NJ: Gubernatorial Debate Wrap-Up

The media reaction to last night's gubernatorial debate in New Jersey has been uniformly positive in favor of independent candidate Chris Daggett. As The Thirds put it in their round-up: "Rave Reviews for Daggett's Performance." At the New Jersey News Room, Josh McMahon writes: "Debate Verdict: After Trading Shots, Forget Christie and Corzine, and Start Thinking Daggett." Writing for the New York Times, David Halbfinger agrees:
it was the little-known independent, Christopher Daggett, a former Environmental Protection Agency official, who all but stole the show, promoting a plan to cut the state’s skyrocketing property taxes by up to 25 percent and haranguing Mr. Christie in particular for lacking a specific plan of his own.Over 90 tense minutes, Mr. Daggett, 59, seemed to metamorphose from a halting speaker in the early going into a sure-footed vaudevillian, puncturing the arguments of his opponents even as they both seemed to go out of their way to agree with him as often as possible. “It sounds like both these two guys might vote for me,” he said.
CNN's Political Ticker blog writes: "The underdog third party candidate — independent Chris Daggett — also turned in a confident performance that could enhance his profile with voters." Predictably, the Christie campaign's Save Jersey Blog asserted that the Republican was the clear winner in the debate, yet numerous conservative-leaning New Jersey bloggers were left unimpressed. Garden State Patriot, for instance, conceded that Daggett came out on top in the contest: "Debates are an expectations game. And Daggett came into this debate with little expected of him. In this respect I suppose one could consider him the ‘winner’ of tonight’s debate for whatever that’s worth." Last night's debate has certainly raised Daggett's profile, and it may well lead to a bump in support for the only viable alternative to the reproduction of the duopolist order in the Garden State.

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