21-County Strategy: Richest Counties in America Went for Obama – NJ’s the Anomaly


We need a 21-County strategy in New Jersey. Outlook can only get better.

Eight of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. went for Barack Obama in Tuesday’s election, including Somerset County, NJ.

Only two of the richest went for Romney, and they’re both in New Jersey – blue New Jersey.

Unite and couquer … after the jump.

Morris County, by census figures the 9th wealthiest in the country, came out for Romney 55-44%. It will surprise no Hunterdon resident that the split was greater there in the 5th richest; 59-40% Romney.

Class warfare was a recurrent theme in the 2012 election; the Republicans accused the Democrats of it, while they themselves played it whenever possible, to distract voters from what their standard bearer had to say about 47% of his fellow citizens, or the nearly party-wide sensibility that if people lose their homes trying to pay for uncovered pre-existing conditions, or are otherwise falling through America’s cracks, it’s their own fault for being lazy and shiftless.

And yet, plenty of wealthy Americans with their heads screwed on straight returned an imperfect model president back to the White House over a soulless businessman who celebrated their class as though it was the only one that mattered.

Hunterdon and Morris counties share a common border, and with crimson wastelands Warren and Sussex counties – not quite as wealthy, plenty red – form the northwest corner of New Jersey, where Democrats are electectable only in pockets, where some of the best Democratic candidates who run meet defeat. These counties abut 7th wealthiest Somerset, which voted for Obama 52-47%, had the largest Obama bump in D party affiliation in 2008 and is undergoing demographic changes with an influx of people from from the more progressive north and east that those other counties will surely soon see more of.

All of this argues for an initiative to link the best Democratic strategists and activists in New Jersey’s northwest together, along with party leaders, to share ideas and best practices and plan together for beefier, smarter and better-funded campaigns down, and eventually up ballot. It’s the kind of thing that should be obvious if Democrats were still thinking like they were during Howard Dean’s 50-State Strategy. It’s 21-County strategy, and it’s about time.

Shout-out to my people in NW New Jersey ….

Comments (15)

  1. Bertin Lefkovic

    If the powers that be were not willing to invest a few thousand dollars to help Marie Corfield win a very winnable Assembly seat in a very winnable LD that was created more for the purpose of ending Reed Gusciora’s political career than increasing the Democratic majorities in the Assembly and Senate, because the powers that be don’t want to spend money on the re-election efforts of elected officials who they might not be able to control, which is exactly what LD16 could produce once all of the votes are finally counted and regardless of the outcome, Marie and two other equally progressive running mates run for State Senate and State Assembly respectively next year, there are surely not going to invest any resources in developing Northwest New Jersey.

    The party bosses here in NJ are smart enough to see that Howard Dean’s 50-state strategy not only made it possible for Barack Obama to overperform in states like Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia during the 2008 general election, but even more important than that, it also made it possible for him to overperform in some of the reddest states in the country during the primary election, which enabled him to amass a huge number of delegates from places that were beyond the control of the Democratic establishment in Washington, DC that was primarily behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

    This more than anything is the reason why the bosses and the NJDSC that they control is never going to invest in NWNJ.  They know that the Democrats who live in counties like Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex, and Warren are amongst the most independent and progressive in the state and any elected officials that are elected from there are going to be just as independent and progressive.

    The Democratic establishment has as large of majorities in the Assembly and Senate to accomplish what it wants to do with its allies in the Republican establishment.  The last thing that they want is to have these majorities increased with people who are operating outside of the their orbit and are more inclined to align with insurgents.

    They also have more than enough voters within their sphere of influence to win the statewide elections that they want to win and lose the ones that they want to lose.  The last thing that they want to do is add voters that are outside their sphere of infuence, complicating both general and primary elections.

    If you want a 21-county strategy, Rosi, you have to build it yourself.  You have to build a New Jersey Progressive Democratic State Committee that is going to help elect progressive Democrats in both primary elections and general elections everywhere in the state.  If there is anyone who can do this, Rosi, it is you.  With a communications tool like Blue Jersey and a grassroots organizing tool like DFA-NJ, you have the power to do anything and everything that you want to do and make the Democratic Party anything and everything that you want it to be.  In fact, you might be the only one who can.

    The question is, do you want to?

  2. Steve M

    Another one of the richest counties in America is Oakland County, Michigan, where Mitt Romney grew up and went to school.  Until recently, this was solid Republican territory.  It went to Obama 54-46%.

  3. Erik Preuss

    that suggest a 21 county strategy is feasible? If so, than it’s probably a good idea. That being said, I don’t necessarily think Obama winning those counties means Dems can be competitive on a state level in Northwest NJ. People who would come out and vote democrat for the president are not likely to be nearly as engaged or aware of what is going on in state level elections.

    Also, if the above isn’t advising the state committee to implement this strategy, who do you think should put it into place Rosi?


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