Three publications change gubernatorial race rating

Three DC-based political publications have changed their ratings of the New Jersey gubernatorial race, with all of them showing momentum for Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie against Gov. Jon Corzine.

Corzine's pre-existing polling woes have combined with the aftershocks of last week's corruption bust to make for an even steeper climb to reelection, according to the publications.

A few days ago, political analyst Stuart Rothenberg moved the race’s rating from “Toss-Up” to “Leans-Takeover” in The Rothenberg Political Report, giving Christie a clear advantage in the race. Rothernberg wrote a column that appeared in The Hill today titled “You Have 4 months to Learn to Say ‘Gov. Christie.’”

“The raid last week in New Jersey that resulted in the arrest of 44 people, including a number of officeholders, probably is the straw that breaks Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s back in November,” Rothenberg wrote, adding that corruption isn’t the biggest issue on voters’ minds but that they’ll likely “kill two birds with one vote” and go for Chrisitie.

Congressional Quarterly yesterday moved its rating of the race from “Tossup” to “Leans Republican,” citing Corzine’s upside down approval ratings and the recent corruption bust that rocked the state’s political scene, taking down mostly Democrats.

“This scandal appears to play into the hands of Christie, who in his past role led a number of investigations and prosecutions, some involving cases of political corruption, that drew heavy publicity,” wrote CQ.

Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report said she plans to change the race’s classification from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-up” today.

Duffy said that, even when things are looking especially grim for incumbents like Corzine, “they have this rare ability to come back.”

Still, Duffy said things are looking grim for Corzine.

“I always had sort of the fundamental belief that money and demographics would trump all. I don’t know if that’s true anymore,” she said. “”Part of it is the economy and part of it is all these arrests. It has nothing to do with Corzine, but if voters are going to get fed up, that’s enough to get them fed up.” Three publications change gubernatorial race rating