One of the most notable results of the Monmouth University/Gannett poll on the gubernatorial race released this morning is the large discrepancy between likely voters and registered voters.
“It’s an indication that this is really volatile, and what I think happened with the corruption arrests… while it didn’t directly impact the race, it did impact likely voter models,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray.
Republican gubernatorial Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine by 14 points among likely voters, but only by four with registered voters.
Murray said that the current likely voter model is based on a combination of factors. But the election is still a political eternity away, and the polling institute can not predict who will turn out in November.
“You really do have to look at both numbers. The likely voter model indicates the dynamic at this time – a dynamic that can change, but we’re not sure if it will or not,” he said.
There is usually a difference in results between likely and registered voters, but Murray said this one was larger than usual. The numbers will probably converge in October, when more of the public gets engaged and pollsters are able to better tell who will show up in November.
As usual, the poll shows that property taxes are the number one issue on voters’ minds, even as corruption has been more on the voter consciousness since last month’s arrests. What is different this time, however, is the high percentage of voters (47% likely and 43% registered) who put property taxes as a top issue.
“That’s unheard of. That’s why I feel it’s worth repeating every time I do a poll. Regardless of all these other things that are going on, it’s still an election about property taxes.”