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Archive for the ‘Chris Daggett’ Category

once again, without comment.

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I don’t put too much stock in the polls, because frankly they have been all over the place. Suffice to say, that almost anyone you talk to agrees: this race is too close to call.

Democrats have been saying privately that their internals show them up by five or more, but some of their faces tell a different story.

Here are some numbers to consider. In 2005 Corzine bested Forrester by 200,000 votes. But a lot’s changed since then. According to the Division of Elections, there are nearly 500,000 new registered voters since that last gubernatorial election. There were 4.8 million then, and there are 5.2 million now. Obviously, a lot of those new voters registered specifically to vote for Barack Obama in the historic 2008 election. So, is there any evidence that they will…

a) have the same level of enthusiasm and vote again

or

b) even vote Democratic.

Tough to say. Democrats are hoping it breaks for them. Certainly the numbers are there for a win if the motivation blossoms.

But now consider this…since June 2 of this year there are 76,294 new registered voters(!). Of those¬† 12,349 are Dems, 7,082 are Repubs and 55,759 are unaffiliated. Those unaffiliated’s could be the difference in this race. And here’s the thing: they are not registering to vote for Obama.

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Interesting editorial in the Ledger over the weekend about where Daggett’s name will actually appear on the ballot in most counties.

While one poll showed Daggett at 20%, how many people will actually pull the lever for him once sealed in the voting cubicle has been a source of much speculation. Adding to that is the reality that some people may not even be able to find his name.

In Essex County, Daggett’s name is the second one listed in column D. The Socialist Party candidate Gregory Pason is higher up than Daggett, as is Jason Cullen the People Not Politics nominee.

kinda odd considering Daggett qualified for matching funds and appeared in all three debates. Oh yeah, and he’s the only one with a new plan to reduce property taxes. Zing.

Well, if you follow NJ’s old world style of politics it actually makes perfect sense. It goes back to a 1965 court case that sprang out of Essex County. Independent George Richardson was trying to get on the ballot, and the Essex County Clerk¬† Nick Caputo didn’t want his name higher than the two major party candidates. Caputo won. And the precedent setting case deterimined that from then on in New Jersey, Republicans and Democrats are the top two spots and everyone else is on equal footing as their names are literally drawn out of a rotating lottery machine. So, Daggett’s name could have conceivably been last on every ballot in every county ( he isn’t, it’s more of a hodge-podge ).

I suppose Daggett is at least greatful that in Essex he is not below Gary Stein of the All The Way party.

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I am not a superstitious man. But that doesn’t mean I go around saying things like ‘I’ve never been in a serious car accident,’ ‘I don’t have cancer,’ and ‘I will always be employed.’ ( Well, I guess I did just say those things but in print and not out loud. )

Which brings me to the curious thing Christie keeps saying about how Daggett is not going to win. The Republican has said more than once that in the end, it will be him or Corzine. I’m inclined to agree with Christie, but I’m not sure I would say that if I were a candidate who has clearly underestimated his independent opponent.

But it’s not just Christie. No one took Daggett very seriously in this race until his property tax proposal and subsequent performance in the October 1 NJN debate.

So, the question going forward is will Daggett have the staying power to possibly win this thing. Third party candidates tend to peak before election day. In fact, Howard Dean ( who was not a third party candidate, but was considered an outsider ) peaked in 2003, several months before the first presidential primary. But when it came time to actually win states it was all Kerry, who proceeded to windsurf his way into failure during the general election.

But let’s look at a more local example….and someone who actually is a third party candidate. According to John Weingart of the Eagleton Institute, the most successful third party candidate in NJ history was Murray Sabrin who received 5% of the vote in 1997. The difference of course is that Murray was running from the right, siphoning off votes from Christie Whitman who probably would have had a higher vote total, although she did manage to squeak past Jim McGreevey.

The difference with Daggett is that like Ross Perot in 1992, he is embracing the radical center. And that could play well among the disaffected.

Finally, the conventional wisdom has been that Daggett actually helps Corzine by drawing voters away from Christie. But some now say that with the endorsement of the Star-Ledger editorial board, we might see Daggett start to draw the kind of voters who read and listen to editorial boards. In other words, folks who tend to vote Democratic in NJ and would otherwise have voted for Corzine.

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