September 28, 2004

It's Real: New Jersey is in Play
— Ace

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.

Posted by: Ace at 08:10 AM | Comments (15)
Post contains 775 words, total size 5 kb.

1 The mods at FreeRepublic pulled the thread: proprietary info.

Posted by: conelrad at September 28, 2004 08:21 AM (crXxH)

2 Don't get too excited about this one. All Kerry has to do is have a gay affair with an Israeli poet and then accuse Republicans of hate-mongering, and I'm sure his numbers will shoot right up.

Posted by: Sobek at September 28, 2004 08:21 AM (XwlU1)

3 Is it fair to say that Kerry "apparently" leads in NJ?

Posted by: Senator PhilABuster at September 28, 2004 08:24 AM (UHfuz)

4 Strategic Vision is a polling firm normally associated with Republicans that apparently is doing a branding campaign (trying to build name recognition) by doing lots of polls this year not at the behest of any party or candidate. Their results have been pretty good (meaning- in line with what other polls have been showing) but one does need to keep in mind from whence they came.

That said, New Jersey is absolutely in play. Rasmussen has shown it tight (without giving the exact numbers, he publically has had it floating into and out of the 'tossup' designation, and watch later today to see where it goes for a feel where his latest puts it). But more importantly, unaffiliated pollsters like Quinnipiac (tied), SurveyUSA (Bush +4), and Rutgers (Kerry +3) all have it a horserace, as did Rasmussen's last publically available survey (Kerry +4, 9/3). American Research Group has Kerry a bit further ahead (+ .

If I can brag a little, on my site I had named New Jersey as a battleground state for this year back in February (along with 13 other states).

Posted by: Gerry at September 28, 2004 08:31 AM (rXl7J)

5 I'm in the Philly market, so I'm seeing lots of campaign commercials. Especially during the nightly news. Sometimes Bush and Kerry ads are practically back-to-back.

But I'm only in the Philly market; Delaware is as blue as it gets. Only 3 electoral votes worth though. Maybe I could get my XGF to let me use her place of residence in PA and register somewhere that my vote will matter.

Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at September 28, 2004 09:12 AM (5anNT)

6 NEE!

Posted by: fat kid at September 28, 2004 09:16 AM (yHxMk)

7 I'm not sure how it works with being able to post polling data. If you have to be a subscriber or not. I know perhaps the AP and newspapers subscribe to certain pollers and release lots of details no one else can, but then it seems that rivals are free to publish the basic results. i.e. Fox reports on the results of the CNN-Time Poll, Drudge reports the CBS polls shows Pennsylvania a toss up.

I know other Internet sites religiously post each poll conducted in each state and the final results.

The first site shows you an electoral map showing a gratifying "spread of the red" day by day, and if you click on a state, it shows the most recent polling results, inc. Rassmussen's.

Realclearpolitics is a political junkie's dream. Check it out. Like the 1st site, it gives you all the poll results and adds tools, commentary, etc.

Posted by: Cedarford at September 28, 2004 09:36 AM (hoo48)

8 According to the Kerry Spot on NRO, Bush will be up 48-40 in today's Pew Poll, up from 45-42.

Posted by: Mark at September 28, 2004 09:39 AM (C54d0)

9 * 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.

He counted to it, but he skipped 3 and 4:

"One... Two... Five!"
"Three, Sire!"

Yeah, I embrace my Dork Side.

Posted by: Brian B at September 28, 2004 09:42 AM (OnnW3)

10 On the other hand, isn't the Philadelphia media market overwhelmingly Democratic? So even given that Pennsylvania's a "battleground" state, Kerry might still have to spend money there he'd rather spend in Pittsburgh or something.

Posted by: David C at September 28, 2004 10:09 AM (OeHNk)

11 Philly is overwhelmingly Democratic, otherwise John Street would not be the mayor of the city (for those of you that don't know, John Street being the Mayor of Philadelphia is tantamount to Marion Barry being the Mayor of DC).
Is anyone else excited by the fact that Bruce Springsteen's home state may just slip through the greasy fingers of the Dems this year? Actually after they stole the Senate election last year this is only really a payback of sorts.

Posted by: Jersey Matt at September 28, 2004 11:56 AM (h+JsK)

12 Yes, Philly is overwhelmingly Democratic. However, the Philly viewing area probably encompasses another several million people above Philly itself. The viewing areas surrounding the metro area are surprisingly rural, including the SE quarter of PA, the northern half of DE, and the southern half of NJ, and even the most extreme NE corner of MD. However, a good chunk of that region is Democratic as well. I can certainly vouch for northern DE as Democratic.

I'm guessing Bush really only needs to siphon a few votes from those Philly suburbs to put the state in play, so he's hitting the advertisements hard.

Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at September 28, 2004 07:23 PM (5anNT)

13 This morning, I saw a Kerry ad on California!!

Does this mean California is in play?!? If so, hoe-lee-she-boy-gun!

As someone regularly disenfranchised by the electoral college, THAT would be a pleasant surprise.

Posted by: cthulhu at September 28, 2004 08:06 PM (okbOn)

14 This morning, I saw a Kerry ad on California!!

I don't think so. I don't know how cable sells its ads, but broadcast cable sells national slots and local slots. You might have just been watching an ad bought for the national slot, playing in all markets.

Posted by: ace at September 28, 2004 08:20 PM (RGQgo)

15 This endorsement should clench it for Kerry:

http:\\ -- Yup, the Communist Party USA

Posted by: Sharpshooter at September 29, 2004 02:26 AM (+oe4d)

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