Friday, October 16, 2009

If You Thought He Could Win....

Chris Daggett, the Independent candidate for governor of New Jersey, continues to gain ground. A new survey shows him with 18% of the vote in a sample of 611 "likely voters." Daggett has now entered a campaign phase that requires him to assert that he will win if people think he can win. It sounds convoluted. It's not.

In 1992, in what was then the largest national exit poll ever conducted, the Voter News and Research Service asked (see page 15 of the link) more than 11,000 voters: (paraphrased) if you thought Ross Perot had a realistic chance to win today's election, for whom would you have voted? The results were Perot 40%, Clinton 33% and Bush 27%. In the actual balloting, Perot got just over 19% of the vote.

So it seems to me that the next polling outfit that interviews New Jersey voters about their upcoming gubernatorial election should ask this very question: "If you thought Independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett had a realistic chance of winning the election, for whom would you vote?" The answers would tell us a lot about the real state of the campaign.