10/04/2013

Might Gov. Christie's decision to put the Senate election on a different date help some Republicans?

Christie's decision to have the US Senate election on October 16th makes it more likely that the Democrats will take the Senate seat because Christie being at the top of the ballot won't be there to help.  Of course, the Senate race would also bring more Democrats to the polls and help out on other races if it were held in November.  The trade off may then be a weaker US Senate candidate, but a better chance of picking up the state legislature.  If so, the polls are divided on whether this going to work.  The Senate race looks like it is getting close (though whether it is close enough is the question), and the polls discussed below indicate that they won't be able to take the state houses.  We will soon see who is right.

From Business Week:
As New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leads his opponent by as much as 34 percentage points in his bid for a second term, some Democrats say they’re worried that votes for the incumbent Republican will trickle down the ballot. 
At stake may be control of the legislature, where all 120 seats also are up for grabs. Christie’s dominance over state Senator Barbara Buono, the Democratic candidate for governor, is giving hopes to Republican lawmakers that they could make inroads after being out of power for the past decade. 
Republicans would need to win nine seats to take over the Assembly and five for the Senate. Democratic control has stymied Christie’s efforts to reshape the state Supreme Court, which has ruled against some of his spending cuts. Though polls suggest Christie’s coattails won’t be long, Democrats say he may be able to swing enough of the races to shift power. . . . . 
Adding to Buono’s struggles was Christie’s decision to call a special Oct. 16 U.S. Senate election for the seat held by Frank Lautenberg, a five-term Democrat who died in June. That timing keeps the popular Democratic candidate in that race, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, off the November ballot and denies the opposition party any chance of its own coattails. . . . .

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