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2009/2010: Daggett at 20%

NEW JERSEY: A Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows Jon Corzine now leading Christie, but still only with 39% of the vote. Christie takes in 36%, with independent Chris Daggett continuing to surge. Daggett now stands at 20%, the first poll to show him breaking 20%. The new director of the poll, David Redlawsk, writes in the group's press release: "While Jon Corzine has made up a lot of ground in all the polls since last summer, he has not done it by increasing his support. Instead, Chris Christie has lost support as some voters who are opposed to Corzine have become attracted to Chris Daggett. Even so, it is important to note that Corzine's lead in this poll is within the margin of error and if the election were today, the winner would be the candidate who can best rally his troops. We don't know now who that will be."

Why can't Christie get over the hump? The Wall Street Journal writes that Christie's two biggest problems are his own lack of specificity and the ascendancy of Daggett. "By design, Mr. Christie has been vague about his tax and economic plans for the state. Ducking details is a tried and true strategy for front-runners who don't want to reveal anything specific enough to criticize," the Journal writes. But "asked to name the most important issue in the race, 54% of likely voters cite property taxes, the most popular response by far. Team Christie's decision to put strategy above substance not only ignores this voter sentiment but also has given an opening to independent candidate Chris Daggett, whose economic reform proposals have been as specific as Mr. Christie's have been vague."

NEW YORK (NY-23): Family Research Council fellow and member of the Club for Growth board of directors Ken Blackwell blames the "local GOP establishment" for deciding to appoint pro-choice Republican Dede Scozzafava "behind closed doors, in a formerly smoke-filled room" and bemoans the Republican grassroots' lack of say in the choice. Of the third-party Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman, Blackwell writes, "Hoffman is a true Reagan conservative. He accepted the Conservative Party's nomination because he was denied the chance to make his case to the party's grass-roots voters. If elected, he would caucus with the Republicans. He'd provide unquestionably stronger support for genuine GOP principles than Scozzafava -- based on her own liberal record -- would provide." 
 
Hoffman echoed Blackwell on the Glenn Beck radio show yesterday, citing his breaking with the Republican national party and making an oft-heard comparison: "The GOP leaders are upset with me, but the Republicans around the district are thanking me for stepping up to the plate and giving them a choice in this election of a real common sense conservative Reagan Republican." Hoffman will appear on Beck's television show tonight.