Independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett consistently polls in the double digits, but his support is soft.
That will change over the next two-and-a-half weeks, according to Daggett.
“I don’t think these polls are capturing the independent sentiment out there, to be honest with you. I think at some point people are going to say they’re going to stand up for New Jersey, and that’s not voting politics as usual,” he said.
Today’s Quinnipiac poll offers some stark numbers for Daggett. He polls at 14% to Republican Chris Christie’s 41% and Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s 40%. But only 39% of his supporters have made up their mind (compared to 75% for Corzine and 80% for Chrisite), and 77% of all respondents say he can’t win.
“Maybe, but if those 77% would stand up for New Jersey and cast their vote for me, I’d win in a walk,” said Daggett, who was buoyed this weekend by an endorsement from the Star-Ledger, the state’s largest newspaper. “They just have to get over the hurdle of this idea they’ve been scared into believing an independent can’t win or can’t govern. That’s just Republican and Democratic nonsense”
Daggett said he’s counting on voters gravitating towards him as the race winds down.
Quinnipiac pollster Mickey Carroll, however, said that Daggett’s obstacles will likely mount as election day approaches. The common wisdom is that support for independents trails off closer to the election. Not to mention, Carroll said, that “you’d need a guide dog to find him over on the right side of the ballot.”
“He’s not a nut. He’s not an ideologue,” said Carroll. “On the other hand, if most New Jerseyans are right, he’s not a winner.”