Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

New Jersey Could Let Us Get To Bed Early On Tuesday  | e-mail post

I don't think John Kerry has a reasonably probable electoral vote win path if he loses New Jersey to George Bush, and I don't think that's out of the question right now, especially on the heels of Osama Bin Laden's tape release on Friday.

Quinnipiac University first brought attention to this a few weeks back, which I wrote about on October 12th in "What New Jersey is Saying (We're Safer With Bush/Cheney)." I also wrote about the broader challenges Kerry might be facing in NJ that day as well, in "And What New Jersey Might Be Saying to Kerry (don't call the movers yet)."

It looks like the Quinnipiac numbers out last week continue to paint a bleak picture for Kerry in NJ, and these were from interviews conducted before the Bin Laden tape on Friday. Here's how the Quinnipiac polls have been trending (sorry they don't look great, I just whipped this together in Excel):

The really interesting thing to note, is how the leaners are breaking hard toward Bush. In the most recent polls, pushing undecideds had them breaking five to one for Bush. Democrats have been clinging to the fantasy of the 50% rule and the idea that undecideds break 2:1 for challengers, but I have written about the numerous reasons why I don't think that analysis applies in this election, in "On the Cell Phone Only Polling Bias and the '50% rule'." It looks like New Jersey is backing up that analysis.

I will also get some thoughts together on the Star-Ledger/Rutgers-Eagleton poll, which has Kerry leading Bush 45 - 41 with 12 percent undecided. Just to note, though, a 5:1 break for Bush, as the recent Quinnipiac poll shows, would result in a Bush 51; Kerry 47 result. Even a 3:1 break would play out at Bush 50; Kerry 48.

You can get all the details from the PDF release on the poll at the Rutgers site. The Rutgers guys say the race should have a final polling result of 50-49, favoring Kerry, when they interpret the results. They also acknowledge that over 2/3rds of the responses came before the Bin Laden tape was released. In addition, Kerry's favorability has dropped 8 points since their last poll and Bush has gone from an 18 point to a 4 point deficit among independent voters.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Sunday, October 31, 2004
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