Wednesday, November 28, 2012

UPDATE: Christie vs. Booker, New Jersey Governor's race 2013

Yesterday I proposed that Cory Booker may not want to give up yet on the NJ Governorship in 2013, considering Christie's inflated numbers with Democrats and Independents in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Today, Quinnipiac released their own poll on a hypothetical Booker v. Christie race, and found nearly the exact same result as Rutgers; Christie leads 53-35% (he led 53-34% in the Rutgers poll). Also like the Rutgers poll, Christie is dominating among Republicans and Independents, while siphoning off a fair number of Democrats - 20%, to be exact (26% in the Rutgers poll).

But like last night's post, the results look a bit different in the event Booker is able to do at least as well among Democrats as John Corzine (D) in 2009. The Rutgers poll showing Christie up 53-34% became a 2 point Booker lead (46-44%) if the poll is reweighted to show Booker receiving 86% of the Democratic vote (the percentage obtained by Corzine in '09). Does the same thing happen to the Quinnipiac poll when reweighted to Corzines '09 numbers?:

Quinnipiac poll w/ Democratic numbers reweighted to 2009 CNN NJ Governor's Exit Poll:

Yes, though to a lesser extent than the Rutgers poll. The contest tightens from an 18 to a 4 point race. But the Rutger's poll shifted even more, from a 19 point Christie lead to a 2 point Booker lead. What accounts for the difference, given that both Rutgers and Quinnipiac have nearly identical numbers for Christie and Booker among Dems, Reps, and Independents? The party ID, of course.

Quinnipiac finds New Jersey registered voters identifying as 36% Democrat, 23% Republican, and 35% Independent, or D+13. But the Rutgers poll found an even larger advantage for Democrats in New Jersey, with 43% identifying as Democrats, 22% as Republicans, and 35% as Independent, or D+19. Obviously, the more Democrats that vote in 2013, the better for Cory Booker, which is why he would actually lead Christie in the Rutgers poll (were he able to do as well as Corzine amongst Dems).

For what it's worth, the party ID in the 2009 Governor's race was D+10 (41D/31R/28I), which is significantly LESS Democratic than the Quinnipiac/Rutgers poll findings AND the 2012 Presidential exit polls (which found a D+18 party ID).

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