The latest results of the 2005/2006 Zogby tracking poll are out, with a mixed bag for New Jersey. While the recent Quinnipiac poll showed the gubernatorial race tightening, Zogby shows Corzine pulling away from Forrester from August to September. I wouldn’t call any single poll definitive, but this one sounds about right, with Corzine’s 9.6% lead sounding more realistic than the 20% lead from the Star-Ledger/Eagleton poll or the 4% lead from Quinnipiac.
But the 2006 Senate race generates some much more interesting numbers. As we all know, if Corzine becomes Governor, he’ll appoint someone to complete his term in the Senate. While there’s been speculation as to whom Corzine might pick, there’s really no clear front-runner.
Zogby only polled on State Senator Tom Kean Jr. as the Republican candidate and asked about a number of Democratic candidates, beyond the three listed in the 2006 results. Of the three potential Democrats listed, only one beats Kean in a hypothetical match-up. Acting Governor Codey beats Kean Jr. by 4 points, 44.6% to 40.6%. Kean Jr. beats both Rep. Bob Menendez 42.6% to 34.4% and Rep. Rob Andrews 44% to 36.4%.
Granted, these numbers are likely a function of name recognition. And whoever replaces Corzine will have one year in the Senate to gain something of an incumbency advantage. However, Codey’s solid performance in the poll does make a strong case for his appointment, even if the poll doesn’t mean much otherwise. While most analysts are looking at New Jersey’s Congressional delegation for Corzine’s replacement, Codey has indicated that he is interested in the seat.
A few days ago, over at BOPnews, Stirling Newberry floated another possible name for the appointment — Paul Krugman. His name was obviously not included in the Zogby poll, but I know there are quite a few Democrats who wouldn’t mind the pick. I’ve included a poll below to gauge your thoughts on whom Corzine should pick.