Tag Archive: 2013

Me, Governor?

Do you agree, Blue Jersey? – promoted by Rosi

Right now, the New Jersey Democratic Party seems lost at sea.  Factions are breaking out all over the State along regional and ideological divides.  Governor Christie has masterfully exploited these cracks and enacted sweeping reforms of once untouchable issues like pension and healthcare benefits for public employees. As 2013 looms, there is no clear cut favorite to challenge Christie.  

Right now I think there are three names to look out for: former Governor Richard Codey, Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, and Congressman Rob Andrews.  

I’m making a few assumptions in developing this short list.  First, based off public statements and actions, I don’t think Newark Mayor Cory Booker has any interest in challenging Christie.  He seems more interested in heading to Washington – either as a US Senator or member of the Obama Administration.  Next, having Andrews as the “South Jersey” candidate eliminates other rumored South Jersey candidates like Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald.  

I know George Norcross is smart enough to get his entire organization behind one candidate, and Andrews makes the most sense for a slew of reasons.  He has the strongest progressive credentials, has the highest name identification from previous statewide runs, and has the oratorical skills for a toe-to-toe matchup with Christie.  I think the Norcross Machine gets behind Andrews and takes one last shot at launching him into statewide office.      

It’s no secret Senator Buono has an interest in taking on Christie.  She has been the strongest progressive voice against his policies and has been touring the State for most of the past year.  She is strong on liberal causes and is a woman in the male dominated New Jersey – something that could appeal to a female electorate that has been under assault by the Christie Administration.  Her biggest problem is organizational support (including locking down Middlesex County where she was on the wrong side of the Chairmanship battle this past month) to have a chance at victory.  The “outsider” strategy she has adopted can only take her so far.  In order to gain any kind of traction, she is going to need some institutional organization.  

That brings us to who I consider the wild card in this entire process: former Governor Richard Codey. Popular, affable, and an axe to grind with New Jersey’s party bosses, he might be the only candidate that could overcome this uphill battle against Democratic power brokers aligned with Gov. Christie.  The biggest question around a potential Codey candidacy is does he want to run?  We all know he loved being Governor, but does he want to take on this type of race this late in his career?  

Regardless of who our nominee is come June 2013, the healing process needs to start now with New Jersey Democrats to come together and unseat a Governor with a string of legislative victories already under his belt and a national donor network to tap into.  

Too soon to start thinking about 2013? (How NOT to run a campaign)

promoted by Rosi

No, it's not too soon, considering:
1.) Christie began running for re-election the day he was inaugurated (as do all incumbents)
2.) No potential Democratic candidate (as far as I know) has stepped forward
3.) We can draw important lessons from 2009 and the shoddy campaign run by Jon Corzine, as illustrated by my experience with a clueless Corzine campaign worker:

Late in 2009 gubernatorial campaign, a Corzine canvasser knocked on my door. I answered, and told him right off the bat we had five registered Democrats in my household; no need to give me a sales pitch. However, I told him three of us would be out of town on Election Day, myself on business, and two of my sons away at college, and we needed absentee ballots.

The canvasser told me about NJ's new vote-by-mail option, and had a stack of applications in his hand. I asked for three forms, and the canvasser refused to give them to me. I asked for the website so I could download my own, he said, no, he did not know the website. Just as I was telling him to get lost, as he was no use to me, he asked if I wanted a yard sign. I said, sure, put as many as you want on my lawn.

As soon as I slammed the door, I immediately fired off a nasty-gram to the campaign, informing them of the behavior of the canvasser and his refusal to help me out with absentee voting. A few days later a representative called me, apologizing, and explaining that this particular canvasser “doesn't believe in vote-by-mail” (!) and that is why he refused to give me the applications. I asked, how can you expect anyone to vote for your candidate if this is how you are running your campaign. I then asked if it was possible to vote at the County Store, and the person said no (this turned out not to be true). I also asked where's my yard  sign and was promised I would get one (I never did). 

County Stores, by the way, are these nifty one-stop shops for just about any government service. The service is friendly and effective. We have them in most malls in South Jersey. I am not sure if every County has one. 

Infuriated, and despite my temptation to sit the election out or vote for a third party candidate, I went to the County Store at the Deptford Mall, held my nose, and voted for Corzine,

I have a feeling I was not alone in my disappointment with the way the Corzine campaign was run, and Christie did not so much win as Corzine lost. He broke the cardinal rule of any job-hunter: Act like you want the job.

Let's not let this happen again.

If the Future were Today: Polls of 2012, 2013 New Jersey Match Ups

We can have some fun looking at the results of a statewide poll of New Jersey by Public Policy Polling. Along with approval ratings for the major figures, they provide head-to-head numbers for future races. There are 520 “New Jersey voters” for an estimated margin of error of 4.3%.  

2013 Race for Governor: Chris Christie 42, Cory Booker 42.

Those numbers are actually misleadingly good for Christie though. 21% of Democrats are undecided in such a match up while only 7% of Republicans are. That’s probably a reflection of 38% of voters in the state still not having an opinion about Booker.

2012 Race for Senator: Bob Menendez 47, Lou Dobbs 35.

Frankly I’ve been worried about Dobbs so I’m happy to see this.  

2012 Race for Senator: Bob Menendez 45, Kim Guadagno 30.

PPP notes that while Dobbs is unpopular, Guadagno is mainly unknown.

2012 Race for Senator: Bob Menendez 41, Tom Kean Jr. 39.

Uh-oh. Bad numbers for the re-match. On the other hand, PPP observes that 51% of voters don’t know who Kean is. I’ll go further and suggest that if so many don’t know who he is, some must think Kean Jr. is his popular father — even though I wouldn’t have guessed it.  

2012 Race for President: Barack Obama 55, Chris Christie 38.

Obama may be weak at the moment but it seems that even a local Republican would get crushed.  Gingrich, Huckabee, and Romney all do about the same as Christie.  

2012 Race for President: Barack Obama 59, Sarah Palin 29

I had to put Palin’s numbers in.  

To the degree you take such early polls seriously, we can conclude that New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes will go to Obama without a battle, Menendez might be vulnerable, and Christie can be defeated.