William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






NEW JERSEY LAST MINUTE - AT 5:02 A.M. ET:  A last-minute poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday by Public Policy Polling, gives Republican challenger Chris Christie a solid lead over incumbent Dem Governor Jon Corzine in New Jersey's gubernatorial race:

Chris Christie leads Jon Corzine 47-41 in PPP's final poll of the New Jersey Governor's race, with Chris Daggett at 11%.

Corzine had pulled to within a point of Christie on our poll three weeks ago after trailing by as many as 14 points over the summer, but his momentum has stalled since then and Christie's built his lead back up to 4 points last week and now 6.

Christie's advantage is due largely to his support from independents and because he has Republicans more unified around him than the Democrats are around Corzine. Christie leads Corzine 52-29 with indies, as Daggett's support with that group has declined to 16%. Christie is getting 82% of Republicans to Corzine's 72% of Democrats.

COMMENT:  We stress that this is one poll.  There may be others during the day.  We also stress that the last-minute impact of President Obama's campaign visit to New Jersey could not be reflected in this poll. 

Internal examination of the results shows a disturbing racial split, with African Americans and Hispanics heavily for Corzine, whites heavily for Christie:

Corzine leads 76-12 among African Americans and 51-37 among Hispanics but trails Christie by a resounding 55-33 margin with white voters.

That is a pattern we're likely to see in other races around the country. 

Stand by for possible updates.

November 2,  2009