During the 2000 Presidential election, some liberals who preferred Ralph Nader to Al Gore, but were (correctly) afraid that their votes would help to elect George W. Bush, the far greater of the two evils (from their perspective, not mine – Gore was a lousy Presidential candidate, but he was most certainly not evil and eventually found his voice on environmental and other issues during the Dubya years), came up with an interesting idea that if implemented fully throughout the country could have changed the outcome of the election and everything that followed dramatically.
The concept was that Gore voters in cobalt blue and crimson red states would vote for Nader in return for Nader voters in purple states voting for Gore with the hope that Gore would win the purple states and become President while Nader would get enough votes for the Green Party that they would become a strong and viable 3rd party in the future. Sadly, because the idea was not fully implemented or well-organized in the least, neither happened. However, it does provide for some inspiration for the upcoming October and November elections.
Grassroots progressives are just as unhappy with Cory Booker as movement conservatives are with Chris Christie, particularly because they recognize that their victories in 2013 will most likely propel both men to Presidential candidacies, which could enable them to have an undesired impact on the ideology of their respective political party, especially if they eventually become President of the United States. Assuming for a moment that progressives would be willing to sacrifice a United States Senate seat for one year in return for reclaiming a gubernatorial seat for four years at the very least and conservatives would be willing to do the reverse, I believe that we have the foundation for Project Vote Swap Redux.
As I have written previously, helping Steven Lonegan pull off the greatest upset in the history of electoral politics in October would effectively end Cory Booker’s political career and give Democrats another chance to nominate a more liberal candidate to run against and defeat Lonegan in November 2014. It would also serve to discredit Booker’s pro-voucher, pro-Wall Street brand of Democrat and scare others who might try to put socially liberal lipstick on an economically conservative pig going forward. Conversely, if Barbara Buono were to pull off a similar upset against Chris Christie in November, it would put an end to his political career as well and end his 2016 Presidential campaign before it even started.
I would like to believe that there are just as many supporters of Rand Paul and other far-right-wing Republicans with Presidential ambitions who would be willing to stomach four-to-eight years of Barbara Buono as Governor of New Jersey in order to get the 800-pound gorilla out of the room as there are liberal Democrats who would be willing to stomach a year-plus of Steven Lonegan as our state’s junior United States Senator, knowing that nothing of consequence is going to happen during this time anyway and he will most certainly lose to whatever Democrat is nominated to run against him next June.
Obviously, finding liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans who would agree to swap their October and November votes would require far more logistical and organizational savvy than the Nader Traders employed in 2000, but thirteen years later, we have a far more robust internet and social media tools at our disposal. The only question is whether or not we have the will to implement a plan like this.