Tag Archive: polls

CD3: Aimee Belgard on NJTV last night

CD3 Dem Aimee Belgard interviewed last night on NJTV. Mary Alice Williams struggles to find different ways to describe the 3rd District contest as an ugly race. But, despite the new struggles Belgard is facing in winning this open seat against self-financed Tom MacArthur, Belgard brings it back around to the issues she’s running on:

5-minute interview:

Vote By Mail Is Here! Don’t Delay!

Over the past year the state government has spent a lot of money on a lot of really, really dumb ideas while citizens in need go wanting for things that, if ever implemented, would make our state a better place. Christie is spending millions of our tax dollars on state-funded lawyers to issue bogus reports exonerating him from his administration’s well-documented wrongdoings. His appointed bulldog/tyrant Cami Anderson is obliterating public education in Newark. Public sector industries continue to be purposefully strangled by an administration that values the lives and futures of wealthy supporters over the needs of the people. Our cities continue to deteriorate, drowning under waves of poverty, unemployment and crime. This problem in particular has gotten so bad that the mayors of most of the state’s cities have now created their own sort of de facto regional government to tackle it.

To add insult to injury, the Republican-led House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. continues to thwart all progressive ideas while purposefully bogging down the Obama Administration in ridiculous investigations like Benghazi and the like. Over the past two years House Republicans have continued their war on the Middle and Working Classes, declining to pass a minimum wage hike, refusing to extend unemployment benefits, and repeatedly attempting to destroy Obamacare. And Obamacare isn’t even that good anyway!

So my fellow progressives, it’s the Fall. It’s almost election time. It’s time to step up and vote. Yes, it’s a cliché, but this year you might not know that something is different. It’s been around for a few years now, but it’s not being advertised or promoted by our state government, as it should. In New Jersey, voters no longer need to bother with the logistical inconvenience of going to the polls. Every voter is entitled to vote by mail.

Gone are the days when voters who sought to attain an absentee ballot had to fill out an onerous form, justify their absence and send it in. A few years ago the Legislature overhauled this system by approving a streamlined application, easily available online, that takes three minutes to fill out and send in.

My wife and I have already done this in the past few elections, and it was easy-peasy. The ballots arrived weeks before the election; we filled them out and dropped them into the mail. We voted. For some reason, some ballots came with postage while others did not. I guess it depends on county funding for that, but no matter. We’ve all got stamps.

To do this for every election, one only needs to fill out an application once for all upcoming November polls.

All instructions, and a downloadable form, are available online from the NJ Department of State. Here is the link:


Do it. It’s so damn easy. No more going to the polls. No more waiting in line, or looking for parking, to trying to find a ride, or worrying about a cold November downpour. You get the ballot mailed to you, you fill it out and seal it, you put in any mailbox, and it’s done. Do it. It matters.  

A nice lesson on poll accuracy

Rutgers-Eagleton has released an independent study of why their 2013 polls did so poorly. Basically, they correctly forecast that Christie and Booker would win by a lot but overestimated the margins by a huge amount. They had Christie at +36 but he “only” won by 22; Booker was at +22 and won by 10. I would have wrote it off to the problems of forecasting low-turnout elections, but I would have been wrong:

The Langer report identifies the primary reason for the inaccurate results as the failure to put the “head-to-head” questions, which asked respondents for their vote intention, at or near the beginning of the questionnaire. Because these questions were asked after a series of other questions, it appears that respondents were “primed” to think positively about Governor Chris Christie in the November survey, which then may have led Democrats and independents in particular to over-report their likelihood of voting for the Governor. A similar process occurred with the October Senate poll, where voters were first reminded of how little they knew about Lonegan and how much they liked Booker before being asked the vote question.

As the post makes clear, this was not done for a nefarious purpose but simply to continue a series of questions polled over the years. Ideally there would have been separate “horse race” and issue polls. It’s a good lesson in how difficult it is to poll fairly but a perfect example of public accountability. It’s too bad Rutgers-Eagleton doesn’t have a large budget because I view their polls as a important public service.  

Garrett, Lance, Frelinghuysen All Underwater

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?

Cook Political Report Says Three GOP Congresscritters At Risk

The Cook Report, a highly respected subscription only political report, did some studying after the recent government shutdown and has determined that there are a good number of Republican House members who are at risk, and that the Democrats may actually have a shot.

And three of those Congresscritters are from New Jersey.

Cook put together five categories that put an incumbent at risk.  (Sorry, no link since it’s paywalled.)They are:

  1. Sits in a district with a Cook PVI score of R+5 or more Democratic.
  2. Sits in a districts with a Cook PVI score of R+2 or more Democratic.
  3. Received 55 percent of the vote or less in the 2012 election.
  4. Held less than $500,000 in cash on hand at the end of September 2013.
  5. Had a Democratic opponent with more than $100,000 in cash on hand at the end of September 2013.

Turns out Rep. Jon Runyan hits four of these, with a PVI of R+1 (that’s categories 1 and 2), less than 55 percent of the vote in 2012, and just $300K or so cash on hand.  If we had a declared Democrat with $100K on hand we’d have the quinfecta.

Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Scott Garrett are a little less appealing.  LoBiondo gets two risk factors (1 and 2) solely because he’s in a D+1 district, but none of the categories match up.  Garrett gets two risk factors because he’s in an R+3 district and “only” got 55 percent of the vote in 2012.  I don’t find LoBiondo persuasive, and Garrett doesn’t really belong on the list since he got 55.03 percent of the vote in 2012.

Runyan is the top target, I think, for Democrats next year and with a really good candidate (read: always out in public or dialing for dollars) and campaign team (read: media and fundraising) that seat is a definite pickup.

At the same time, we need to go after LoBiondo and Garrett as well if for no other reason than to ensure GOP money has to go there to defend them and doesn’t get spent elsewhere.  With a great candidate and team we could win one of those (and in NJ-7 with Lance if he’s portrayed as betraying his “moderate” roots) in a wave election, but NJ’s Democrats have proved particularly weak at doing so.

Any thoughts from the peanut out there?

Panic! At The Campaign (Part Deux)

Cross-posted at A New Jersey Farmer

Hey kids, remember in June when the Obama campaign was supposedly panicking? I sure do. That’s why I wrote about it.

Well here we are again at a crisis point in the race. The debate went very badly for the president. He seemed uninterested, unengaged, unfocused, blah, blah, blah. In fact, he was all of those things. But to think that this race is over or that the debate performance means that he’s going to lose is hogwash. Bunk. Horse puckey. Wrong.

“A statistically significant drop” goes completely unreported

promoted by Rosi

Someone needs to explain this headline in the Star Ledger for me:

Gov. Christie is no less popular than he was 2 months ago, poll says

Ok, so that is the headline.  Then I went to look at the poll which supposedly “says” this and found that Christie currently has a 54% approval, where as two months ago he had a 57% approval.  And the month before that, he was at 59%. In fact, they never even mention those numbers outside the current 54% in the story. That fact did not escape Pollster Patrick Murray, who also questioned the headline, first tweeting:

54 and 57 are now the same number? | Gov. Christie no less popular than 2 months ago, poll says

Then he followed it up with this:

Except that he is, according to that poll. Down from 59% in April to 57% in May to 54% now – a statistically significant drop

Just to be clear, the pollster who does this stuff for a living says it is a statistically significant drop.  The media outlet that is supposed to report that news says it’s no change. Just sloppy.  

Christie’s unpopularity part of national trend

Turns out that Chris Christie is not the only extremist right-wing Governor with upside-down popularity ratings.

In fact, according to an analysis by the New York Times’ Nate Silver, he’s got good company among the right-wing crop of Governors elected in 2010 that Christie’s election in 2009 presaged.

Rick Scott (Florida), John Kasich (Ohio), George LePage (Maine), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), and Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), all new Republican governors in 2010, are all even more unpopular than Christie. Rick Snyder (Michigan) and Rick Perry (Texas – reelected in 2010) are doing just a bit better than Christie.

Democrats, on the whole, are significantly more popular – 11 of the 14 most popular Governors are Democrats, while 14 of the 17 least popular Governors are Republicans. Incredible, huh? Silver’s explanation is that Republicans in more moderate-to-left states like NJ, FL, and WI govern the same as in extreme states, while Democrats adapt their policies to the political leanings of their states.

What does this all mean? More below the fold…