Tag Archive: 2008

Spreadsheets of 2008 Election Results

Here’s something that our readers might find useful.  I noticed that the latest wave of presidential-results-by-congressional-district at Swing State Project have just been published including many results in New Jersey.  Voting results are available in handy Google Doc spreadsheets, which you may find more helpful that the PDFs scattered around official voting sites.  This is the link for New Jersey.

Information available includes Presidential votes by county, by congressional district, split by CD within counties, and best of all (for 15 NJ counties) the votes by township.  So if you want to know how many votes Obama got in Congressional District 4, Gloucester County, Princeton Boro, or Bayonne Ward 1, you can find it there.

Another Swing State diary has Presidential Results by Congressional District, 2000, 2004, and 2008.

NJN looks back at 2008

NJN used their programming to take a look back at 2008 this weekend.   On the Record took a video look at the highlights and low points of the year that even included pigs flying:


Reporters Roundtable featured a discussion looking back at 2008 including the Governor’s toll proposals, Clinton/Obama, the economy, the NJ Supreme Court, the Andrews Senate effort, rising stars and more:


You can see Jay Lassiter’s take on the top 10 memorable moments here.  What do you think the biggest story of 2008 was?

NJ Electoral College Meets Monday

From a State Committee press release:

The 56th New Jersey Electoral College will convene on Monday in Trenton to officially elect Barack Obama President and Joe Biden Vice President, capping a history-making election year that generated record voter participation and dramatic Democratic performance in New Jersey.

The 15 Democrats who comprise New Jersey’s College of Electors – equal to the size of the state’s Congressional delegation – will meet at the Constitutionally-determined time of 3:00 p.m., Monday, December 15th at the Trenton War Memorial to cast the electoral votes for President and Vice President.

Governor Jon Corzine and Newark Mayor Cory Booker will be the featured speakers.

You can learn more about the Electoral College here.

Cross Burnt in Hardwick: Community Sings

Unity March in Hardwick, New Jersey

In defiance of a cowardly act of ignorance and intimidation a community comes together to march for peace and form a circle of hope.


On the evening of the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections, an eight-year-old girl created a banner which read “President Obama – Victory ’08!” With a little help from her parents the banner was hung in their front yard. The next night the banner was stolen. Later it was returned, wrapped around a cross and on fire. On Saturday November 15th, a march and rally, organized by a group of concerned citizens and supported by the Warren/Sussex County branch of the NAACP, took place.

Speakers included Elaine Koplow, Gary Grewal, Kevin Duffy, Talia Young, and Melvin Warren.

The song “Heal the World With Me” was written by Andy Rajeckas and sung by Gwynne Michaels.

Watch the Video Over the Jump

3.65 million NJ votes cast

It’s a new record:

According to figures compiled by the Secretary of State’s Office, more than 3.65 million people cast ballots in the Garden State.

That broke a record set in 2004 when 3.63 million voted in the race between John Kerry and George W. Bush.

From the Division of Elections, McCain’s highest vote total from a county was Bergen with 174,526 votes. Obama’s best county was Essex with 215,373 votes, though he also pulled another 208,410 from Bergen. Despite the turnout numbers, we didn’t set all the voting records:

But Tuesday’s results were far short of a record in terms of percentage of eligible voters who cast ballots. About 67 percent of registered New Jersey voters cast ballots, according to preliminary calculations; when provisional and other ballots are counted, the figure could reach 70 percent.

The record was 91 percent, set in 1960, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. On several other occasions, turnout percentage was in the mid- to high 80s.

I can’t even imagine 91% voter participation.   Still, those are some pretty impressive turnout numbers. We’ll have to look for the demographic breakdowns to learn more about the make up of the voters.  

We Should Vote By Absentee Ballots

This year there is an incredible influx of new voters, so much so that it is overwhelming election offices throughout the state.  Some offices are working seven days a week, including holidays and weekends.  Twelve hour workdays are a standard most week days.  It’s really overwhelming the system.

In addition to all these new voters — those from the February primary and the current massive influx — there are expectations of significant turnout this year.  We’re talking 70, 80 percent or more of registered voters.

That’s 80 percent of all registered voters, including the thousands of thousands of new ones coming in every day.  More than in any recent election, and maybe in any election.  

But as you can see from the overtime and new hires in our county election offices, our infrastructure is not built for this kind of election.  They simply don’t have the staff or computers or systems to handle the massive number of new voters.

Which leads to the question of whether they can handle election day.  If 80 percent turn out, 80 percent of the new unprecedented numbers, do we have enough machines and poll workers to handle it?  If we can’t handle the input of voter data, can we handle it when they come to the polls?

There will not only be more people, but probably confusion because of the number of first time voters.  Just by nature there will have been data entry errors that could cause a massive number of provisional ballots.  Errors and provisional ballots require more (and better) poll workers to step away from the tables, slowing down lines.

And slow lines mean some people will walk away, needing to get to work after lunch or to pick up a kid at school.  And that means people will not vote.

Large turnout also requires more machines on which to vote.  Most counties have a few extra machines, but not many.  They can’t deploy them because surplus machines might be needed in the event of breakdowns.  This could mean that there are not enough voting machines — regardless of your position on their quality and verifiability — to handle a blow-out election.

The only way we can combat this is to vote by absentee ballot, as many of us as possible.  If you don’t go to the polls, that’s one less person in line to slow things down.  If you get 10 neighbors to vote absentee, that’s an even larger improvement to the process.

New Jersey now has no-fault early voting, where just concerns over the quality of our machines is enough to get an absentee ballot.  Hell, you don’t even need a reason.

But ensuring that every vote gets counted, that people are not frustrated into walking away from their vote, is vitally important.  

So do your county, state and country a favor.  Vote absentee.



What does a Sarah Palin VP candidacy mean for NJ Republicans

So the word is out that John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate to serve as Vice President.  I’m reading the reaction from local Republicans gushing and wondering what the effect of her on the ticket really means for NJ races.  First the gushing:

Lonegan thrilled with Palin pick

O’toole says Palin pick is stroke of brilliance

Allen welcomes a fellow reform Republican who took on her own party

Baroni says Alaskan Gov will put New Jersey in play

I keep hearing people talk about whether NJ is in play or not, but I don’t see how Palin makes that possibility much more likely.  I wonder how she will play in districts 3, 5 and 7 where races are expected to be close.  Do Republicans really think she will be able to give their candidates an edge they need, or does she fill a void in the campaign ticket as a whole?

Her pick would seem to negate the experience argument as she has only been Governor since 2006 and served as Mayor of a small town before that.  She is pro-life, which will go over well in some parts of the state, but like a rock in others.   She supports drilling in ANWR and has encouraged John McCain to take another look at his prior opposition, which makes you wonder how NJ Republicans will respond if she comes out in support of more drilling off the Jersey shore.  She brings youth and some gender balance to the ticket which I’m sure will be exploited while trying to court those still disgruntled Clinton voters, but when women get past her gender and look at her stands, will they still support her?

Palin seems to come complete with her own built in scandal already as well.  Besides that potential issue, you would have to think that Democrats will try to tie her to Ted Stevens and all of his corruption in Alaska.  Another area sure to draw some attention is her stand on teaching creationism:

The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms. Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night’s televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information.

My favorite however, is what she said when asked recently about her interest in being Vice President:

Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain’s ticket mate.

Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?”

Let’s hope by now at least that someone has let her know what she will be doing every day should they win.  Regardless, it’s certainly good to see a woman on the ticket with McCain, even if I probably won’t agree with much of what she has to say.

Why Lautenberg Should Win.

There are several different reasons why I believe Senator Lautenberg will and should win.  

The most important issue to understand is that Andrews was a co-author of the war resolution in 2002 that got us into Iraq.  That’s it.  That is the end game.  But if you want to go further I surely can.

Senator Lautenberg is a high ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, the Budget Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee.  With his position on these committees, particularly the Appropriations and Budget committees, Senator Lautenberg has brought and will continue to bring more money and resources to New Jersey.  Whether or not one likes it, seniority makes a difference in the Senate and it would be very hard for any freshman Senator to gain a position on any important committee.

I could go on (date of filing, negative commercials, lack of funding, lack of campaign resources, etc.), but there is little reason to.  Senator Lautenberg has been a good member of Congress and has brought a lot to New Jersey and to the United States (preventing oil drilling, bringing more money to NJ security, fighting for health care, etc).

On June 3, it seems Senator Lautenberg will win, and I believe he should win for the reasons described above.  But that will only happen if people vote, so go vote!!!

Adler #1, Stender #4 in Congressional Cash On Hand Money Race

CQ Politics came out with their top 10 Open-Seat House Candidates with the most cash on hand and this is certainly good to see…  

1) John Adler, Democrat, New Jersey’s 3rd District ($1 million)

Adler, a state senator, had spent a small percentage of his total receipts – $169,000 out of $1.17 million, or one-seventh overall – and amassed a big treasury. This is because he’s the only Democrat in the race to succeed Saxton, who is ending a House career that began with a 1984 special election victory. Adler thus doesn’t have to expend many resources ahead of a June 3 primary that is uncontested on the Democratic side, but which includes three Republicans competing for their party’s nomination. President Bush took a bare majority of 51 percent of the vote in this district, an area of south-central New Jersey that includes Republican-leaning areas in Ocean County and Democratic-leaning areas in Burlington and Camden counties.

4) Linda Stender, Democrat, New Jersey’s 7th ($845,000)

Stender, a member of the New Jersey state Assembly, planned to wage a second campaign against Ferguson, to whom she lost by just 1 percentage point in 2006. But Ferguson surprisingly announced last November that he would retire from Congress instead of seeking a fifth term. Stender is the lone Democratic candidate in this year’s race. The Republicans, have a crowded field of eight candidates for their June 3 primary that includes state Sen. Leonard Lance, local mayor Martin Marks and Kate Whitman, a former congressional aide who is the daughter of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.

CQ still rates both seats as lean republican, but I would guess that is more a reflection of the fact that the seats have been in Republican hands prior to this election cycle.  Other sources have given these races better ratings as well.  Regardless, with the GOP fighting it out using their resources on each other daily in these two districts, Stender and Adler are building campaign machines with the resources that will make them difficult to stop come the fall.