Analysts from both major parties have been arguing about the Christopher Daggett effect: will he take more votes from Democrat Jon Corzine and Republican Christopher Christie? The former state Environmental Protection Commissioner is polling in the high single digits (sometimes more, sometimes less) in his independent bid for governor. He seems to get more votes than he has name ID, which suggests that he is picking up votes from people who don’t like either major party candidate. Daggett gets into the polls because he’s qualified for matching funds and will participate in the gubernatorial debates. But Daggett’s biggest problem will be ballot position: Corzine and Christie get the top two lines or columns, while Daggett had to compete with nine other independent candidates for the next ten lines or columns. Some pundits think if he’s lost on the ballot, some of the votes he’s getting in the polls will go to one of the other nine independent candidates for governor.
A Judge recently rejected a lawsuit filed by Daggett to assure better ballot placement. That’s something the Legislature didn’t consider, or did consider and rejected. By qualifying for matching funds, Daggett gets media attention and a seat at the debate. In the end, he’d be better off with a better ballot position.