New Jersey: O Ye of Little Faith: A New York Times poll finds that New Jerseyans don't have faith in either major-party candidates, Democratic Governor Jon Corzine or Republican Chris Christie. Among likely voters, Corzine has a 40%-37% lead on Christie, but "With the two campaigns slinging mud but inspiring scant hope, and an independent candidate, Christopher J. Daggett, seen as having little chance of victory, New Jerseyans are more supportive of the devil they know than the devil they don't, according to the poll."
New Jersey's independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett has played the role of game-changer in this race - but can he pull off a win? The Philadelphia Inquirer's Carl Golden writes, "Initially dismissed as a gadfly on an ego trip, Daggett has emerged as a significant - and potentially deciding - factor in the New Jersey race." In fact, Daggett's opponents, Gov. Jon Corzine (D) and Chris Christie (R), are starting to take Daggett's candidacy serious and reportedly have their researchers scoping out anything potentially damaging to Daggett's campaign, Golden writes. Although Christie "flippantly described the Daggett campaign as an 'amusement,'" Golden reports that Daggett was the only candidate bold enough to put out a property-tax relief plan, and one that actually got a lot of favorable feedback. Despite Daggett's increasing popularity and bold campaign moves, Golden draws the conclusion that it's very unlikely that Daggett can pull off a victory.
The three candidates vying for the New Jersey governor's seat released their tax returns yesterday, and independent Chris Daggett looks like "the closest thing to an average New Jersey taxpayer," the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. The multimillionaire Democratic nominee Gov. Jon Corzine reported a $3.13 million loss, while Republican challenger Chris Christie and his wife earned $446,854 last year. Compared to the major-party candidates, yes, Daggett falls a little behind with his tax returns showing he and his wife making $287,240 last year. Despite his earnings trailing the other candidates, Daggett still is raking in a lot more dough than the state's $66,509 household average, the Star-Ledger writes.
Supporters of both major-party candidates in the New Jersey gubernatorial race have reached out to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to get involved in the race and offer his endorsement to one of them - and possibly some cash, too, Politico reports. The one candidate who would gain the most from support of such a regional figure would be independent Chris Daggett. Politico writes that when asked if Bloomberg would consider coming out for Daggett, the mayor's adviser said: "Nothing ruled in or out."
Virginia: In Virginia's gubernatorial race, Republican nominee Bob McDonnell has more cash on hand - $1.8 million more, to be exact - than his Democratic challenger Creigh Deeds, which "provides McDonnell a significant advantage for the campaign's final sprint," the Washington Post reports. Finance reports due yesterday show that McDonnell began this month with $4.5 million to spend before Election Day, compared with Deeds' $2.7 million; both candidates, however, raised more cash last month than either of them had raised in previous months, the Post writes. And the Post was quick to point out, "Money doesn't guarantee electoral success," though the polls show it's leaning that way in this race.
NY-23: The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that today Republican Dede Scozzafava will pick up the weighty endorsement of Republican Newt Gingrich in NY-23's special election. "The special election for the 23rd Congressional District is an important test leading up to the mid-term 2010 elections," Gingrich said in a statement to supporters, the Post-Standard reports. He added, "Our best chance to put responsible and principled leaders in Washington starts here, with Dede Scozzafava." This proves to be a very important catch for the Republican candidate, as her Conservative Party challenger Doug Hoffman could potentially hurt her base of conservative voters. However, a Siena Research Institute poll released yesterday shows Democratic challenger Bill Owens edging out both conservative candidates with 33 percent of likely voters to Scozzafava's 29 and Hoffman's 23 percent.