for them. Christie perfectly fits this description – an irony, given that Republicans nominated him because he appeared a strong candidate.

The same, of course, could be said for Corzine; both nominees have tremendous weaknesses. That is why this race is so close less than two weeks before election day.