TPM Reader JS checks in from New Jersey …
I claim no expertise on this race but for being a Jersey voter. However, my guess is that Daggett is not doing Corzine as much good as you think he is. Most Daggett votes are coming from Corzine, which I think you observe. Christie is the kind of candidate that Republicans can get behind (wingnutty enough, but not insane), so I don’t think that many Daggett votes are coming from him. If Daggett weren’t in the race, there would be a run on clothespins to wear in the voting booth, and Corzine would win.
The question, then, is whether the Daggett votes will go back to Corzine on Election Day. There is no real precedent for this; nobody else has run an even halfway credible third-party race in the recent past. New Jersey Democrats and Independents view Corzine as ineffectual, and do not view Christie as a Tom Kean kind of Republican. (It doesn’t help Christie that he looks like Jabba the Hutt whenever he takes off his jacket.) Daggett is associated with Kean in peoples’ minds; a warm and fuzzy association in Juhsey. (NOT Joisey.)
If New Jersey were an IRV state, my guess is that Corzine (or possibly Daggett) would win, because a lot of people would list Daggett as their first choice, but put Corzine #2. But New Jersey, like everybody else, is first-past-the-post. The question, then, is whether Democratic and Independent voters are so disgusted with Corzine that they won’t care about the strategic implications of their vote for Daggett.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.