In the congressional district I grew up in, is 11-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey only one point ahead of GOP challenger Anna Little?
Like the X-Files poster, I want to believe. But that’s not quite the same as believing.
This is a D+8 district, and Pallone usually wins by wide margins — with 67 percent in 2008, 69 percent in 2006, 67 percent in 2004, 66 percent in 2002. One of the reasons I had never put this race terribly high on my list of competitive contests is Pallone’s gargantuan financial advantage. As of September 30, he has more than $4.2 million cash on hand (a side effect of his interest in running statewide for a long while) while Little’s financial resources align with her surname, a little over $109,000 cash on hand as of October 13.
A poll like this one, commissioned by Little, might get Pallone to dip into his considerable cash reserves to ensure his traditional advantage. (After Christie carried his district, Pallone would be a fool to take his reelection for granted.) But if Pallone really is at 35 percent in his job-approval rating, as the Little poll suggests, then perhaps all the money in the world can’t persuade his constituents to keep him.