A new Monmouth University poll of the New Jersey gubernatorial race finds that Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is in big trouble against his Republican opponent, former U.S. Attorney Christie Christie -- and a very important reason for this is that one side is simply move motivated to vote right now.
The numbers: Among likely voters, Christie has 50% to Corzine's 36%. Among all registered voters, Christie only leads by 43%-39%, due to a tendency for non-likely voters to lean Democratic or undecided. From the pollster's analysis: "But the bottom line is that Christie's supporters are more engaged, which is why the Republican's lead among likely voters has grown."
Another example, from the pollster's analysis, finds that President Obama's recent campaign trip to New Jersey both helped and didn't help Corzine: "The Obama visit seems to have helped Governor Jon Corzine increase his support among some registered voters, but it has not made those voters any more likely to vote on election day."
As a recent round of polling has shown, this same problem is only deeply affecting Democrats in the Virginia gubernatorial race, with GOP voters far more likely than Dems to turn out to the polls compared to the 2008 election.