The race for governor has moved from being a mud fight to a bloodbath. The negative messages emanating from both campaigns are hitting their marks. By several measures, voters hold both candidates in lower regard today than they did two weeks ago. The only question remaining is: will either candidate be left standing at the end?
This survey confirms that, consistent with New Jersey political tradition, late-breaking independent voters will decide this race. The increasing number of independents who think New Jersey is off on the wrong track should benefit Forrester who is generally perceived as the challenger, but he must convince voters he is the agent of change. Independent voters are also increasingly dissatisfied with both candidates regarding property taxes. These voters are up for grabs and Forrester must win them if he wants to win this race.
One thing seems to be an absolute certainty; whoever is elected on November 8th will come into office with an unusually high number of voters who view him negatively.
Comment by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Academic Associate Michael P. Torpey (J.D., Seton Hall University School of Law). Michael is a former Chief of Staff to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and served as New Jersey Director of Campaign Operations for Bush-Cheney '04. Michael Torpey, Esq., can be reached at 609-394-0888.