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Polls Point to Gov. Corzine

Three polls released yesterday show that New Jersey Sen. Jon Corzine (D) has opened a lead over businessman Doug Forrester (R) in the race to be the next governor of the Garden State.

Corzine's lead ranges from 12 points in a Quinnipiac survey to four points in a poll done by Fairleigh Dickinson University.  Averaging Corzine's lead in the three polls, he holds an edge of slightly more than seven points. Voters go to the polls next Tuesday in one of just two governor's races this year; Virginia is the other.

Corzine seems to have successfully distanced himself from former Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) and former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D), both of whom left office under a cloud of ethical problems. In the Quinnipiac poll, fifty-nine percent called corruption a "very serious" problem in the state, but by a margin of 39 percent to 36 percent thought Corzine would do a better job of dealing with it.

The polls also showed that voters had an extremely negative view about the direction of the state. Just 27 percent of those tested by Strategic Vision, a Republican polling firm, thought the state was moving in the "right direction."  The right direction number was a meager 22 percent in the Fairleigh Dickinson survey.

With numbers like those, Corzine and Forrester will spend the final days of the campaign casting themselves as political outsiders ready to bring honor and integrity back to Drumthwacket.

Should Corzine win, watch for a mad political scramble among the Democratic House delegation as they seek to win an appointment to the Senate. Here's a look at the potential contenders

Any thoughts on who might have the inside track? Post a comment below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 3, 2005; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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