Fair. Balanced. American.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Jersey's ad

In case you didn't know, Chris Christie is really fat. More disturbingly, he's a Reagan-Bush-Bush Republican. Here's Gail Collins on the infamous ad:

Some commentators have come down hard on Corzine for the “weight” ad. However, it’s hard to blame his campaign for focusing on matters of girth. The state is a mess, his party members keep getting indicted and his personality is what we always like to politely term “abrasive.” All he’s really got is his ability to run a 10K. Corzine can’t even dwell on Christie’s terrible driving record given the fact that he spent the first part of his administration incapacitated because of an unfortunate decision to mix speeding with failure to buckle one’s seat belt.

Other people have argued that the ad will backfire and elicit sympathy for Christie among the multitudes of overweight voters even in the relatively fit state of New Jersey. (And God help the candidate who tries to pull this kind of thing in Mississippi.)


The big shocker this weekend is that the Star Ledger has endorsed not Corzine, not Christie but independent Chris Daggett. That's great news for Daggett, so-so news for Corzine, and really bad news for Christie, who can't win without a unified anti-incumbent vote.

Mark Blumenthal corroborates:

Consider this finding buried within the extensive cross-tabs provided by the Democracy Corps poll released on Thursday, that includes the subgroup of 89 respondents currently supporting Daggett. Not surprisingly, supporters of the independent rate both Corzine and Christie negatively. Using a "thermometer" rating that allows respondents to rate the degree of warmth or coolness the feel for each candidate, Daggett voters give Christie a overwhelming negative rating (8% warm, 59% cool) but are even more negative about Corzine (10% warm, 76% cool rating; see p. 44).

What should be worrisome for Democrats, however, is how these two ratings compare. Far more of Daggett's supporters rate Christie more favorably than Corzine (50%) than rate Corzine more favorably than Christie (24%; see p. 59). We know that support for independent and third party candidates often falls as election day approaches. That may be because some voters are strategic -- feeling reluctant to "waste a vote" when the contest between the top two candidates is close. It may be because the nature of three-way polling question makes support for the independent a sort of holding place for undecided (a polite way to say "I'm not sure" while selecting one of the offered choices).

But either way, Corzine's prospects depend on Daggett retaining his current support. Election Day is a little over three weeks away and for now Daggett's trajectory is up, not down, based partly on his debate performance a a week ago, so Daggett's trend line may not follow the traditional pattern. Democrats should hope so, because a collapse in Daggett's support would be a scary scenario for Corzine.

A side note: Daggett's running mate has an odd list of publications for a politician.

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