Poll Update (10/19)

A number of polls out of New Jersey, and a single from Virgina:

2009 New Jersey GovernorSurveyUSA10/14/2009394021
2009 New Jersey GovernorNew York Times10/14/2009403723
2009 New Jersey GovernorRasmussen Reports10/14/2009414514
2009 New Jersey GovernorQuinnipiac University10/12/2009404119
2009 New Jersey GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)10/12/2009394021
2009 Virginia GovernorRasmussen Reports10/12/200943507

Based upon the frequency of new surveys, most pollsters seem to have given up on the Virginia Gubernatorial election. Deeds (D) has led in just two polls since January, and currently trails by about seven points. Corzine, on the other hand, has done a much more effect job of closing his summer gap.

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Both states had debates in the last week, but they're unlikely to make or break November's voting. I'll start with the Virginia debate which took place last Monday evening. The debate appears to have been fairly boring, with little fanfare. Bloomberg provided a pretty good round up, from which I've excerpted below:

During the debate, McDonnell (R) sought to tie Deeds (D) to the push by the Obama administration to reduce emissions blamed for global warming through a limited number of permits that companies could trade and sell. McDonnell said the plan would raise utility costs by $1,700 per family, a claim that the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Factcheck.org has said is "not true."

Deeds said McDonnell "wants this campaign to be decided on issues he's going to lie about."

Source: Bloomberg

The issue of taxes seemed to have been largely ignored as was McDonnell's old graduate thesis. The focus of the debate was the state's economy; Deeds stated that Clinton and Obama better served the state's economy while McDonnell stated that the Bush's had done a better job. It's interesting that McDonnell explicitly stated that he support Bush era policies even though the state in which he is seeking has office voted against Bush's party for the first time in 44 years.

The New Jersey candidates participated in a recorded debate last Friday, which was later broadcast on Saturday. The New York Times published an excellent synopsis of the debate:

Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) chastised his two rivals (Christopher J. Christie, the Republican, and Christopher J. Daggett, the independent) for "trying to pretend that the recession is only in New Jersey," and warned that Mr. Christie would offer tax cuts to wealthy individuals and big businesses at the expense of middle-class families.

Mr. Daggett criticized the governor's policies on taxes and spending and ridiculed Mr. Christie for proposing a variety of tax cuts without explaining what budget cuts he would use to pay for them.


Mr. Christie, who focused most of his critique on Mr. Corzine, was not about to be upstaged by Mr. Daggett, who put in a strong performance in the first debate and has seen his poll numbers rise while Mr. Christie has seen his drop.

Source: NY Times

Corzine appears to be aptly positioned to take the lead heading into the final weeks as Dagget continues to poll strongly. It's neck and neck, but Christie is trending in the wrong direction. The New Jersey race strongly mirrors Minnesota's 2008 Senate contest based upon the trend lines and the emergence of a legitimate third party candidate.

There is tentatively one more Virginia debate, and the potential for two more New Jersey debates; the next of which will be on Thursday.

More in a week.

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