(This is a post for my good friend and college roommate Jim W)
After watching and reading the reports about last week's NJ Governor Debate it is pretty clear this race is really between the two Chris' - Christie and Daggett. Corzine's fate really rests with Daggett and Christie. I haven't received and didn't want to dig around for more detailed polling information, but it seems pretty clear to me that around 40% of the voters will vote for the hated, job killing, economic disaster Corzine. In stock buying terms, that's Corzine's support level.
Christie on the other hand, I have no idea what his support level is. That's not to be shrill, but I don't have inside polling data to know who are his definite or "1" voters. Also, for that matter, I don't know Corzine's but he consistently polls around 40%.
Daggett is interesting because he has qualified for state funds and I've seen him poll around 10%. However, like Lonegan from the primaries his website is horrible, I've seen little social networking, I've seen little search marketing, pretty much not much invested online. However, in the debates and in the press he is attracting attention and even garnering attention from some of my conservative friends.
The problem for Christie is Daggett. Usually in NJ you'd get the protest vote, but this time the protest looks reasonable to a large number of voters. If Daggett starts polling higher those numbers will come out of Christie. Check out this recent Google Trends chart to see how Daggett is starting to pick up interest. So that means:
- Corzine wins with around 40% of the vote (WORST CASE) because Daggett surges into the 20s
- Christie beats up Daggett and keeps him around 10% of the vote
- Daggett in a miracle finish beats up Christie enough that he gets more than 40% of the vote
To me, this is the wrong year for a protest vote. We can't afford 4 more years of Corzine. Sorry Daggett fans, but unless he starts polling around 30% he isn't viable. He needs more of a surge and while that is possible and he has some time, I don't think Daggett has the marketing or grassroots support to really make up the distance; too bad he didn't start sooner. BTW - if you really are a Chris Daggett fan - more power to you, but to the NJ voters into a protest vote against Christie and Corzine, now is NOT the year.
Want to read more, read this post from FiveThirtyEight.