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No Garden Party

Even before the 2010 congressional races, voters will get a chance to weigh in on the performance of their states in gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia. New Jersey, one of the bluest states, looks extremely problematic for Democrats.

The bad news keeps pouring in for Jon Corzine:

Governor Jon Corzine gets an average grade of C- from New Jersey residents, most of whom think that the incumbent has no major accomplishments to point to from his three years in office, according to a Monmouth University/Gannett poll released today. The Governor’s approval rating is upside down, with 37% of likely voters approving and 49% disapproving.  The rating is net positive only among Democrats, 53% of whom approve and 30% of whom disapprove, while it’s upside down for both independents (57% disapprove) and Republicans (74% disapprove).

Even worse for Corzine, the latest poll from Strategic Vision has him trailing 53-38 percent. With Obama polling at only 50 percent in New Jersey (wow!), the president may not be able to help much.

What does this mean? Well, in one sense New Jersey is simply a referendum on a poorly performing incumbent. But to the extent that voters extrapolate from the lesson of one-party liberal rule, the result may reverberate nationally. And of course, should a Republican win a statewide race where Obama carried by a 57-42 percent margin, the pundits and public will take notice.

Given all this, one wonders just how much time and political capital Obama will spend in New Jersey. It’s bad enough when your candidate loses; it’s even worse if he loses after campaigning up and down the state with you.



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