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NJ: Why candidate matters

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Need more proof of how much candidate matters? Go inside the numbers of Wednesday's Quinnipiac poll and check out the fav/unfav number from August to now.

August is a good data point to look at because it's when Republican Chris Christie held consistent leads in the polls, anywhere from 5 to 10 points or more.
Back then, Christie's fav/unfav was 42%/26% (42% viewed him favorably vs. 26% who did not.) In the poll out Wednesday, it is upside down, a net-negative of 37%/42%.
For all the problems incumbent Jon Corzine has, including a job approval rating still mired in the 30s, his fav/unfav numbers have actually gotten BETTER. In August, he was 37%/54%; now, he stands at 41%/52%.
Interestingly, independent candidate Chris Daggett is the only one with a net-positive rating, but still many have not heard of him -- or haven't heard enough. He was just a 4%/3% in August, a clear sign of a lack of Name ID. Less than a week before the election, he's 21%/16% with 61 saying they haven't heard enough. That shows better Name ID, but not likely enough for most in the state to be able to find him on the ballot among nine other independent candidates.