A new survey of New Jersey from Public Policy Polling (D) finds incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine trailing his Republican opponent, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, by a margin of 51%-41%.
To a great extent, this is a vote against the incumbent. Among the quarter of the electorate that doesn't know enough about Christie to have formed an opinion, Christie is leading by an even bigger margin of 48%-30%.
From the pollster's analysis: "There's not much doubt Jon Corzine's in a pretty big hole," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. "If there's good news for the incumbent it's that about a third of voters say they could change their minds between now and November. He'll need a lot of folks to move over to his column if he's going to get reelected."
New Jersey is a deep-blue state, albeit with a large number of very reluctant Democratic voters, and has often shown a tendency of Dem candidates surging in the home stretch after attacking the conservatism of the Republicans. Corzine has a big job ahead of him if he wants to repeat that pattern.