A respected pollster tells me, “We are in the field this weekend in New Jersey. The key thing to look at in all of the polls is the poor position that Corzine is in. In his previous campaigns he has been in the lead in the beginning and his opponents have had to close the gap. Based upon that he is positioned for defeat as his past electoral history shows that he is a terrible closer and it his opponents who have closed strong.”
There’s something to this. Back in 2000, when he was running for the U.S. Senate, Quinnipiac had Corzine ahead of Republican Bob Franks by 20 in June, 14 in October, and 12 in early November. He won, 50.1 percent to 47.1 percent.
In the 2005 gubernatorial race, Corzine led every poll, and before mid-September his lead ranged from 7 percentage points to 18 percentage points. He ultimately beat Republican Doug Forrester by 10 percent.
I’m often doubtful when I’m reassured that a candidate is a “strong closer.”