[Insert Torricelli-themed pun involving Corzine rumor here.]

RedState colleague Mark Impomeni reports that New Jersey Democrats may be contemplating putting the Torch to Corzine’s campaign:

It could be déjà vu all over again in New Jersey, as rumors percolate that Democrats may force incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine off the November ballot if his poll numbers do not improve quickly. Corzine, a former United States Senator and first-term governor, trails Republican challenger Christopher Christie by nearly double-digits in aggregate polling in the governor’s race and has not enjoyed a lead over Christie in any poll since early January.

The Corzine campaign denies that the governor would consider dropping out, calling talk of a replacement “gossip.”

Why this is not generally considered to be enough to squash that particular rumor is because, of course, New Jersey Democrats did this back when Torricelli was ‘persuaded’ to drop out of the Senate race and replaced in a manner that I would call illegal, but unfortunately the NJ Supreme Court did not. This time around, talk centers around either Rep Pallone or Sen Menendez (although the latter may be reluctant to do so, particularly considering how many of his Bergen County Democratic friends are currently up on corruption charges). The clock’s ticking on this one, as Mark notes: the closer it gets to November, the harder it gets for the Democrats to toss Corzine.

The complicating factor here is that Corzine’s major problem is that he’s loathed by NJ voters for his job performance; unless there’s a convenient revelation of major criminal shenanigans on Corzine’s part, he is going to want to bull his way through and hope that he can narrow the race. And he did win the primary; if NJ Democrats get a name for setting aside the results of their primaries every time the winner ends up polling badly, it becomes a fair question to ask why the party even has them…

Moe Lane

PS: Chris Christie for Governor. Contribute here.

Crossposted to RedState.