Coattails Polls Don’t Measure Up

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

CoattailsYou’ve probably read about Wednesday’s Quinnipiac Poll by now, Save Jerseyans. There isn’t much new in it’s results worth writing home about.

Analysts remain justifiably fixated on the one variable which remains somewhat unknown heading into November: whether a solid Chris Christie victory will produce a down-ballot effect that’s advantageous for Republicans, particularly in the legislature.

This Q poll suggests the answer is a solid “no,”  with a mere 36% of respondents favoring GOP control of the legislature come January 2014 assuming Chris Christie is reelected.

There’s only one fairly obvious problem with a bare-bones analysis of that finding… New Jerseyans don’t elect 40 state senators and 80 assemblymen at-large; we vote by district. And particularly after Alan Rosenthal adopted the Democrat redistricting map heading into the 2011 legislative cycle, there are only a handful of districts in New Jersey where a Christie 20-point statewide victory could likely play a measurable role up and down the column. LD1, LD2, and LD38 come to mind, and you will hear compelling cases for LD3, LD7, LD18 and a few other previously marginal districts, but not all of these seats will see serious, coordinated, well-funded challenges in the fall.

The time, energy, money and electoral performance of Governor Christie in those districts, combined with other factors like the quality of GOP campaigns at the micro-level and the potential for mass Democrat apathy, will ultimately decide the question of his coattails. I haven’t been shy about expressing my concerns in this regard! That being said, until we see where this race stands in those districts come the final weeks of the campaign cycle, contemplating the dimensions of Chris Christie’s coattails, fleece, whatever, is a fun intellectual exercise for pollsters and bloggers but not very instructive in terms of projecting the final result.

3 thoughts on “Coattails Polls Don’t Measure Up

Comments are closed.