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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

68

That's the percentage of voters in a new Quinnipiac poll that agree with the sentiment that independent candidate Chris Daggett has "no chance" of winning the New Jersey governor's race next Tuesday.

What that number indicates is that for the vast majority of New Jerseyans, a vote for Daggett is a throw-away since, they believe, he cannot hope to beat the two major party nominees -- Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R).

That piece of data provides a glimmer of hope for Christie even as the Q poll shows him slipping five points behind Corzine -- 43 percent to 38 percent -- with less than a week to go before the Nov. 3 election.

Daggett, who stands at 13 percent in the Q poll, has risen in recent surveys as Christie has slipped and the decision by the Republican Governors Association to attack Daggett on television and radio in recent weeks speaks to the danger the committee feels he poses to Republican chances.

Even as they have begun to aggressively attack Daggett, however, Republican strategists have insisted that his candidacy will follow the arc of most third-party bids -- from obscurity to stardom and back.

Traditionally, as election day draws closer, voters who have been loosely supportive of a third party candidate tend to slough off as they resist the idea of wasting their vote on a candidate who can't win.

What's clear from the Quinnipiac poll is that most voters don't believe Daggett can win. Less clear is whether those same voters will jump off the Daggett bandwagon between now and next Tuesday and, if so, whether enough of them leave the independent to make a statistically significant difference.

If there is a retreat of Daggett support, the Quinnipiac poll suggests Christie will be the beneficiary. Asked to name their second choice candidate, 43 percent of Daggett backers opted for Christie while just 27 percent named Corzine. Those numbers compare favorably -- for Christie -- to a Q poll done two weeks ago that showed Daggett voters more closely divided with 40 percent choosing the Republican as their second choice and 33 percent going with the Democratic incumbent.

It's clear that Christie has lost ground over the past month (or so) in this contest. And, Democrats are rightfully confident that the numbers are moving in their direction. But, there is still enough uncertainty -- particularly in regards the Daggett vote -- that Christie also has reason to hope heading into election night.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 28, 2009; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

This is too bad. I thought at one point Daggett may actually have a chance to win. Had he won, he is a fiscal conservative & social liberal. It may have been a good fit for New Jersey. Corzine has had his shot and has proven he is not the answer. So, with this survey showing the "Daggett has no shot" syndrome, it's down to Corzine & Christie. I really think, though, if people really voted their values and not politics buy/sell voting, Daggett does have a shot. I also think this will not happen. Daggett will likely steal enough votes away from Christie to allow Corzine to win re-election. It's a travesty, but will likely run this way.

Posted by: reason5 | October 29, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The most important number is the number of broken promises by BO. For starters...

The administration will be open and transparent. No more secrecy. (“It’s the people’s business”)
No slipping in pork to bills when no one is looking.
Corporate tax breaks and pork information will be online.
Lobbyist meetings and information online.
Viewing period for legislation.

Posted by: leapin | October 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

A vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine. If you do not want 4 more years of a drone as our Governor please do not vote for Daggett…he cannot win and is only going to guarantee 4 more years of Corzine (and nothing but taxes with no results). Corzine has no option but to raise taxes on this bleak situation. The Corzine administration employs 30% of the residents of the state of NJ because there are no other private sector jobs. How else can he pay these salaries/benefits/pensions except by raising taxes on property owners. There is no business in the state anymore. The Pharmaceutical and Telecom Industries that once dominated the landscape of this great state have found other friendlier places to do business, particularly down south. Why would any large company or multi-international corporation want to set up shop in this state with our current tax structure, let alone our property taxes. When the only residents left in this state are low wage income earners, state workers and illegal aliens…how then will the state flip the tab for all of their out of control spending. It does not pay to reside or do business anymore in New Jersey. High paying jobs have been replaced with low paying government positions. New Jersey is a social welfare state that's the only reason Obama likes what he sees in NJ. He is trying to model the other 49 states after the tax and spend dynasty that the Democrats have built in this state with no results. Speaking of Unions how about Jon Corzine and Karla Katz why isn't the press trying to find out exactly what went on there?

Talk about being in bed with the Unions and special interests…please Jon Cozine will say and do anything to get re-elected.

Posted by: Fran11 | October 29, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

A vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine. If you do not want 4 more years of a drone as our Governor please do not vote for Daggett…he cannot win and is only going to guarantee 4 more years of Corzine (and nothing but taxes with no results). Corzine has no option but to raise taxes on this bleak situation. The Corzine administration employs 30% of the residents of the state of NJ because there are no other private sector jobs. How else can he pay these salaries/benefits/pensions except by raising taxes on property owners. There is no business in the state anymore. The Pharmaceutical and Telecom Industries that once dominated the landscape of this great state have found other friendlier places to do business, particularly down south. Why would any large company or multi-international corporation want to set up shop in this state with our current tax structure, let alone our property taxes. When the only residents left in this state are low wage income earners, state workers and illegal aliens…how then will the state flip the tab for all of their out of control spending. It does not pay to reside or do business anymore in New Jersey. High paying jobs have been replaced with low paying government positions. New Jersey is a social welfare state that's the only reason Obama likes what he sees in NJ. He is trying to model the other 49 states after the tax and spend dynasty that the Democrats have built in this state with no results. Speaking of Unions how about Jon Corzine and Karla Katz why isn't the press trying to find out exactly what went on there?

Talk about being in bed with the Unions and special interests…please Jon Cozine will say and do anything to get re-elected.

Posted by: Fran11 | October 29, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

A vote for Daggett is a vote for Corzine. If you do not want 4 more years of a drone as our Governor please do not vote for Daggett…he cannot win and is only going to guarantee 4 more years of Corzine (and nothing but taxes with no results). Corzine has no option but to raise taxes on this bleak situation. The Corzine administration employs 30% of the residents of the state of NJ because there are no other private sector jobs. How else can he pay these salaries/benefits/pensions except by raising taxes on property owners. There is no business in the state anymore. The Pharmaceutical and Telecom Industries that once dominated the landscape of this great state have found other friendlier places to do business, particularly down south. Why would any large company or multi-international corporation want to set up shop in this state with our current tax structure, let alone our property taxes. When the only residents left in this state are low wage income earners, state workers and illegal aliens…how then will the state flip the tab for all of their out of control spending. It does not pay to reside or do business anymore in New Jersey. High paying jobs have been replaced with low paying government positions. New Jersey is a social welfare state that's the only reason Obama likes what he sees in NJ. He is trying to model the other 49 states after the tax and spend dynasty that the Democrats have built in this state with no results. Speaking of Unions how about Jon Corzine and Karla Katz why isn't the press trying to find out exactly what went on there?

Talk about being in bed with the Unions and special interests…please Jon Cozine will say and do anything to get re-elected.

Posted by: Fran11 | October 29, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

If snowball expects to be taken seriously, then perhaps he should avail himself of resources on the web. Given his capability for copying and pasting from various right-leaning sites, this shouldn't be a problem. The AG seat was won by the current Republican nominee, el Bobbo McDongo. The Lt. Gov. is a Republican incumbent. If either race is won by a Republican, they won't flip.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 28, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

It was great, during the runup to the election last year, zook would find a poll like every day that would claim that McCain was leading Obama something in the area of 80-20. Seriously, every day he would come up with some poll only him and his mama could believe. He sincerely believes that his posting on here defines reality. Yeah, he's insanely pathetic, but also funny in that sense.

==

And he'd call us all delusional liberal idiots for believing the polls that were of course close to the truth.

Hasn't learned.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 28, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"As for the 11 state seats flipping, that is a yellowsnow wet dream.

Posted by: koolkat_1960"

It was great, during the runup to the election last year, zook would find a poll like every day that would claim that McCain was leading Obama something in the area of 80-20. Seriously, every day he would come up with some poll only him and his mama could believe. He sincerely believes that his posting on here defines reality. Yeah, he's insanely pathetic, but also funny in that sense.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 28, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

huh huh huh "libs" huh huh huh

idiot

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 28, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

why do libs have such a hard time distinguishing facts from opinion.

I will give you a good rule of thumb for future use:

If it is contrary to your cause - it is a fact.

If it makes liberlaism seem all rosy and romantic and effective - it is an opinion

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"you will note he ignored the fact that Lt gov and AG and 11 state seats are flipping over to R in VA."

Just to correct yellowsnow's misinformation, Lt Gov and AG are not "flipping," since they are already in Repuke hands. In fact, the same hack who is now the Lt Gov is running for another term. Of course, not 1 in 1000 Virginians could tell you what the Lt Gov does.

As for the 11 state seats flipping, that is a yellowsnow wet dream.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 28, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"I expect a few insults, some raving, but no real reply to the facts

like pavlovian dogs.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

yellowsnow, your incessant quest for attention is rivaling that of the late joked.

perhaps you'll follow his lead and just get lost. your dribblings have ruined this board.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 28, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

yellowsnow, your incessant quest for attention is rivaling that of the late joked.

perhaps you'll follow his lead and just get lost. your dribblings have ruined this board.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 28, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh the fourth stooge wants some attention.

I generally don;t try to hard to interact with the extreme bozos. hence I did not reply to Loud and dumb.

you will note he ignored the fact that Lt gov and AG and 11 state seats are flipping over to R in VA. No explanation from the stooge. But be assured it's not because of obama's bungling. It is someone elses's bungling. that's a lot of bungling.

It might be plausible coming from a thinking, intelligent person, but the originator draws suspicion on the whole conclusion.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

here's another article of interest about the campaign -

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/article.php?id=PXF2009102201

Posted by: jek4k | October 28, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Sorry, but I gave you the facts. Virginia is doing just fine. Deeds will lose because he has run a terrible campaign. No referendum on Obama. Referendum on Deeds and no one else. Sorry.

Posted by: koolkat_1960"

That's why we don't talk to zook on here. For him, a reply to the facts consists of saying "where are the three stooges to ruin the blog?"

Posted by: DDAWD | October 28, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

hoax or not they got one thing right:

tainted by corruption and being taken over by Socialists.


Liberals always try to attack the messenger when the message is not to their liking. Fox's ratings have gone up 10% since obimbo declared war. no one is falling for the fraud and empty promises of THE ONE anymore. Send the message next tuesday. throw the Libs out.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, BB.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 28, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

G&T,

That post is a copy and paste of the homepage of the website listed, the so-called Democratic Reform Party. Full of quotes from the founding fathers enumerating our Freedoms. So, either a right-wing trick, a libertarian front, or a simple web scam to get "donations."

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 28, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And for at least a quarter century I've found the "fiscally conservative an' socially liberal" distinction to be frankly contemptible since people who utter this little quip end up voting for repressive conservatives anyway.

====

A baseless comment. Unless you considered Clinton (either of them) a repressive conservative. Age >< wisdom.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 28, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

riddle me this:

how does a liberal count to 60

they don't.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Virginians have a long track record of voting in a governor of the other party, one year after the presidential elections. Warner and Kaine in the Bush years are just the most recent examples.

I assume that when NY-23 goes to a Democrat for the first time since the Civil War, it will be because they're "too stupid to save themselves," just like New Jersey?

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 28, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Nonetheless, this is only the beginning of our problems as Democrats, for the current Democratic Party leadership is tainted by corruption and being taken over by Socialists.

==

I call troll

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"I expect a few insults, some raving, but no real reply to the facts. Perhaps an enemies list could work for you."

Sorry, but I gave you the facts. Virginia is doing just fine. Deeds will lose because he has run a terrible campaign. No referendum on Obama. Referendum on Deeds and no one else. Sorry.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 28, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The Dem governors in VA have done so well they are getting right back into office based on their track record.

Oh wait. they're not. Perhaps its not them, then. could it be that VA has seen the damage done already by liberal leadership, in the form of the obamination from a year ago? After zero accomplishment and record debt, we prefer to take another route instead. that was the dance with death. We learned from our mistake. NJ did not. VA also has about 11 state seats heading from D to R this election. Explain? It is either dumb local libs or dumb national libs, take your pick.

I expect a few insults, some raving, but no real reply to the facts. Perhaps an enemies list could work for you.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As Democrats of the Democratic Party, we are joining together in seeking reform within the Democratic Party.

Many of our elected representatives within the Democratic Party are no longer following in the time-honored footsteps laid down by the founding fathers of our great Nation. More importantly, we as democrats see our elected representatives within the Democratic Party abandoning the values and principles as set forth within the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Nonetheless, this is only the beginning of our problems as Democrats, for the current Democratic Party leadership is tainted by corruption and being taken over by Socialists. These Socialists are clearly a threat to everything we hold sacred in America, and they are gaining evermore control over our Democratic Party, our Nation, and the American people.

Despite this, we as Democrats can restore control of the Democratic Party back to the party members. All we need to do is cut off donations to the local, state, and national headquarters of the Democratic Party, and to make sure the donations are made directly to patriotic and honorable Democratic Party candidates that are not corrupt and/or Socialist.

So please help spread the message to everyone of our fellow Democrats. Also, don't forget to contact and request the Unions and other outside contributors to follow our lead as patriotic Americans.

Thank you, and God Bless America.

Website: http://www.democraticreformparty.com

Posted by: EPearson1 | October 28, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Although Daggett may fade, there doesn't seem to be much help for Christie in those numbers.

First off, there's the Pox on Both Your Houses folks who will vote for Daggett knowing that he has no chance or may simple stay home. The polling of Daggett voters suggests that the latter group may be as much as a third of the Daggett support. Second, Christie only has an advantage over Corzine of about one-sixth of the Daggett vote. Even if Daggett's support fades to half of current polling, Christie only gets a 1% relative bump. Taken together, this suggests that a move of voters away from Daggett to Christie is much less than meets the eye.

There is, of course, the undecided 6% of the electorate. If that breaks against Corzine, good news for Christie. Given the relentlessly negative coverage, a depressed turnout is more likely.

I know it's a little early for predictions CC, but I'll throw one out.

Corzine - 46
Christie - 44
Daggett - 10

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 28, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

second stooge heard from. Welcome Loud and Dumb. right on cue.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"VA on the other hand is clearly smart enough to recover from its dance with death."

More excrement from yellowsnow. By "dance with death" yellowsnow means "a continuation of the Democratic policies that have had Virginia ranked among the best-managed states in the US for the past eight years under Democratic governors."

Glad I could help translate your gibberish, yellowsnow. We understand you have difficulty with the english language.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 28, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. Daggett is a center-right fiscal conservative and social liberal and not beholden - there was the hope that NJ might turn on the parties.

==

I'm curious where "fiscal conservative" wins any points in your book. In my experience, not quite as long as yours but not much shorter, this is just a shibboleth for irresponsible governance.

And for at least a quarter century I've found the "fiscally conservative an' socially liberal" distinction to be frankly contemptible since people who utter this little quip end up voting for repressive conservatives anyway.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 28, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

On health care, 42 percent say the reform plan Obama is pushing is a bad idea, 38 percent say it's a good idea and 16 percent have no opinion, with another 4 percent unsure. That's about the same as last month.

Forty-eight percent disapprove Obama's handling of the health care issue while 43 percent approve with 9 percent undecided, a ratio that has grown more negative since last month.


Look for another enemy to be announced.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

a majority of Americans - for the first time in the Obama presidency - says the U.S. is headed down the wrong track, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted Oct. 22-25.


Fifty-two percent say the country is on the wrong track compared to 36 percent who say it is headed in the right direction with 9 percent saying conditions are mixed and 3 percent undecided. While there have been pluralities saying the U.S. is on the wrong track in four of the previous five WSJ/NBC polls during Obama's presidency, this is the first time the number broke 50 percent. The one month where that was not true was April when 43 percent said things were on the right track and an equal number said they were going in the opposite direction.

President Obama's job approval rating stands at 51 percent, the same number it had been during the previous two months.

But the approval ratio for his handling of the economy has dipped from 51 in September to 47 percent in October. Forty-nine percent are very dissatisfied with the state of the economy and another 31 percent are somewhat dissatisfied. Seventeen percent are somewhat satisfied and only 2 percent are very satisfied.

the two percent are the rabid loons who inhabit this blog.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

68% of NJ voters say Daggett can't win. The poll doesn't break down who those 68% support, but I'm guessing approximately 0% of them support Daggett. In other words, this poll asks whether people who don't like Daggett think Daggett will win. What's the point of that?

Posted by: Blarg | October 28, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

How can this number be a surprize, though, CC? Anyone who is solid for Corzine, or solid for Christie to get Corzine out, is going to say Daggett has no chance.

Some of Daggett's supporters are waiting for their numbers to grow. If they don't, they may bail for their 2nd choice. Others will stick with him on principle.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 28, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If 68% of NJ voters think Daggett has no chance of winning, that also means that 32% of NJ voters do think he has a chance, however small. That seems to be a significant chunk of the electorate -- certainly enough to affect the outcome of the 3 person race. And Christie's margin among Daggett voters isn't enough to overcome a 5 point deficit, especially if only ~40% of Daggett voters change their minds on election day.

Posted by: mnteng | October 28, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If Daggett's support is slipping and Corzine is gaining, then it makes sense that the remaining Daggett supporters lean toward Christie--Corzine has already got some of them.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 28, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

there's one.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Long as he siphons enough votes from Christie to assure a Corzine win, fine with me.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 28, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

where are the three stooges to ruin the blog?

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

It will depend on how many Daggett voters are disaffected Republicans who want to send the Republican establishment a message they aren't happy with the candidates the establishment is running. They may be perfectly willing to throw the party establishment under the bus to get them to nominate more pure conservatives like Daggett and fewer pragmatic psueduo-conservatives (from a Conservative standpoint) like Christie.

It's a little like what's happening in NY-23.

Posted by: Gallenod | October 28, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

VA on the other hand is clearly smart enough to recover from its dance with death.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess you can just flush NJ at this point. If they are too stupid to dump the bozo that brung em, they deserve to have the highest taxes and the most corrupt government around. It is a perfect example of stunning incompetence in liberalism, complete with buying the office and lying to get elected. It is pretty much the same as Michigan, Illinois, massachussettsts and all the other liberal enclaves.

Posted by: snowbama | October 28, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. Daggett is a center-right fiscal conservative and social liberal and not beholden - there was the hope that NJ might turn on the parties.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 28, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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