EAST ORANGE – Gov. Jon Corzine’s tag line about tanking poll numbers is that the onlyone that counts is on Election Day.
Today’s latest heartbreaker for Team Corzine is a Monmouth University/Gannett poll showing the governor trailing Christie by 14 points among likely voters, leading to the inevitable Pressdrilling of the governor abouthis ongoing double digit blues.
Corzine quickly turned the line of questioningaround and aimed athis Republican opponent, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who’s mostly ridden a diner stop schedule these last few weeks buoyed by a national media story about over two dozen Democratic Party political operatives charged with corruption and summarily shackled and bused to Newark for processing.
“More specifics from the other side would be helpful,” said Corzine, who’s running as a budget cutter, whotodaybranded Christie as a conservative Republicancomplete withBush baggagewhile amplifying his own alliance withPresident Barack Obama.
Corzine also kept out there the line from Obama’s PNC Bank Center speech about how Corzine had played a vigorous, front linerole in shaping the national economicrecovery plan.
“You’ve heard the President say that we’ve worked to shape the national economic recovery from the sinking ship the Republicans left us with – 7.2 million jobs lost – we’ve set the recovery not just here in New Jersey but nationally,” said the governor.
The fact that Christie jumped on board the Bush campaign early and aligned himself with Republican Party policies “is the more important question for my opponent to answer,” Corzine added.
Competingin a blue state, Christie and Sheriff Kim Guadagno, his candidate for lieutenant governor, edge away from the Republican brand whenever possible, shunning “labels” and keeping a surgical campaign presence very much activethroughout Democratic Party stomping grounds.
Despite the repetition of bad poll news for Corzine, East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser said he doesn’t think Christie’s strategy of ramrodding himself as apost-partisan leader will work.
“He’s a Republican, that’s what he is,” said Bowser. “This campaign needs to beDemocrat versus Republican. That’s what it is. And that’s what it needs to be.Let’s just get down to basics here. Do you want to put yourself back in Republican hands?The difference between our parties right now – the biggest difference- is that wewith a Democratic administrationin a Democratic state can anticipategettingmore cooperation with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.”