Two years ago, I drafted a post (edited by the good members of Blue Jersey) with a rundown of what happened in the 2008 Congressional election in New Jersey’s fifth district. We deconstructed the voting trends in each of the four counties, discussed how outreach and messaging (and money), as well as a different strategy, are needed to (1) win Bergen County, where most of the votes are and (2) close the gap in Passaic, Warren and Sussex Counties:
But this is a low information district with an inherent Republican advantage, where a large majority of people never hear a stump speech or listen to debates. And that is especially true in the rural areas that count for roughly one-third of the votes. So it’s clear that very heavy handed, yet accurate, tactics must be used – and used consistently in a way that will not only reach these voters, but close the gap in Sussex and Warren Counties by 1/3 to 1/2 of the roughly 25,000 deficits of 2008 and 2004.
Now, I will admit this post may be a bit more subjective. But that’s because since 2008 (and out of that diary), I helped start “Retire Garrett”, a grassroots effort with outreach in all four counties to help recruit a candidate, solicit donors, craft message, coordinate outreach, and try to tackle the very tough feat of ousting Garrett in a fairly Republican leaning district. I (with other volunteers) figured this would be a 2 cycle effort, but worth pursuing.