How Did Corzine Close the Gap in New Jersey?

Once assumed to lose, New Jersey's Democratic Governor has tied polls for Tuesday's election

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Against all odds, the beleaguered incumbent governor of New Jersey has tightened the race for reelection. Democrat Jon Corzine will face Republican challenger Chris Christie on Tuesday in what is becoming an increasingly close election but once looked like a shoe-in for Christie. Some credit third-party candidate Chris Daggett with the shift, some point to President Obama's rally with the governor. How did Corzine close the gap and will it be enough?

  • Obama's Support  George Stephanopoulos is skeptical about a Corzine win, but if it happens President Obama could be the cause. "The crowds were fired up. So was the president. But is that enough? NJ is notoriously tough to read.  And support for third-party candidate Chris Daggett -- the x-factor in this race -- makes it even more complicated this year," he writes. "And if Corzine does pull it out, it will be Obama's best sacrifice of a day-off this year."
  • '$20 Million On Ads'  At conservative blog Hot Air, Karl insists ad money did the trick. "The establishment media may try to paint Jon Corzine’s comeback as the result of 'hitching himself to Obama,' but anyone who has followed the race knows that the only hitching involved was hiring Joel Benenson from Camp Obama to spend about $20 million on ads viciously and personally attacking Chris Christie."
  • Third-Party Spoiler Losing Support  Independent candidate Chris Daggett was assumed to spoil votes from Christie, but Tom Jenson of Public Policy Polling suggests Daggett pulls from Corzine's support. As Daggett drops in the polls, Corzine will gain. "As the campaign concludes it seems like Daggett's presence in the race has actually ended up hurting Corzine more than Christie, contrary to the earlier conventional wisdom. 45% of Daggett voters say the incumbent is their second choice to 36% for the challenger. Daggett's backers report having voted for Barack Obama by a 67-23 margin last year."
  • It Will All Come Down to Turnout  The Blue Jersey blog is skeptical that Corzine could win without a serious turnout by his supporters. "Christie seems to be in the low 40s, and Corzine has never been able to break past a ceiling of 42-43. Here he is at 40. We know that Christie gets most Republicans and has a signficant lead with independents. Only a high Democratic turnout could push Corzine over the top."
  • Too Close To Call  National Review's Jim Geraghty reads the polls and says narratives are premature. "At this point, I can see reaons why Christie will win (voters know Corzine, don't like him, and don't expect better in his term) and why Corzine will win (a barrage of negative advertising has convinced them Christie wouldn't improve things)."
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