NJ for Dem Poll: Codey gets the numbers, but Rush Holt gets the hearts and minds

(NJ’s grassroots have spoken. In our IRV poll, which was probably freeped, (w/182 votes cast) Holt wins with 60.4% of the votes; Menendez gets 39.6%. – promoted by jmelli)

There’s s a guy named Dave who went to a great deal of trouble to write his own name in under the OTHER option in NJ for Democracy’s on-line poll asking who Corzine should pick for the Senate. And a few people really really like Bruce Springsteen (duh).

Other than that, we’re comfy the poll is pretty clean: 872 responses, open for one week, designed to discourage interference by accepting only one vote per IP address. We don’t claim it was scientific, because it was on-line. Full results here: www.njfordemocracy.org.

Codey – who may be dropping out today – was the numbers winner but is it Rush Holt who really scored here?  

Dick Codey was the big numbers guy with a solid 29% of the vote. But the Govy’s already balked at the idea of leaving the Garden State for Washington, whilst simultaneously flirting with the idea off-the-record. No matter what, it looks like there’s going to be a primary fight next year, and I’m not sure Codey has that much faith in his game. I feel terrible for Codey – he’s had a rough but admirable year and finishes out way ahead of Corzine in approval rating (Quinnipiac 11/22/05) and in the voters choice for Senate (ditto). If that’s not enough, we anoint him. But the psychology of Dick Codey right now gives me a headache, so let’s take him at his word that he doesn’t want the job; he’s got a press conference within the hour where he’ll probably say just that.

So that means that Rush Holt is the big news here. Big news. He came in right behind Codey, at 25.8%. Hey – NJ for Democracy’s two greatest friends in Congress are Frank Pallone and Rush Holt. There’s no room here to detail all the ways and times both have shared their knowledge with us, encouraged our activism, attended our meetings. Their voting records are superb, both of ’em

But while Holt has always been a bit more reserved, Pallone has been an insider with us, the go-to guy, our friend. In some quarters there is near-fanatical loyalty to him. And I expected him to win, or follow Codey.

But it was Rush Holt. He didn’t even place in the top 4 in this week’s Quinnipiac. But the fact that he did so well with the progressive/activist bunch we have at NJ for Dem, means something:

I think this guy is about to happen. I really do. (Full disclosure dept.: I used to be on RH’s staff). I think Rush Holt may be poised on the edge of a more national profile, even if Corzine doesn’t pick him. Not only was Holt (in 2000) the very first incumbent endorsed by Moveon.org, he voted NO on the war in 2002, has a solid pro-choice and enviro record, and is a wonky physicist who won on Jeopardy” five times. The guy’s a walking feature story.

And in a world where we’re watching the Bush administration rape our economy, fatten his friends and lie us into a war, Rush Holt may be just the kind of straight arrow that appeals to people, particularly as the Dem party swings back to its core values.

Holt’s signature legislation, H.R. 550 – VerifiedVoting.org calls it the “gold standard” for voter-verified paper ballots – is our best defense against the hacking of the vote. This issue WILL catch fire. It’s all about accountability, truth and fairness. And who doesn’t want to see more of that in the Senate?

Comment (1)

  1. Jeff Gardner

    Codey’s staggering popularity aside (and by now we know he’s out of the running), you hit it on the head – I think Holt’s championing of the Voter Verified Paper Ballot issue gave him the kind of signature issue that campaigns kill for.

    If this poll was two years ago, two months ago (heck – two weeks ago!), the signature issue might have been the war, and the anti-war champion might have been Pallone. But, at this moment, democrats are falling over themselves to oppose the war. Harder to stand out there (for now).  

    Meanwhile, here’s hoping the party starts falling over itself to join Rush in supporting VVPBs. Stay tuned.


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