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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Counting Chickens

Political junkies naturally like to project current trends in public opinion as far into the future as they can, joined by hacks and spinmeisters when the trends seem positive for their cause. So it’s no surprise that Republicans are already debating how big a win they’ll have in 2010. And more than ten weeks before the off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia, you’d think the GOP had already banked victories in both states.
If only to confound those who think every political sparrow that falls to the ground is about national politics, it’s interesting ro report that a new poll from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps shows often-left-for-dead Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey beginning to significantly close the gap with Republican nominee Chris Christie. As voters get closer to an actual decision between candidates instead of a resolution on how they feel about life under the Corzine administration, Christie’s lead has dropped to five percentage points in a three-way race involving independent candidate Chris Daggett, and six points in a two-way race. Christie’s negatives are definitely moving up, which also augers a tightening race.
I’m not predicting that Corzine will win, but it is important to remember that late, counter-intuitive trends in political campaigns happen all the time, and those who count their electoral chickens before they hatch may be eating crow on when voters weigh in.

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