Poll Update (10/5)

The latest round of Virginia polling accounts for September 18th's gubernatorial debate, while New Jersey's candidates hosted their first debate last Thursday:

2009 New Jersey GovernorMonmouth University, Gannett9/29/2009404317
2009 New Jersey GovernorQuinnipiac University9/28/2009394318
2009 Virginia GovernorRasmussen Reports9/29/200942517
2009 Virginia GovernorSurveyUSA9/29/200941554
2009 Virginia GovernorPublic Policy Polling (D)9/28/200943489

The current NJ projection will likely change when the public reaction from the first debate is factored into the polling; but for now Christie (R) still leads:

2009 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

I haven't watched the entire NJ debate, but a complete video is available [NJ Network] as well as a summary from the Washington Post. From what I have watched, the following exchange, as summarized by the Washington Post, reflects the dynamics of each candidate and the three main choices New Jerseyans will have come November 3rd:

If the race turned only on Corzine's record, he would probably lose. But Christie has vulnerabilities as well. He is a former U.S. attorney who made his reputation prosecuting politicians of both parties, and he has used those skills to prosecute the case against the incumbent. But he has yet to offer a credible plan to solve the budget woes.

The next governor will face a budget deficit estimated at $8 billion. Christie has pledged he will not raise taxes, but cannot say how he would balance the budget without new revenue. He has identified possible areas, to cut but they fall short of what is necessary to get the job done. Corzine and independent candidate Chris Daggett scoffed at Christie's remedies.

"Mr. Christie has no plan," Corzine said. "It's a fantasy." Daggett, who would cut some taxes but also significantly expand the state sales tax, chimed in: "It's easy to criticize when you have no plan of your own. . . . The tooth fairy is not going to come to solve this problem."

Source: Washington Post

The New Jersey election seems to have been reduced to the following question: Would you rather stay on the current path, or try something completely new and unquantifiable? In the 2008 presidential election, New Jerseyans choose the later, by electing Obama, but will they remain loyal to the incumbent Democrat?

This week we've seen a big change in Virginia polling. Last week the race was within two points, now there's a thirteen point spread:

2009 Virginia Gubernatorial Election

The National Review Online seems to attribute this sudden rise by McDonnell (R), and subsequent decline by Deeds (D) to a post-debate press conference. During the debate Deeds stated that he would "not raise taxes" to pay for his transportation plan, but afterward he appeared to flounder on the issue as evidenced in the following video:

Creigh Deeds simply needed to take a position on whether to raise taxes to pay for his transportation plan, and he imploded. I don't think either position would have necessarily hurt him politically, but choosing and then changing his position definitely wasn't a good idea. The next debate is October 12th, and he better be prepared to clarify his position, by simply choosing a position, or he will lose this election.

More in a week.

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