Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Rassmussen Poll Puts Christie Ahead

Rassmussen Reports issued a new poll showing that Republican Chris Christie has again taken a slight lead against incumbent Governor Jon Corzine. Independent candidate Chris Daggett has all but fallen off the radar.

The increase in support and the decline in support for Daggett is too much to be mere coincidence. It appears that those people who proffered support for Daggett are again returning to Christie. Daggett has run a series of humorous ads lampooning the sclerotic politics of both Democrats and Republicans using lookalikes as stand ins for Christie and Corzine.

The problem for Daggett is that he's offering a prescription that leads to higher taxes, not lower taxes. Daggett wants to greatly expand the sales and use tax as a lever to reducing property taxes. That's the same tact that Corzine took, when Corzine sold the state on raising the sales and use tax by one point to fund property tax rebates. When the tax revenues dropped, the rebates dried up as well and Corzine initially sought to can the rebates while keeping the sales tax hike but relented to a vastly reduced property tax rebate program. In the end, we're saddled with a higher sales tax, higher property taxes, and no end in sight to the relentless increases because state spending is out of control.

Christie has also started running a new ad linking Daggett to Corzine - more of the same tax and spend policies. That's geared to those independents who are on the fence. People are also realizing that voting for Daggett might mean a second term of Corzine, and they're not comfortable with that fact.

Rassmussen also points out that Corzine's unfavorables greatly outpace the favorables 57/41, while Christie is even 49/49. Corzine also gets a much greater negative rating - 40% have a very unfavorable view of the governor. Only 39% of those polled think that Corzine is doing a good job (in comparison to 53% who think President Obama is doing a good job). 59% think that Corzine is doing a bad job (compared to 46% who think that Obama is doing a bad job). It's little wonder that Corzine has had President Obama come to New Jersey three times to stump for him. Corzine needs all the help he can get from someone perceived as doing a better job than Corzine.

Despite all the negative sentiment, Corzine is still managing to be neck and neck with Christie. That's quite telling as to power of Corzine's ad campaign outspending Christie 3-1 and the fact that Christie's message isn't fully resonating.

People in New Jersey are angry over the state's fiscal situation, and yet they're not quite willing or able to pull the trigger on Christie.

I don't have access to the crosstabs, but the topline questions are here. With a margin of error of +/- 3%, it looks like more than 1,000 people were polled.

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