promoted by Rosi
MoveOn has been polling a lot of districts early for Congress, and this is a good thing for recruitment. Too often our potentially strong NJ candidates for House seats bail out because no one believes we can win, and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as our rich donors give to other states and our highly talented operatives head off to other districts. So we’re left with underfunded second tier candidates with little or no talent on their campaigns.
But with these polls coming it’s possible that funders and talent will see potential in New Jersey to pick up a seat or three, and to be an “early adopter” for the funders and a wnner-against-the-odds for our talent. And here’s some info that gets us there: Three new polls show Republican House members under water (PDF).
Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ11) is six points negative approval with 35 percent approving and 41 percent disapproving. In a head-to-head against a generic Democrat, Frelinghuysen loses 42-47. When the pollster told the respondents Frelinghuysen voted to shut down the government the generic head-to-head falls to 42-50. The magic 50 percent for an unnamed opponent.
Scott Garrett (R-NJ5) is in worse trouble. His approval is better than Frelinghuysen’s at 39 percent, but his unfavorables are a whopping 46 percent. His generic head to head is a losing 44 – 49 and when you add in his votes to support the GOP brinksmanship he gets to 45-50. Again the magic 50.
But Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) is the most surprising, and the most vulnerable of the three. He’s a full 10 points underwater at 32 favorable and 42 unfavorable, though some of the poor positives could be that he’s still largely unknown. That’s born out by his initial head-to-head tie at 43 for himself and 43 for a generic Democrat. Tack on the recent kerfluffle over the debt ceiling and continuing resolution and he’s down 40-48. Not to 50, but getting there.
This shows that with $15 million dollars and some skilled campaigns we could take three seats in New Jersey. Tack on the wholly unqualified Jon Runyan and there’s a real chance to make some serious headway in New Jersey.
But only if we work at it. Remember, county parties are where we keep looking for support but that makes no sense. County parties are about county and local offices, not Congress. Having a member of Congress doesn’t bring any jobs, doesn’t help raise money, doesn’t really do accrue any credit to the local party.
So it’s up to us. If we want these seats we need to start now. Encourage good candidates, recruit volunteers to start working, start letter writing campaigns and public activism now, and be ready to work hard and raise money once we have candidates.
Or we can sit on our hands, wait for the “powers that be” to step up, and keep our 6-6 House delegation.
Which do you want?