Today on the main site, Peter Ferrara urges Republicans not to run like Chris Christie, the GOP nominee for governor of New Jersey. Yesterday came the first poll (pdf) in recent memory showing Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine in the lead. Coincidence?
Whatever the weaknesess of Christie’s own approach, it is clear that Corzine’s strategy is taking a toll: Pound away at Christie with huge negative ad buys in attempt to drive his numbers down to Corzine’s level. And that’s roughly where the Farleigh Dickinson poll has Christie, trailing Corzine 43 percent to 44 percent.
The fundamentals here still favor Christie, I think. First of all, Corzine’s lead is within the margin of error. When you look at the questions besides the head-to-head matchup, the governor’s numbers are terrible. Corzine’s numbers remain stuck in the mid-to-low 40s even after the ad blitz, a terrible place for an incumbent to be. It shows the voters have made up their mind about him. Finally, unlike past races where New Jersey has teased Republicans by giving the GOP candidate competitive poll numbers and then a decisive defeat on election day (think Dick Zimmer), Corzine has actually trailed for most of this year.
Corzine could still pull it out if enough people vote for the independent candidates, splitting the anti-Corzine vote and letting the governor be re-elected with 40 to 45 percent. There has long been concern that Christie was too soft to beat the New Jersey Democrats’ hardball tactics. But I wouldn’t look at this one poll and conclude Jon Corzine is going to get four more years just yet.