The race for the Garden State took another twist and turn as all three candidates for Governor had their last debate on Thursday in the State’s largest city, Newark. The story coming out of New Jersey is despite there is a battle for votes in New Jersey, Chris Christie may build on his small lead according to a SurveyUSA poll commissioned by ABC 7 New York that has him up 2 points.
The reason why is Chris Christie in the last week and a half could build on his small lead on the issue of corruption. A one time Democrat ally to to Jon Corzine, Joseph Ferriero who was the former Chairman of the Bergen County Democratic Organization was found guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud charges on Thursday. The hook to Corzine is that During Ferriero’s tenure as chairman Corzine donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local party in Bergen County. In the last debate on Thursday, both Chris Daggett and Chris Christie put Corzine in a corner trying to explain his connection to the former party boss and his donations to the Bergen County party
organization. This also adds on to Corzine’s extra baggage when earlier in the week when the Christie Campaign called on Jon Corzine to be up front on donations from his family foundation. When Corzine released who he has donated to, the reports found that Corzine’s foundation gave $3 million dollars in donations for 2009. This included a donation of $87,000 to Rev. Jesse Jackson after the Chairman of Rainbow Push endorsed Corzine.
Despite the Corzine camp has accused a staffer of Chris Christie when he was a US Attorney of illegally aiding his Governor’s campaign, more of the attention has surfaced on Corzine with Joesph Ferriero’s conviction and the finances of his family foundation. This comes into correlation with the most recent Survey USA poll showing that corruption along with property taxes are the top two issues of the 2009 campaign. In both categories, voters have trusted Christie more on the top two issues by comfortable margins according to Survey USA.
The last factor to take into account is Chris Daggett, the third party candidate. If Daggett ends up with less than twenty percent, Chris Christie wins the race. A recent poll by Monomouth University and Gannett New Jersey shows that fifty six percent of New Jerseyans do not recognize Daggett or have an opinion towards him. Also, when breaking down on the issues in which of the three candidates can be more trusted the third party candidate has not broke past twenty percent on any major category including corruption or property taxes. These are two intangibles working against Daggett and also add on the fact that New Jersey is not a same day registration state in which Daggett would not be able to make any waves in the final days of the election.
A lot can happen in the last eleven plus days before the election, stay tuned for more in the Garden State Barn-Burner.