So, I return from a business trip to Florida and George Muschal is the new South Ward councilman and Chris Christie is New Jersey’s new governor.
Looking back on the gubernatorial race, it seems that the worldwide economic maelstrom – plus Gov. Jon Corzine’s failure to address the state’s property tax issue and reform official corruption – doomed his campaign.
Relatively independent voters and even more liberal citizens such as myself gravitated towards Mr. Christie as an alternative to the past.
Ironically, Mr. Christie won in a manner similar to U.S. President Barack Obama, who won by garnering the support of independent and even right-leaning voters sick of the extravagances of the Bush years.
Back in Trenton, it seems that Mr. Muschal’s organizational and financial advantages overwhelmed his opposition, which included several Hispanic candidates who stole votes from one another and assured Mr. Muschal’s victory.
Looking forward to the May 2010 municipal election, Mr. Muschal faces a tougher challenge.
Unless he takes 50 percent of the vote, plus one, he will deal with the city’s runoff election provisions, in an election that will be a totally different animal from November’s one-and-done vote.
Around that same time Mr. Christie will be wrestling with some of the toughest budget decision ever faced by a New Jersey governor, as he deals with Gov. Corzine’s going-away present – an $8 billion budget deficit.
There’s a tough road ahead for both men.
So, here’s the latest from Quinnipiac on Election Day eve:
In the see-saw New Jersey Governor’s race, Republican challenger Christopher Christie has 42 percent to Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s 40 points, with 12 percent for independent candidate Christopher Daggett, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
Six percent remain undecided.
This compares to a 43 – 38 percent Gov. Corzine lead, with 13 percent for Daggett, in an October 28 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
Among Daggett supporters, 38 percent say they might change their mind: 39 percent say Corzine is their second choice, while 29 percent say Christie is number two.
Only 10 percent of Christie voters and 13 percent of Corzine backers say they might change their mind.
Corzine leads 77 – 6 percent among Democratic likely voters, with 12 percent for Daggett.
Christie leads 78 – 10 percent among Republicans, with 9 percent for Daggett, and 47 – 32 percent among independent voters, with 17 percent for Daggett.
“Daggett is the key to an incredibly close New Jersey election,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
From October 27 – November 1, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,533 New Jersey likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally as a public service and for research.