Thanks for participating in our gubernatorial poll and for so many informed comments. As of early this morning with 56 votes cast, the results indicate there are three leading candidates that you prefer. Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) received 21 votes (38%), followed by former Governor and current Senator Richard Codey (D-27) with 15 votes (27%) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker with 12 votes (21%). The next highest choice Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D 19) got 3 votes (5%). If one were to select out just the three top candidates, Buono would have 44%, Codey 31% and Booker 25%. Steve Sweeney, in spite of his prominence as Senate President, picked up only one vote (2%) from our progressive readers.
Your comments reflected intellect, passion, hope, anger, despair and more. Using a “word count” the top three candidates were mentioned by name with about the same frequency: 35 times each. (Governor Christie was mentioned 88 times.) Some comments dealt with strategy: “We need to employ a 21 county strategy and look for a candidate who will put up a fight in a county that Christie won hands down.” A number of individuals spoke about their dislike for Boss politics: “I’m willing to support almost any candidate that isn’t a puppet of the Norcross machine (including Sweeney & Booker).”
In supporting Cory Booker, readers pointed to his popularity in the polls vs. Christie, his charismatic personality, money raising ability, mayoral experience and support from the African-American community. Others questioned his ability to get teacher and broader union support. A backer of Dick Codey said he is “the only one who has actually been governor. Remains generally popular with state residents. Is tough.” Another person commented, “Codey is a great guy but his chance I feel was in 2005.” One person wrote about Barbara Buono: “It doesn’t seem like she would be able to effectively combat Christie head on. Christie’s style is very direct and bombastic… Buono, who is soft-spoken I think would fail to overcome this stark difference.” Another individual complimented Sen. Buono for her style. Although she led in the poll there was very little commentary as to why people support her. There was also discussion as to whether certain candidates, even Christie, would actually run.
Several individuals said Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) should have been included in the poll. After an unscientific scanning of about ten articles on potential candidates, I selected all the names mentioned as choices for our poll. Sen. Loretta Weinberg was not mentioned in the articles, and I have never heard her express any interest. As a former LG candidate, current Senate Majority Leader and an overwhelming Blue Jersey favorite, she would have received a lot of votes which might have obscured the intent of the poll which was designed for likely candidates. Readers also had an opportunity to vote for “Someone else” (two individuals did so) and to mention in the comments that their vote was for Senator Weinberg or another person.
Let us know what topics you would like for future polls, such as Pascrell vs. Rothman; Should a millionaire’s tax be on the November ballot?; In what areas should the legislature make budget increases over (or under) Christie’s proposals?; Should Bruce Harris be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice?; boxers vs. briefs; etc.