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September 28, 2004

It's Real: New Jersey is in Play

A FreeRepublic poster digests Rasmussen's state-by-state polls, showing Kerry with a [edited due to Rasmussen's complaint about proprietary information] small lead in the Garden State.

FreeRepublic also points me to this poll by StrategicVision (no, I've never heard of them before either) which finds that Kerry leads by a single point -- 45-44 -- among likely voters.

Now, that isn't much of a lead at all. That really is a virtual tie.

These latest polls seem to confirm previous indications of a big shift in favor of Bush. One earlier poll had the race tied; another had Bush ahead by 4. I don't believe Bush is ahead in NJ, but I do now believe the race is approximately tied.

In 1992, Peter Jennings called Bush the Elder's loss of New Jersey as "the dagger in George Bush's heart," or something very close to that. That wasn't really true at all -- NJ had been Republican a long time ago, but, by 1992, it was a true swing state and trending Democratic -- but whatever. I don't think that's liberal bias; I just think that's a guy trying to fill time on a boring election night, and saying dopey things.

But I'm hoping we'll get to see New Jersey finally get to play a genuine "dagger in the heart" role 12 years after Jennings' premature announcement of its blade-like qualities.

Update: Robert comments:

Since the Democrats held their convention in July, and the Republicans in August this allowed the Bush campaign to spend money from his war chest much longer than Kerry. Kerry had to move to the $75 million 5 weeks before Bush. Now that all of the "safe" blue states are suddenly in play, he probably can't afford to advertise in all of them. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, even Oregon for Gods sake. Not to mention of course Florida and Ohio...

This is true, and especially true with regard to New Jersey, one of the most expensive media markets in the country. NJ doesn't really have its own TV stations (not big ones, anyway); it gets its broadcast signals from two of the priciest markets in the nation (NYC and Philly).

But I don't know if that matters. I always think that a candidate has to act as if his base is secured -- there's no point pouring money into NJ; if NJ isn't in the bag on election night, ad-blitz or not, then Kerry's going to lose. I think he has to just assume/hope that NJ is in the bag and continue putting the bulk of his resources into the so-called swing states, even if many of them seem more like Bush states than swing states at the moment.

Bush will certainly visit NJ a couple of times, though. To gin up support, to show the flag, and to announce that he's now playing on Kerry's assumed turf.

Can Bush win NJ? I really think he might. Kerry has to hope for more bad news on the economy and in Iraq/the GWOT and that such news changes the polls in NJ for free.

As if he wasn't doing that already.

Update: Gerry from Daly Thoughts says that StrategicVisions is a polling firm which has previously done most of its political work for the Republican Party, although they're now doing their own independent polls to increase their visibility. But, as he says, keep in mind the possible bias.

Gerry is also proud he's been calling New Jersey a battleground for quite some time. Big deal. Ever been to Newark?

FreeRepublic pulled the thread on the state-by-state numbers, as that's Rasmussen's proprietary (i.e., subscription only) information. So I'll be a stand-up guy and pull the numbers, too.

I'll just say that Kerry's lead right now is the same number that King Arthur was supposed to count to before releasing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Not the number he did count to, mind you; the number the Book of Armaments instructed him to count to.*

"Two" points is not the lead; neither shalt thou say that "four" points is the lead.

"Five" is right out.

* If right now you're dying to tell me he did eventually count to the number I'm talking about, you're a big freakin' dork.

Don't run from it. Own it.

Yet Another Update: Joe the Unabrewer points out that the Philly market has lots of campaign ads running, because Pennsylvania is in play. So NJ -- especially southern & western NJ -- will see lots of Kerry ads, whether Kerry makes a specific play for NJ or not.

Duh. I should have known that.


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posted by Ace at 01:10 PM

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