A small victory lap of sorts: When a lot of the political media was ignoring the New Jersey governor’s race, I wrote last week that we should be watching it, which was showing some of the same dynamics that were fueling Democratic weakness in Virginia and national polls. I followed up with more polling evidence of the party’s weakness in New Jersey. Yesterday, while the polls were still open, I covered Trafalgar’s polling showing a four-point race. It turned out even closer — at this writing, Phil Murphy, who won by 14 in 2017, leads by 0.63 percent of the vote.
Trafalgar can also take a bow. It was the only pollster showing a race in New Jersey that was closer than six points. It had Virginia as a two-point Glenn Youngkin lead, which at this writing is where the race ended, after being ahead of the pack in August seeing that race tighten. Trafalgar didn’t have a perfect 2021, as it was behind the curve when other pollsters saw things shifting dramatically in favor of Gavin Newsom in the California recall’s final weeks, but in more traditional election polling, it stood out in both of these races.