|In an oxymoronic twist, New Jersey's Republican Governor Chris Christie is projected to win a second term in the statehouse by a landslide. After his first victory in 2009, many strategists thought his
re-election chances in the deep blue Garden State were doubtful at best. Then came super storm Sandy and Christie's glowing compliments of President Obama in its aftermath. (Are those cries of
"betrayal" I hear echoing from Republican quarters?) Now, just over 3 months away from Election Day, the incumbent enjoys 30+ point leads in most recent polls over Democratic nominee, state Senator
Barbara Buono. It's hard to imagine the level of crash Christie would have to experience to be removed from the governor's office.
As one-sided as New Jersey's is, Virginia's gubernatorial contest is just the opposite. Out-going Republican Governor Bob McConnell, term-limited after just 4 years in office, gave hint of the massive
red wave of 2010 by clobbering Democrat Creigh Deeds 59% to 41% 12 months earlier. This time, no such Republican landslide appears to be in the offing. Instead, the blue team currently leads this
race by a small margin.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is making a strong play to give Democrats a split in this year's two statehouse races. Aside from a recent outlier poll from Roanoke College
showing Republican nominee Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with a 6-point edge, McAuliffe holds leads at or just outside the margin of error in all other polls taken over the last several weeks. Moreover, Virginia's
shift leftward over the last several cycles does not mix well with Cuccinelli's social conservatism. Right now, I'd have to rate this race as a very Weak DEM Gain.
However, the GOP can yet hold this seat by taking advantage of lower voter turnout in off-year elections and President Obama's
upside down approval ratings in the state.
2013 Virginia Governor's Election
2013 New Jersey Governor's Election
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:11pm 07/18/13::