Poll Update (9/8)

Today, the day after labor day, symbolically marks the start of the general election campaigns for Governor in New Jersey and Virginia. The urgency of each campaign will intensify as the voting population more strenuously begins to weigh their options. In the last week, five new polls have entered into the public domain, each of which seems to confirm the previous weeks' trend:

2009 New Jersey GovernorQuinnipiac University8/30/2009374716
2009 New Jersey GovernorFairleigh Dickinson8/30/2009424711
2009 Virginia GovernorSurveyUSA9/3/200942544
2009 Virginia GovernorRasmussen Reports9/1/200942517
2009 Virginia GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)8/31/200942499

Corzine (D, NJ) seems to have gained a few points in the last week, likely owing to Christie's (R, NJ) US Attorney General debacle. The New York Times presented an article on August 18th, detailing Christie's involvement in an unreported loan to a US Attorney. The Philadelphia Inquirer succinctly stated Christie's involvement:

This week, after a report on NJN public television, Christie acknowledged that he had failed to properly disclose lending a subordinate in the U.S. Attorney's Office $46,000. He admitted not paying taxes on the interest he received, and said he would correct his tax returns and financial-disclosure filings.

Christie's replacement in the office, Ralph Marra, is under investigation, according to the Associated Press, to determine whether he made inappropriate public comments in support of Christie's campaign.

And this month, it was disclosed that Christie had spoken to Karl Rove, a top strategist under President George W. Bush, about a possible run for governor. Democrats immediately accused Christie of violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees, including U.S. attorneys, from engaging in political activities.

Source: Philidelphia Inquirer

Chrisitie's involvement in these incidents has now been know for over 20 days, but he still maintains a significant lead in the polls. New Jerseyans tend to shift toward the Democratic candidate as the election approaches, so this race may still tighten; but for the moment Christie appears to have dodged a crucial issue.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

On another New Jersey front, Independent candidate Chris Daggett released his first TV ad on Monday highlighting his ability to solve problems. When Daggett is included in the poll, the spread between Corzine and Christie is significantly less.

While the Republican in New Jersey recently faced scrutiny, the storm seems to have passed; Bob McDonnell's (R, VA) is likely just beginning. On August 31, The Washington Post rehashed McDonnell's 1989 thesis as a graduate student at Regent University:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.

Soucre: The Washington Post

McDonnell's thesis obviously takes a position against working women, which will likely hurt him among, well, working women. The ramifications of McDonnell's thesis have not yet been acknowledged in the form of a public poll. A poll detailing the aftermath of the Post's reporting has simply not been commissioned. Although the SurveyUSA poll was taken during Sept 1-3, I don't think the story had become widely understood during this time period.

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

McDonnell continues to hold a substantial lead, and his Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds will no doubt focus on the thesis. McDonnell has since released a TV ad in response to the thesis issue; the ad basically contains political unicorns and rainbows.

If McDonnell can get past his thesis, much like Chrisite overcame his unreported loan, the election is still easily within his grasp.

Obama will speak to Congress tomorrow at 8 PM ET on the subject of Health Care Reform; I would encourage everybody to watch his speech.

More in a week.

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