72% of N.J. thinks Daggett can’t win

It happens every once in a while: some voters and lots of reporters become infatuated with an independent candidate. There was one point in 1992 when some politicos actually started to believe that Ross Perot could be president. Even more reporters and college students thought that John Anderson had a chance when he ran in 1980. But winning as an independent in New Jersey is indeed difficult: the most an independent running for state office has won is 6% (Murray Sabrin, as the Libertarian gubernatorial candidate in 1997); and only one person, Anthony Imperiale, has ever won election to the state legislature as an independent — for Assemblyman in 1971 and State Senator in 1973. In 2009, there are ten independent candidates running for governor.

Nearly three-quarters of likely voters – 72% — say that independent Christopher Daggett can’t win election as governor, according to a new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a North Carolina-based firm that works primarily for Democrats.Just 14% say he can, and 14% aren’t sure. If voters thought Daggett could win, his percentage could jump from 13% to 20%.

According to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, which released campaign finance data today, Daggett has already spent $1.2 million and has just $292,495 cash on hand.

Just 20% of independents believe Daggett can win, and 60% of independents say they wouldn’t vote for him even if they thought he could.

The former state Environmental Protection Commissioner’s favorables have dropped over the last two weeks, and Daggett is now upside-down, 31%-36%.

72% of N.J. thinks Daggett can’t win