Adler: Maybe Better Than You Think

Is John Adler’s voting record what we want? No it is not. But as Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) data demonstrates, his record is that of an average Democratic Representative and far better than that of the most liberal or moderate Republicans.

Among the 20 bills in 2009 most important to ADA, Adler’s score was 85%. That score happens to match exactly (85%) the average score of all Democrats in the House of Representatives. Not so terrible. Truly conservative Democrats scored below 50%.  Although his score was the lowest of NJ Democrats, it was only slightly below that of Pascrell (90%) and  Pallone (95%).  We are fortunate that our other Democratic Representatives scored 100%.

His voting record is noticeably different from that of Republicans. The average score of all Republican Representatives was 7%. The four most liberal Republicans scored 45%. 75 Representatives scored 0.  In comparison with Adler’s score of 85%, the highest NJ Republican Representative’s score was Lance (40% which almost makes him a “liberal” Republican), followed by LoBiondo (35%), Smith (30%), Frelinghuysen (15%), and you can guess at Garrett’s score, but any guess above 0 is wrong.    

A strong Democratic turnout in support of Adler will avert a buffoon from taking office and one whose ADA score will be closer to 0 than Adler’s 85%. It will also help maintain the Democratic leadership in congress. Strong Democratic turn-out and pre-election support might even encourage Adler’s more liberal tendencies within this GOP stronghold. Let’s keep Democrats in office and plan to be more choosy when we return to a period when there are genuine liberal or moderate Republicans and more electable liberal Democrats from whom to select.

Comments (2)

  1. deciminyan

    While these types of surveys are indicative of where a candidate leans, they are just one way of evaluating his or her tendencies.  Remember, the Republicans are under strict orders to vote in lock step with their leadership, so the GOP numbers don’t surprise me.  

    Another way to look at our elected legislators is how they do on specific major pieces of legislation.  In this case, Adler fails miserably, since the premiere accomplishment of the 111th Congress was Health Insurance Reform, and Mr. Adler was on the wrong side of the issue (as he is on extending Bush tax cuts and on rural energy loans).

    Notwithstanding that, Adler is fiercely intelligent – I’ve heard him speak in front of a somewhat hostile audience, and he keeps his cool with cogent fact-based arguments.  He’s clearly a better candidate than Runyan who has demonstrated that he can memorize Tea Party talking points as well as he can memorize football plays.

    Face it, NJ-3 is a conservative Republican district, and I hope we elect the moderate Republican instead of the near-Tea Party airhead.  Fielding a progressive Democrat in NJ-3 is not enough.  We need to get better at messaging despite the fact that the prime source of news for the electorate is Fox “News”.  We are fortunate in South Jersey to have the Philadelphia Inquirer as a middle-of-the-road media outlet, but that newspaper is on its last legs and only wonks and old farts like me read dead-tree newspapers.

    Adler was elected to office on Barack Obama’s coattails and the fact that the incumbent (Saxton) was retiring.  So the question is, will Adler’s hard work, independence, and campaign chest pay off and get him elected without the enthusiasm that was generated in 2008, or will the district’s conservative persona play it “safe” by electing a popular right-wing football player?

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