Author Archive: Stacy

McGreevey a Drag on Corzine?

The Sunday New York Times has an article in the Jersey section about the Governor’s race and how boring it has been so far.  Okay, point taken. The article has plenty of discussion about the big name Democrats and Republicans who have been in the state to campaign for Corzine and Forrester. The crux of the article is the claim that it’s just not clear how the big names are helping (or hurting) the candidates.  But at the conclusion of the article, Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report says that Bush probably hurts Forrester as much as McGreevey hurts Corzine.

What?

First off, like him or not, McGreevey’s public approval rating in NJ is just over 50% the last time I looked.  But GWB’s approval rating nationwide is barely 40% and in NJ it’s lower.  I don’t think that Corzine should be doing public events with McGreevey and he isn’t.  But this race is tight and getting tighter.  The Corzine folks should be linking Forrester with Presdident Bush and Vice President Cheney every minute of the day.

That picture of Forrester and Cheney in the NYT today is a nice start.  Let’s see more of that.

The Meaning of Negative Ads

As I have watched the Corzine and Forrester television ads in the last few weeks, I have been surprised by the amount of negative ads that Corzine is running.  

By negative ad, I mean ads that attack the opponent on a particular issue:  (e.g.: “Joe Citizen’s plan to clean New Jersey’s sidewalks will raise our taxes and is a costly disaster”) without explaining how you would do it better (“Josephine Citizen will help communities to have clean sidewalks without raising our taxes”).

I’m not an opponent of negative ads all together.  I’ve read the political science studies and I know that going negative can help to open the gap in a race, even as the negative ads suppress turnout.  My point here is that Corzine has been going negative for the last few weeks and this suggests at least two things:  His people had internal numbers suggesting that Forrester was gaining AND they expect the race to stay tight.

Forrester has gone negative as well, but he’s behind and going negative is an obvious strategy in this circumstance.  But Corzine has gone negative while in the lead.  What’s the deal?