About that Morris County Democratic Poll…

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Morris County Democrats have won only one freeholder seat in the history of mankind, so optimistic signs need to be viewed with a bit of skepticism.

Still, Democrats are trumpeting a recent internal poll that declares the six-person race to be a dead heat. If true, that’s very good news for the Dems.

According to the poll, all six candidates are within three percentage points of each other.

The poll has Republicans Deborah Smith, the only incumbent in the race, and John Krickus at 36 percent; Republican Stephen Shaw is at 35 percent.

Democrat Mary Dougherty, the wife of Morristown mayor Tim Dougherty, is at 35 percent,. Fellow Democrats Richard Corcoran and Rupande Mehta are each at 33 percent.

Chip Robinson, the county Democratic chair, is quoted in the release as saying, “The results of this poll (are) the culmination of all of our hard work over the past several years.” He added that Morris County is turning “blue” and that “we are now within striking distance of making this change at the county level.”

Not so fast.

For one thing, even if Democrats win all three seats the county will not be “blue.” Republicans would still control the board 4-3,

For another thing, Republicans dismiss the poll as unreliable.

Smith said it has no meat, adding that, “As we go door-to-door, our message is resonating very strongly.”

Nonetheless, Republicans have acknowledged this year’s freeholder race is more competitive than usual. The GOP is well aware Democrats did well in Morris County last year and that the party’s base is energized. Mikie Sherrill, the Democratic CD-11 candidate, is well-funded and could possibly boost Democratic turnout in the eastern portion of the county.

What can help Republicans is that the western part of the county, which is not in the 11th District, remains quite conservative judging from last year’s election results. The District 25 legislative team of Bucco, Buuco and Carroll survived a surprisingly close race by winning handily in such places as Roxbury and Washington Township. The GOP would love a similar voting pattern.

Trying to leave nothing to chance, Morris Republicans have stepped up their canvassing and phone bank efforts.

The poll in question was done by Lincoln Park Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm. The company says on its website that “our approach to every project is strongly rooted in the belief that, at the end of the day, conforming to the status quo is not a strategy. nor a solution.”

Well, a Democratic freeholder win surely would not be conforming to the status quo.

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