New Jersey's Governor's Race
Update: From the Cook Political Report
This one is getting closer. Jon Corzine spent $65 million getting elected to the Senate in 2000 and seems to be spending similar magnitudes now. In between, Corzine has contributed millions to New Jersey's county Democratic machines and has gotten in return support from the crucial party bosses (George Norcross in Camden County and John Lynch in Middlesex County). These were the men who helped to engineer the withdrawal of Robert Torricelli from the 2002 Senate race and the substitution of former and future Sen. Frank Lautenberg and the resignation of Gov. Jim McGreevey. They also helped to sweep aside Acting Gov. Richard Codey in favor of Corzine. New Jersey Democratic politics is not gentle.
Republican nominee Doug Forrester, who lost to Lautenberg in 2002, seems to be an unimpressive candidate. Corzine led him by wide margins in polls from the June primary until mid-September. In the four most recent polls, Corzine's lead has been between 4 percent and 7 percent, and he has run below 50 percent in all of them. New Jersey is a low-information state, so running below 50 percent is not necessarily a danger sign, and Corzine's money will be employed to produce turnout in the state's heavily Democratic central cities. But sometimes you can have too much money. In 2000, Corzine got bad publicity when his campaign bused in residents of Philadelphia homeless shelters and halfway houses to work on turnout efforts. He won, but by only 50 percent to 47 percent. And New Jersey is not quite as Democratic as it was then: George W. Bush was beaten 56 percent to 40 percent in 2000 but only 53 percent to 46 percent in 2004. Corzine surely remains the favorite. But an upset looks possible.
"NJ Governor’s Race Becomes a Toss Up: There has been no shortage of polling in the New Jersey gubernatorial contest between Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine and Republican businessman Doug Forrester. Throughout the summer, Corzine enjoyed a lead of between 10 and 18 points, depending on the poll. But, as voters have become more engaged in the race, Corzine’s lead has narrowed.