Tag Archive: Dick Zimmer

2008 New Jersey Official Results

It sure takes a long time to get the final New Jersey numbers. When we last left the results election night, Obama led McCain in the unofficial count 57% to 42%, or 2.085 million to 1.545 million.  The 2008 official election results are now available, and the final count is:

Barack Obama    2,215,422   57.27%

John McCain       1,613,207   41.70%

Total                  3,868,237  

The winning margin was 15.57 points. Blue Jersey’s Poll of Polls predicted a 16.9 point win.  Rasmussen’s final New Jersey poll was the most accurate, getting the result correct at 57-42, although it did have the advantage of being the closest to election day.  Ralph Nader, I suppose, can be happy that his 0.55% led the third-party challengers and rounds up to 1%.

Frank Lautenberg  1,951,218   56.03%

Dick Zimmer         1,461,025   41.95%

Total                    3,482,445  

There’s two interesting thing here. First, 10% of the Presidential voters did not bother with the senate race. Second, Obama did better than Lautenberg.  The final margin of 14.08% was comparable to the average poll result of 15%.  

Overall, the pollsters did well.

… And the Rest

Before the Professor and Maryann got their due in the Gilligan’s Island theme song, they were known collectively as “the rest.” And that’s about how some of NJ’s House races, and the Senate race, must have felt this year.

With the Obama campaign sucking up so much of the oxygen (and money, and energy, and ultimately the very PA-bound volunteers themselves), most of what was left over was focused on the “hot” races in NJ-3, NJ-5, and NJ-7. Like so often in the past, if you weren’t running in one of the hot races, then you found yourself with scant attention being paid to your campaign.

In the case of Senator Lautenberg, and our 7 Democratic House incumbents, no news was good news. New Jersey’s voters delivered a solid double-digit win to its senior Senator, and sent the Magnificent 7 back to Washington with an average margin of victory of over 40%. But for Congressional Challengers in NJ-2, NJ-4, and NJ-11, it was a different story altogether.

We look at each of these races in more detail below the fold.  

Lautenberg/Menendez secure Homeland Security funds

From a Lautenberg/Menendez release, we learn that NJ will be getting additional Homeland Security funds:

New Jersey will receive $75.2 million in federal funds for seven homeland security programs:

  • $35,298,150 for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which is a $310,150 increase from last year’s funding level.  UASI is a risk-based program that helps protect high-density and high-threat urban areas, such as Newark and Jersey City, by helping them prevent, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism.  

  • $26,391,000 to the State Homeland Security Program, which helps municipalities in New Jersey plan, equip and train emergency first responders and other personnel to respond to acts of terrorism.                  

  • $7,504,254 to assist state and local governments in improving their emergency management capabilities.

  • $3,617,000 to the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, which helps law enforcement prevent terrorism by coordinating with individuals in non-law enforcement, government agencies and the private sector.

  • $1,433,469 to improve interoperable emergency communications, including communications in response to natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.

  • $642,442 to Metropolitan Medical Response System, which helps towns and cities prepare for and respond to mass casualty events.

  • $357,481 to the Citizens Corps Program, which involves residents in prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism, natural disasters and other threats, such as crime and public health.
  • Dick Zimmer probably would have called this pork.  From the recent campaign:

    Lautenberg pledged to seek additional federal money for New Jersey to help state and local governments avoid deficits. Zimmer said the best way to ease the financial crisis is “to elect somebody who makes sure we don’t spend one dollar more than is absolutely necessary.”

    Lautenberg prides himself in bringing home money for mass transit, highways and other public projects. Zimmer is opposed to pork barrel spending, including money that would come to New Jersey.

    While they were proud of the funding, Lautenberg and Menendez also had this note in the release:

    However, the Senators reiterated their call for all federal security funds to be based on risk – not subject to formulas that guarantee state minimums regardless of risk.

    Imagine that, making sure funding for Homeland Security is distributed based on risk.  What a novel concept.  Until we reach that point, well done Senators.

    How Democratic is YOUR County?

    It’s more than a little backward how much state political power is defined at the county level, when outside of Hudson, most voters have rather weak identification with their county. But that’s the way it is. And power comes in part from how many votes you can deliver.

    At the old Middlesex County victory gatherings I used to attend, status was based on the margin your town brought in. The Freeholder (or whatever race the bigwigs were concerned with) total for the Democrats minus that for the Republicans. I suppose it works similarly at the state level with counties, at least sometimes. Better might be to compare what you delivered with the most and least that your town could have delivered, but that was too complicated and subjective.

    Another source of power is the ability to have your candidates win a state-wide primary. That would be based more on the raw number of Democrats in your county.

    And if you want to see which counties ought to have the most progressive government and political culture, you can look at the percentage of the vote that goes Democratic.

    Now is a good chance to see how Democratic the counties are, because in Lautenberg-Zimmer, we’ve just had about the most generic state-wide race imaginable. Neither candidate had a significant local base. Neither candidate had a controversial or shining personality. It was a Democratic year, but Lautenberg’s age probably balances that. So the 2008 NJ-Sen race gives us an unusually good window to voters’ proclivities, independent of their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their Freeholders or anyone else.

    Below the fold are tables with the counties ranked from 1 to 21 by each of the three measures above, using the Senate returns current on the Daily Kos tracker as of this afternoon. I suppose a few more votes may yet trickle in, so these totals may not be final.

    EDIT: fixed first table to include Bergen only once and to include Essex

    Lautenberg on Patriot Act: “I find it hard to justify its existence”

    I didn’t see this covered in any of the news stories about the debate Saturday night between Dick Zimmer and Frank Lautenberg, but Lautenberg was asked directly by Bob Ingle if he would support repealing the Patriot Act.

    Lautenberg responded, “As I see it now, I find it hard to justify its existence.”  It is at 38 minutes, 45 seconds of the video here.


    Poll: Obama 55, McCain 34; Lautenberg 50, Zimmer 31

    The final Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll for this election season (PDF) finds Barack Obama enjoying his largest lead over John McCain yet — 21 points.  Patrick Murray observes that this may the biggest win since Reagan beat Mondale by 21.  The average of the last seven polls, by seven different pollsters, now moves to 54.6 – 37.4 for a 17.2 point lead, so this is not crazy talk.  Obama leads on the economy in this poll 56-31, and as he put it yesterday morning:

    That’s why I’m talking about the economy. That’s why he’s spending these last weeks calling me every name in the book.

    49% of voters agree with Obama and blame McCain for the negative tone, while only 18% go the other way.

    Murray’s entry for best quote by a pollster is this:

    To borrow from an old saying about Frank Sinatra, it’s Obama’s world this year and Frank Lautenberg is lucky to live in it.

    Lautenberg leads 50-31, but only 36% view him favorably.  44% have no opinion of him. Zimmer’s favorable-unfavorable days before the election is an astonishing 18-8!

    There were 801 likely voters in the sample, for an estimated margin of error of 3.5%.    

    Lautenberg/Zimmer debate tonight at 8pm on NJN

    I know everyone is waiting around to see the Frank Lautenberg/Dick Zimmer debate tonight at 8pm on NJN.  This is the moment Dick Zimmer has waited for and you can watch through the NJN live stream. Here’s what they say:

    NJN News presents the US Senate Debate between incumbent Democratic US Senator Frank Lautenberg and his Republican challenger Dick Zimmer. Kent Manahan, NJN News anchor, will moderate the debate. A panel of reporters will question the candidates. The debate will take place in the NJN studios in Trenton. The debate will be rebroadcast on Sunday, November 2 at 11:30 am on NJN, and can also be seen on WHYY on Sunday at 5 pm and WNET Sunday at 11:30 pm. The debate is cosponsored by NJN Public Television & Radio, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Gannett NJ Newspaper Group. There will be three journalists on the panel, one from each organization.

    SUSA Poll: Obama 52, McCain 42; Lautenberg 52, Zimmer 37

    The new SUSA poll of New Jersey shows Obama with a 10 point lead, actually a bit disappointing compared to other polls. This is McCain’s first poll above 40% since early October, and again Obama has failed to hit 55%. On the other hand, the previous best pollster comment, Marist saying Obama enjoyed a “lovefest” in New Jersey, has been superceded by SUSA’s headline “Democrats Obama, Lautenberg Win in Garden State.”   Win?  I guess we shouldn’t expect any more New Jersey polls out of them.  

    The New Jersey polls since October 15 show:

    Obama 52 McCain 42 SUSA

    Obama 53 McCain 35 FDU

    Obama 54 McCain 38 R2000

    Obama 53 McCain 38 SV

    Obama 56 McCain 39 Marist

    Obama 59 McCain 36 Qunnipiac

    Obama 55 McCain 38 Monmouth/Gannett

    It doesn’t really matter how you combine those polls.  Pollster.com’s estimator says 53.3-38.9.  A simple average gives 54.6 – 38.0.  The median gives 54-38.  Well, I guess we can all understand the SUSA headline.

    Marist Poll: Obama 56, McCain 39 in New Jersey

    The latest Marist poll of New Jersey puts Barack Obama ahead by 17 among likely voters, a big improvement over the 3 point lead in their September poll.  As for approval ratings, they actually use the word “lovefest” to describe Obama’s 65-30 favorable-unfavorable score.  There were 628 likely voters (MoE 4%) for the poll taken 10/20 and 10/21.  You’ll have to click through to see the registered voters, but there’s not much difference.  This poll adds to the evidence that Obama is now at or above 55% —  No wonder we don’t have the usual stories of Republicans getting their hopes up.  

    51% of voters view Sarah Palin unfavorably, worse than her running mate who gets 44% unfavorable.

    Lautenberg leads 48-41 among likely voters.  There’s no evidence of change since September. Only half of each side’s voters say they strongly support their guy, which I blame on the lack of visible campaigning.


    Poll: Zimmer Who?

    The latest Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll (PDF) shows that only 12% of voters have been paying close attention to the senate race and 56% of voters have no opinion of Dick Zimmer.  As Patrick Murry says, “With just two weeks to go, the incumbent’s stealth campaign appears to be succeeding.”  The poll of 723 likely voters finds Lautenberg at 52% and Zimmer at 36%.

    My deep thought is that we should be grateful to Rob Andrews for his primary run, because otherwise this might be the most boring senate election ever. The Republicans haven’t even come up with a timely investigation.