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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

Can former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R) withstand the negative onslaught from New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D)? AP Photo by Mel Evans


That's the percent of voters who view former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (N.J.) in an unfavorable light as compared to 32 percent who regard him favorably, according to a new Democracy Corps poll released in the New Jersey governor's race today.

That Christie is now "upside down" (in the parlance of political professionals) suggests that Corzine's relentless slew of negative ads -- including this one that seems to make an issue of the Republican nominee's weight -- appear to be taking their toll.

(Cum grano salis moment: The survey was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic polling firm.)

The simple fact is that Corzine's inability to break the low 40s in any matchup against Christie means that the incumbent has only one path to victory: make the devil voters know more palatable than the one they don't.

Corzine and his team -- to their credit -- seem to recognize this fact and have ramped up their negative attacks against Christie on television of late as the race enters its final stage and voters begin to pay closer attention to the candidates.

While the obvious goal of Corzine's negative barrage is to disqualify Christie as a viable option as governor, there is also the possibility that the overall tone of the race leads voters to throw up their hands in disgust with both major parties and turn to the independent candidacy of Chris Daggett. (In the horse race question, Daggett received 11 percent -- a high number for an underfunded third party candidate -- while Christie took 41 percent and Corzine 40 percent.)

Given that Corzine's vote ceiling is probably 45 percent, he needs Daggett to pull a significant -- between eight and 15 percent -- portion of the vote to get re-elected.

Of course, for Corzine to sell the "devil you know" argument, he has to be regarded as a credible messenger by Garden State voters. And, even in the Democracy Corps poll, that credibility is very much in question.

Thirty-five percent of voters see him in a favorable light while 47 percent regard him unfavorably. Not good.

This race is rapidly developing into a race to the bottom. The uglier it gets, the better Corzine's chances are.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 24, 2009; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Posted by: ymg200 | September 26, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Corzine smashing his body in a police car going 90 and he not wearing a safety belt? I think the people of New Jersey do not want such an idiot continuing in office!

Posted by: murzek1 | September 25, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

The most important number? The increasing number of persons whith increasing disgust for today's NeoCom Statist Destructionist Party.

Posted by: leapin | September 25, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

How many liberal idiots can contribute nothing on a single blog?

Posted by: snowbama | September 24, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes reason5, let's put the partisanship aside and urge voters to do what's best for the state, and retrograde social policies cannot possibly be.

McDonnell's thesis wasn't an academic exercise of a young adult, it was written when McDonnell was 34 and more importantly he has tried to carry out those retrograde ideas in his legislation.

We have enough experience in enough states with enough social conservatives to know that they're not good for business. They will engage in frivolous attempts to turn back the clock and waste time on tangents like repressing gays and making abortion harder to get. The culture wars are old news, old politics, and the culture warriors have lost. Bob McDonnell wants to keep the wars going.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 24, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

reason5, please email me at

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 24, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse


Remember, this is Soprano-land we're talking about. These Jersey boys play ROUGH--and also, it's politics.

Whatever Corzine may say about Christie, if it's true, he's got to say it. And it seems to be working. Somewhat. As you so presciently pointed out, Daggett holds the key. This race it turning out to be a lot more fun than it appeared at first!

Cum Grano Salis, indeed! Brother Anton (my Latin Master) would be proud of you!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | September 24, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I have found Survey USA to be the most trusted polls that I know of. Just about every poll shows Christie & Corzine tightening. About every poll also shows Daggett gaining more & more support. Daggett is already siphoning votes away from Christie, and he may begin siphoning votes away from Corzine as well. Before it's end, this thing well could be a real 3 way contest. I hear that Daggett has hired some of Jesse Ventura's old political team. It's gonna be interesting.

In Virginia, there is no 3rd candidate. Just McDonnell vs. Deeds. I'm not sure how much an old college thesis will hurt McDonnell in the end. He should pull a page from the Obama playbook and say it's distracting Virginians from the real issues of jobs & the economy and resembles the same old tired politics of the past. Let's put the partisanship aside and concentrate on the real issues of today. Vote for Bob McDonnell. Sounds like a pretty good slogan to me. I think McDonnell is well ahead in this race.

By the way, I find the best polling for these races on Great source of political polls & favorability ratings.

Posted by: reason5 | September 24, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

And another new poll shows Deeds now within 4 points of McDonnell in Virginia.


McDonnell's American Taliban college thesis was a gift to Deeds all wrapped in a nice pink bow. The more Virginians hear of it, the fewer will vote for McD.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 24, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

And another new poll shows Deeds now within 4 points of McDonnell in Virginia.

Posted by: nodebris | September 24, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Gestapo Tactics to Cost Christie the Support of Moderates?


* Warrantless covert GPS/cellphone tracking of unjustly targeted citizens is the electronic backbone of a nationwide, extrajudicial vigilante Gestapo that makes a mockery of the rule of law. When will President Obama issue an executive order banning it?

As U.S. attorney, Chris Christie approved the covert tracking via cellphones of so-called "targeted" citizens" without first obtaining a court warrant, according to the New Jersey office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Covert GPS tracking, using cellphones and covertly implanted GPS beacons secreted in or on the vehicles of so-called "targets," is the telecommunications backbone of a Bush-Cheney- spawned extrajudicial targeting and punishment apparatus -- a nationwide Gestapo-like network that continues under a naive or misinformed Obama administration.

This extra-legal Gestapo is destroying lives and livelihoods of many thousands of unjustly targeted U.S. citizens by way of organized vigilante "community stalking;" covert assault with injury- and illness-inducing microwave and laser directed energy weapons; and an array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction."


Posted by: scrivener50 | September 24, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Naah, koolkat, Jake has managed to outbottom all of them. It really is hard to believe so much ugliness could be embodied in a single human being, there's enough sickness in that creep to do for a whole Klan rally. One would think he's hemmorhage from it.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 24, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

A race to the bottom? Sounds like The Fix given the recent appearances of allenridge and armpeg, not to mention snowbama's return to his rightful name of KOZ.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 24, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I and many of the other users at Blue Jersey believe that negative ads will not be enough and Corzine needs to push a positive vision of what he will do in the second term. Our biggest problem is Democrats who plan to stay home. The negative ads have had brought Christie up but haven't helped Corzine's numbers.

Posted by: Hopeful9 | September 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, a Most Important Number that doesn't claim things are looking up for the GOP.

Someone call Guinness'

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 24, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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