The latest Monmouth/Gannett New Jersey poll is out, and the headline is “Christie Continues to Lead, But It Depends on Who Votes.”
To understand what they mean, let’s take a little day trip over to Virginia, where polls have shown the Democrat Creigh Deeds slowly gaining on the Republican Bob McDonnell. As TPM’s Eric Kleefeld says about PPP’s polls:
In the top-line, McDonnell still leads with 49% to Deeds’ 42%. However, this is a big shift from the 51%-37% McDonnell lead from a month ago. There has been a significant shift in the make-up of the likely voter pool: A month ago, respondents had voted for McCain by a 52%-41% margin, while the new pool is at McCain 49%-45%. This is still a long way from the actual result last fall, when Obama carried the state 53%-47%.
Are we really going to have this year’s elections decided by the people who went for Bush, and don’t have any regrets? PPP finds evidence Democrats are getting more excited even in South Carolina. So turnout is key. Let’s come back home, and see what Patrick Murray’s Monmouth/Gannett poll found:
Among likely voters, Christie now holds an 8 point advantage over Corzine – 47% to 39% – with 5% for independent Chris Daggett. While this is similar to the Republican’s lead in July, it is down from the 14 point advantage he held in August, when Christie led Corzine by 50% to 36%….
Another indication that this race is far from settled is how the race stands when the preferences of all registered voters are considered, including those both likely and unlikely to vote on November 3rd. Among all registered voters, the “horse race” narrows to basically a tie, 41% for Corzine and 40% for Christie. The Republican had a 4 point lead among registered voters in the August poll and a 6 point lead in July.
I don’t think we should jump for joy: There’s nothing good about an incumbent at 41% in the polls. But we should keep in mind that here in New Jersey, down in Virginia, and nationwide there’s pretty good swing waiting to be had, if we can just get our voters “fired up.” How to do it? Hard work by the staffers and volunteers, for sure, but that’s not enough. Let me know what you want to see.