Tag Archive: Shelley Adler

Which Party Puts Up Qualified Candidates in NJ-3?

Republican Congressman Jim Saxton represented New Jersey’s Third Congressional District for a quarter-century. Let’s take a look at the candidates from both parties who ran or are running for that seat since then.

On the Republican side, we had a business executive who later turned out to be a sex offender, an eminently unqualified but popular NFL star, and an out-of-district millionaire who is attempting to buy the seat.

On the Democratic side, we had a popular, fiercely smart Harvard-educated State Senator, then his equally qualified widow, and now an advocate for environmental protection and health care.

While both parties want to win, it seems like the Democrats are taking this business of representational government more seriously.

What’s Happening Today Mon. 09/23/2013

“Showdown week in Congress”: Roll Call reminds us, “House Republicans will push through this week a debt ceiling increase tied to an assortment of GOP wish list items (including of course: death to Obamacare.) But those are sidelines to the main event: whether the government will shut down come Oct. 1.”

Where are our Democratic congressional challengers?: To run a successful campaign against a Republican congressional incumbent there is no time to waste. However, few such candidates have appeared so far. Below is the status and the votes in each of the four closest races against Republican incumbents in the last cycle.

  • CD 3: Jon Runyan: 174,257 – Shelley Adler: 145,509. There are efforts to recruit a candidate but no one’s name is public yet.

  • CD 5: Scott Garrett: 167,503 – Adam Gussen 130,102. Roy Cho, Hackensack, Attorney, Ex-Congressional Aide & Ex-Gubernatorial Aide, raised $80,804 through June 30 – more than Adam Gussen but a far cry from what is needed.

  • CD 2: Frank LoBiondo: 166,679 – Cassandra Shober. 116,463. Conservative (more so than LoBiondo) Mike Assad (R) Ex-Absecon School Board Member and Radio Talk Show Host, seeks to primary LoBiondo, but no Dem. candidate in sight yet.

  • CD 7: Leonard Lance: 175,704 – Upendra Chivukula. 123,090. No candidate has surfaced.

    In the meantime SuperPAC’s are building their warchests: Although SuperPACs are waiting until next year to unload their cargo, the conservative Club for Growth has just landed a big donation. Roll Call reports, Virginia James, a self-employed investor from Lambertville has contributed $500,000. In 2012 she gave $1.2 million to the Club.

    Strong support for a minimum wage increase: Monmouth University poll today indicates that 65% of registered voters say they will vote in favor of the increase. Support comes from majorities of Democrats (74%), independents (63%), and Republicans (54%). The rate still falls below the inflation-adjusted rate from the late 1960s, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    Public Schedule:

    Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: No public events today.

    Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign:  Chris Christie: 10:00am, National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Council ribbon-cutting ceremony, Asbury Park Middle School.

    U.S. Senate Candidate Cory Booker: Fund-raiser: 10:00am, Morning Reception hosted by ECE Works, Los Angeles, CA; 6:00pm, Reception at the home of Ron Burkle, with Matt Damon in Los Angeles. For more info go here.

    Assemblyman (D-38) Tim Eustace: 8:00pm, Fund-raiser: Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, John DeBellis and Brian Karemk, Comedy Night, Paramus Elks Lodge #2001, 200 New Jersey 17, Paramus, $25.00 (for union members) and up. RSVP to Andrew at 201.669-8213.

    U. S Senate 2:30, Hearing on combating Human Trafficking with former NJ Attorney General John J. Farmer testifying on a major concern of Senator Jeff Chiesa, Washington, D.C.

    Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities, 10:00am, hearing on the safety of jitneys, State House, Trenton.  

  • Democrats Break GOP Stranglehold on BurlCo Freeholder Board

    Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that the GOP spent tons of money on a nasty, factually void negative campaign against the Democratic Freeholder candidates, Aimee Belgard and Joanne Schwartz were victorious in their election tonight. They will join three GOP Freeholders who were not up for election this year, so the Democrats will still be in the minority. But the veil of secrecy over the Board’s business will be made more transparent, and that’s a win for the citizens of Burlington County.

    Left to Right: Freeholder-elect Joanne Schwartz, Burlington County Democratic Chair Joe Andl, Freeholder-elect Aimee Belgard

    Guard the Change

    Senator Bob Menendez made the rounds in South Jersey this morning. One of his stops was in Willingboro where he gave a powerful stump speech to a delighted and energized crowd.

    Political Notes (10/28/2012): WHAZZUP?

    As we rapidly approach elections, SuperPac’s keep spending money in support or opposition of NJ candidates. There has been only one new local House poll this past week, and we have seen only small and not statistically significant changes in the presidential election race, with Obama continuing ahead of Romney in NJ.

    We may lack the most closely contested, hottest local races in the country, but SuperPAC’s are still spending money for and against NJ candidates. Just in the last two months alone, according to Federal Election Commission data, SuperPACs have reported independent expenditures of over $2 million for Garden State office seekers. (These monies are spent directly by the SuperPacs and are separate from what individuals, corporations, party headquarters and others donate directly to candidates.) Below is the rundown as of yesterday’s data:  

  •   $833,000 in support of incumbent Senator Robert Menendez – The largest amount was from Majority PAC which calls itself “aggressive Democratic strategists with one mission: “Protect the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.” The group provides monies in support of Democrats and in opposition to Republican candidates like Mourdock and Akin who share crackpot ideas about rape, abortion and women’s heath. The average of the four most recent polls, according to Real Clear Politics indicates, Menendez is ahead by 18.5% points.

  •   $468,000 In in support of Republican Shmuley Boteach (CD 9) – entirely from Patriot Prosperity funded by Big Spender and casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. This amount does not include another $500,000 that Adelson said he would contribute to Boteach’s campaign against Bill Pascrell in this solid Democratic district. Adelson’s money won’t win the race, but every dollar spent in NJ helps our economy, and turnout remains important.  

  •   $410,000 in support of Republican candidate for Senate Joe Kyrillos, also entirely from Patriot Prosperity. Kyrillos as mentioned above is 18.5 points behind Senator Menendez in the polls. Kyrillos this week launched his first negative TV ad, while Menendez remains positive.

  •   $342,000 in opposition to Democrat Shelley Adler challenger in CD 3 entirely paid for by Congressional Leadership Fund, referred to by some as House Speaker John Boehner’s Super PAC.

  •   $73,000 in support of incumbent Republican Jon Runyan (CD 3) from such groups as the NRA, National Right to Life and the Lunchpail Republicans. The only available poll is from Stockton, and statistically significant, with Runyan ahead of Adler by 10 points, but with 12% of voters undecided. Turnout and undecideds are critical.

    The one new recent poll from Stockton, statistically significant, in CD 2 has nine-term incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo ahead 54% to 34% for underfunded Democrat challenger Cassandra Shober – leaving 12% in the Undecided or Other columns.

    For additional national and local information go beyond the fold.

  • Polls: Much Ado About Margins of Error

    Polls – love them or hate them – are here to stay. Polls may be statistically significant (outside the margin of error) or statistically not significant (within the margin of error).

    Often people calculate statistical significance as twice the reported margin of error of the poll. This is done following the logic that if one candidate is at 55% and the other at 45% and the poll has a ±5% margin of error, then the first candidate could be as low as 55−5 = 50% and the second could be as high as 45+5 = 50%. In this case reporters would say the race was a statistical dead heat because the gap between the candidates (55 − 45 = 10%) is not more than two times the margin of error of the poll (5%).

    There are other factors to consider: how recent was the poll, how large was the sample size, does the pollster have a reputation for bias, and are there other polls with which to compare it. If there are more than two candidates in the race or a substantial number of undecided respondents the results may be confounding. In general, however, where the results of one candidate versus the other are more than twice the margin of error, there is considerable likelihood of statistical significance.

    Polls for the Senate race in New Jersey have consistently shown Senator Bob Menendez in the lead over State Senator Joe Kyrillos. Real Clear Politics provides him with an average 18.5 point lead based on four recent polls which have Menendez up 22, 20, 18, and 14 points. Reviewing the margins of error of these particular polls suggest they are all statistically significant.  

    Polls for the Presidential race in NJ have also consistently shown President Obama in the lead over Mitt Romney. The five most recent polls have Obama up 14, 15, 7, 8, and 11 points. Real Clear Politics provides him with an average 11 point lead. All the polls are statistically significant, except for the one with Obama leading by 7 points.

    In our congressional districts there are two strongly contested races which are leaning Republican. In CD 3 I know of only one poll, the the Stockton poll of October 4, which indicates incumbent Republican Jon Runyan leads Democratic challenger Shelley Adler by a margin of 49 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. The margin of error is +/- 4% suggesting it is statistically significant. Unfortunately I know of no other poll with which to compare it. In CD7 where incumbent Republican Leonard Lance is challenged by Democrat Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, I have seen no poll.

    Regarding the presidential tracking polls nationally, today’s Real Clear Politics (RCP) has  47.1% for President Obama and 46.9% for Mitt Romney. The most significantly outlying poll, the Gallup Poll, as of today had Obama 45% and Romney 52% – a 7 point Romney lead with a +/- 2% margin of error – rendering it statistically significant. The other eight most recent polls in the RCP computation have Romney ahead by 2, 1, and 1 points; Obama ahead by 6, 3, 3 and 1 points; and one tie. Only the Gallup Poll holds statistical significance. The Presidential Electoral College Maps, based on state polls, show considerable variance. RCP has Obama with 201 likely/leaning votes and Romney with 206 likely/leaning votes and 131 toss up votes. POLITICO apportions the toss up states and has Obama with 277 votes (enough to win) and Romney at 261. Anyway you look at it, this race is a cliffhanger filled with statistical uncertainty.

    Another pesky thing about polls is they can change. So with little more than two weeks to elections, stay tuned and check those margins of error.  

    Cory Booker Stumps for Shelley Adler

    If Shelley Adler is to win her congressional race, she needs to ensure that her base goes to the polls on Election Day. To that end, the Adler campaign brought in Newark’s popular mayor, Cory Booker, to appear at a rally at the Willingboro Senior Center.

    About 200 people, mostly seniors, came to hear Adler and Booker.  Adler spoke briefly – she didn’t need to promote herself. After all, the audience knew well that her opponent, Jon Runyan, is no friend to senior citizens. And the crowd was there to hear the rock star mayor of Newark. Booker didn’t disappoint.

    Hizonner spoke extemporaneously for over a half hour – he was part preacher, part stand-up comic, part motivational speaker, and part poet. The audience remained engaged throughout as Booker invoked the late Michael Jackson in describing how the GOP does its forward-appearing but backward moon walk. Booker talked about how “sedentary agitation” helped elect Chris Christie three years ago. He talked about how Newark is the wine capital of America. And lots more.

    Booker’s remarks start at about the 9 minute mark in the video.

    Dave Levinsky’s reporting on the event is here.

    Disclosure: I do canvassing for the Adler campaign.

    Menendez in Metuchen

    Even though his re-election is virtually assured, Senator Robert Menendez is not taking anything for granted. This was amply demonstrated by his performance in this week’s debate against State Senator Joe Kyrillos. While Kyrillos spoke mostly in platitudes and talking points, Menendez had specific facts and figures at his fingertips.

    Menendez is also working hard to reach out to his constituents, criss-crossing the state to meet and greet folks from all walks of life. Today, I caught up with him at the Metuchen Country Fair, where he generously took a few minutes to speak with Blue Jersey before returning to handshaking and listening.

    As an added bonus, I spoke with Congressman Frank Pallone, also below.

    Shelley Adler ad: “Free Agent”

    NJ-3 challenger to Rep. Jon Runyan Shelley Adler released her latest ad today again with a football theme, a “free agent” for outsourcing. It shows a big, helmeted wrecking ball of a guy in a suit knocking people over at their workplaces, and literally soaking a family. Adler, at the end, makes an appearance to literally lift up one of the workers Runyan shoved. What do you think, Blue Jersey?