...when a guy who has won his seat by 63 percent in 2008, 66 percent in 2006, 59 percent in 2004, and 61 percent in 2002 is only leading a poll by 5 points, with a 4 point +/- margin of error - I call that big, big trouble:
Im the election for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, Rush Holt faces his toughest challenge in a decade. The Monmouth University Poll finds the incumbent Democrat leading Republican Scott Sipprelle by 51% to 46% among likely voters in this district.
New Jersey’s 12th District stretches across the geographical waist of the state. Holt leads by 63% to 33% in the western part of the district, which includes much of Mercer County and part of Hunterdon County. Sipprelle, on the other hand, holds a 58%to 38% advantage in the eastern, Monmouth County portion of the district. However, in the central portion, comprised mainly of Middlesex County and part of one Somerset County town, it’s a much closer race – 50% for Holt to 46% for Sipprelle.
That fact that Democratic voters substantially outnumber Republican ones in this district is the only thing keeping the incumbent in the lead. While Rush Holt takes 90% of his fellow Democrats and Scott Sipprelle has 85% of the Republican vote, Sipprelle actually has a sizeable 54% to 39% advantage among independents.
Most (63%) of New Jersey’s 12th District voters think the country is on the wrong track, and they tend to give President Barack Obama negative (51%) rather than positive (44%) job performance ratings.
However, these voters are evenly divided on whether they want to see the Democrats (42%) or Republicans (42%) in control of Congress next year.
So, what I'm reading here is - whoever gets out the vote on November 2nd wins the election. Fair enough. Although I'd like to throw out another caveat - heavily populated Middlesex County, which this poll shows as giving a slight edge to Holt, voted quite differently in the 2009 Governor's race, especially as compared to the 2008 general election:
2008 General results:
Democrat - Barack Obama 193,812 61%
Republican - John McCain 123,695 38.8%
2009 Governor results:
Democrat - Jon Corzine 75,200 44.21%
Republican - Chris Christie 81,947 48.17%
Turnout? Or turnabout? Corzine re-election chances were always gauged not on results - they were dismal - but on whether he'd be able to buy enough people off to eek out a win. He failed, in no small part because this mentality was rather "unmotivating" to the rank-and-file Democrats.
Look to Middlesex to be the difference-maker in November. If Sipprelle can squeak out a win here close to Christie's 3.5% margin, Holt is toast.
And CD-12 will be free, free at last....