Republican pollster David Winston had a insightful column in Roll Call on Tuesday about the prospects of John McCain putting California into play, but he also had these interesting comments about New Jersey:
“McCain may have been at odds with a part of the GOP base on immigration and other issues. But as it turns out, he may be perfectly positioned to take advantage of Obama’s Hispanic problem, not just in California, but in blue states like New Jersey as well.
“In 2004, Hispanic voters made up 10 percent of the New Jersey electorate. Kerry won the state with 53 percent, close enough to make New Jersey a target state for Republicans in 2008.
“Clinton’s 38-point margin over Obama with Hispanic voters in the New Jersey primary, coupled with McCain’s moderate conservatism, could be a potent prescription for a tight race in November with even small movement in key groups like Hispanics or working-class swing voters.”
So could McCain win the Garden State? I’ve argued that he could pull together a winning combination of ethnic Catholics and Volvo Republicans.
But a new Monmouth University/Gannett poll out today has me thinking twice. According to the survey, Barack Obama would defeat McCain by a whoppin’ 24 points and Hillary Clinton would best him by 14 points.
If McCain wins New Jersey, it’ll just be the icing on the cake of his Pennsylvania victory.