Tag Archive: 2014 elections

November 4, 2014: Looking Back & Recapping

In the U. S. elections last week Republicans took control of the U. S. Senate with 7 new seats and as of now have a lead of 52 to 46 with two undecided. In the House of Representatives Republicans, already in the majority, have gained 12 seats to lead 244 to 184 with 7 undecided. In gubernatorial races, where Christie spent so much time, Republicans gained net 3 seats with 2 still undecided.  

In New Jersey we note in congressional races low Democratic turn out, an exciting victory in CD 12, heartbreak in CD 3 and 5, the winners all being those who raised the most money, independent funders spending big in CD 3 but not so much elsewhere, the departure of a highly respected congressman in CD 12, mixed quality of public polls, all incumbents winning, and the congressional delegation balance remaining unchanged at six R’s and six D’s. Both Public Questions passed. Voting by mail has increased from 10,000 in 2003 to 139,000 in the most recent report for 2013.

Also worth noting is the resurgence of county Democrats in Bergen, which has the state’s largest number of registered voters and whose Dem. Party Chair Lou Stellato is being wooed by potential gubernatorial candidates. Jim Tedesco (D) defeated long-time politician Kathe Donovan (R) to become the B. C. Executive. Current Freeholder Board Chair David Ganz (D) was re-elected as was Joan Voss (D), allowing the Board to remain in control of Democrats.    

U. S. Senate

With a bulging bankroll and a win in the 2012 Special Election, no Dem (big or small) wanted to take on Cory Booker (D) in the Senate primary. A Republican called Jeff Bell, who loves the Gold Standard (ended in 1933) and had not resided in NJ the past 30 years, defeated someone called Richard Pezzullo by 5,000 votes to become the challenger. Bell has since returned to obscurity while Booker continues on as a celebrity. (997,000 to 763,000)

For brief comments on the 12 congressional races go below the fold.

2014 Elections: “Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and Unknown Unknowns”

Vietnam War Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is occasionally quoted as saying, “There are things we know that we know… there are things that we now know we don’t know,… and there are things we do not know we don’t know.” Of course Rumsfeld ran a foul of his own logic process when he said six months later during an interview in December 2002, “I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.”

This oft-repeated but all-too-clever conflation of words, nonetheless, might be helpful in determining how to conduct our current involvement in the middle-east wars or in dealing with Ebola. It could even be useful to keep in mind when projecting election results, particularly those which appear close.

Below the fold we use Rumsfeld’s scheme to attempt to decode Tuesday’s elections.

Independent Funders Spending Big But Not So Much In NJ

With the possibility that Republicans might take over the U.S. Senate and with both parties trying to strengthen their margin in the House, money is flying around the country at electronic speeds and in quantities not seen before. The Huffington Post reports, “Super PACs are set to be a massive force in the 2014 midterms.” You can add to that monies expended by the national Democratic and Republican congressional and senatorial committees and other sources. However, the independent funders’ big money is not used to support every candidate.

In New Jersey where there are few competitive races, only Democrat Aimee Belgard (CD 3) has been a beneficiary so far. Two independent groups using their own funds have spent over $700,000 since August 1, 2014, in their ads and other media to oppose her challenger Republican Tom MacArthur. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, headed by Rep. Steve Israel, has spent the largest amount, and the House Majority PAC (headed by Alixandria Lapp who used to work for the DCCC) also spent funds to to oppose MacArthur.

Belgard’s campaign committee has directly received $827,000 through June 30 of which $341,000 was in committee contributions that includes $10,000 from EMILY’s List. MacArthur has not had independent funders spending on his behalf, but he loaned $3 million to his own campaign.  

It’s big money and lots more independent funds will be spent before the elections are over. However much more might not be spent on NJ elections unless specific races draw closer. Even Cory Booker who last year drew a lot money from independent funders is not doing so this year, but he had $3.5 million cash on hand as of June 30, 2014 and is expected to win.