Poll Update (8/10)

Six new polls in the last week, and they each reaffirm the trend we started to see in our last report. The Democrats in each gubernatorial race face an uphill climb:

2009 New Jersey GovernorResearch 2000, DailyKos (D)8/5/2009404812
2009 New Jersey GovernorRasmussen Reports8/4/2009375013
2009 New Jersey GovernorMonmouth University, Gannett8/2/2009365014
2009 New Jersey GovernorGlobal Strategy Group (D)7/30/2009354223
2009 Virginia GovernorResearch 2000, DailyKos (D)8/5/200943516
2009 Virginia GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)8/3/2009375112

Virginia remains unchanged from a week ago due to the partisan affiliation of the two pollsters listed above, but our New Jersey model has since given Corzine (D) a 0% chance of reelection:

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

The inclusion of this week's polls seemed to clarify the direction of each gubernatorial race. Corzine has all but lost, and Deeds (D) trails by a significant but non-critical margin. All four candidates know where they currently stand, two hope to maintain the status quo and two hope to change it. Because of this dynamic, the strategy becomes more important than the candidate. Let's take a quick look at each candidate's campaign manager:

Maggie Moran, Corzine (D):

This will be Maggie Moran's first foray into campaign management at any level, although she does have fairly extensive experience within the politicking world. She was a senior advisor during Corzine's first successful run at governor as a well as the NJ State Director for US Senator Franken Lautenberg (D) for several years. She clearly has political know how, but is it enough to erase the current deficit? Probably not.

Bill Stepien, Christie (R):

Bill Stepien has managed several successful state level campaigns for Republican candidates in New Jersey. He also managed Bob Frank's (R) failed bid for the US Senate in 2000 against Corzine. He was also the National Field Director for John McCain's and Rudy Giuliani's 2008 Presidential bids. Stepien clearly has the experience and the lead this time around. I would expect the Christie campaign to soften the dialogue in an attempt to prevent something stupid. Although the McCain and Giuliani campaigns melted down, Stepien wasn't responsible for the campaign's message, this time around he is. Can he avoid doing something catastrophically stupid? Probably.

Joe Abbey, Deeds (D)

Joe Abbey is another Democratic rookie, but he has considerably more experience than Moran. Abbey was the Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Warner's (D) successful 2008 US Senate Election, a candidate who realistically didn't need a campaign manager. He has also ran a number of state level elections with varying degrees of success. If Abbey can run a successful issues based campaign and really promote voter turnout, Deeds should win. Whether this can actually be done remains the question.

Phil Cox, McDonnell (R)

There is relatively little information about Phil Cox, but a google search reveals possible connections with disgraced and now imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. These ties came up in the 2005 Virginia General Assembly Election in which Deeds lost to McDonnell by 350 votes; Cox was McDonnell's campaign manager in that race as well. Unless some new information emerges, this pseudo-scandal is unlikely to affect the Governor's race.

More in a week. I'm tentatively planning to look at the money race.

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