Wednesday, September 2, 2009

About Those Poll Numbers

From Chris Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien:
Yesterday's Quinnipiac Poll showing Chris Christie with a 10 point lead over Jon Corzine (47%-37%) and maintaining a lead in all 8 public surveys conducted in August makes clear that Jon Corzine’s negative attacks and attempts at character assassination have not been working.
It’s part of a trend that began with the August 25th released Rasmussen poll showing Chris leading Jon Corzine 47%-36%, the first poll to suggest that we’ve been able to weather the 11-1 spending, disadvantage this summer and that New Jersey voters are not buying into our opponents accelerated attacks.
While we have seen a slight drop in the Rasmussen poll from a 13 point lead to an 11 point lead, this should be expected as we will continue to see the numbers tighten as we head closer to the election. The primary reason for this is because Democrats, with whom Corzine has soft support, will likely “come home” to their candidate in large part due to the avalanche of Corzine’s ads and other spending attempting to brand Chris along exaggerated partisan lines.
Despite this assumption, there is no evidence that Corzine has the strong fundamental support needed to put together a winning coalition. The reasons for this include:

  • The current right direction/wrong track numbers for the state of New Jersey, which are always a referendum on the incumbent party, have reached Bush-like levels in his second term. On average, only 20% of all voters believe things are going in the right direction, while 65% believe things in the state are off on the wrong track. These numbers are similar to Eagleton polling numbers in 1993 during the Florio Administration.
  • Governor Corzine’s image ratings are worse than Jim Florio’s in the summer of 1993. According to the 1993 June/July Eagleton poll, Florio had a 37% favorable rating, with 39% being unfavorable. According to the Quinnipiac poll from early August (8/5-8/9), over half of those surveyed (54%) have an unfavorable impression of Jon Corzine, with just 37% viewing the governor favorably.
  • Not only has Chris beaten Corzine in virtually every public poll conducted this year, but Corzine has not even cracked the 40% mark in most of these polls – indicating a very vulnerable incumbent. In comparison, the Eagleton poll conducted in the summer of 1993 showed Jim Florio heading into Labor Day with a one-point lead over Christie Whitman. In 2009, Corzine has trailed Christie consistently in the last 30 public polls, with Christie heading into Labor Day with an average lead of 8 percentage points for the month of August. *

*Christie’s average 8-point lead over Jon Corzine is based on polls conducted by FDU, Quinnipiac, GQR, Rasmussen and Daily Kos/2000 throughout the month of August.

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