Thursday, July 16, 2009
Forty-nine states have elected a Republican to state-wide office since New Jersey last did, and the Garden State is, by some metrics, the "bluest" in the land. If Chris Christie, not the most inspiring Republican ever to win a nomination, beats Jon Corzine it will put fear in the heart of every Democrat with a swing constituency. That is why the latest post results are so significant.
President Obama will be here today to campaign for Governor Corzine, investing his personal prestige in a candidate who may fail. But it is summer. Will Obama come back in the fall when it really matters, or leave Corzine to twist in the wind?
This is the second poll in two days saying similar things. Corzine responded yesterday to the first poll of the two, the Quinnipiac poll, by saying it was an "outlier" and that his own polling showed he was gaining and not falling further behind. Maybe he's doing better than the poll says or maybe he's not, but his claim it is an outlier no longer has any credibility. Corzine's in trouble, even though he's been bombarding the state with expensive negative adds for weeks.
Obama is in New Jersey today to stump for Corzine-- I can't wait to see if he helps, hurts, or has no effect at all in this very blue state.
Since the last Republican governor, the majority of any job growth seen in NJ is in the public sector. Maybe a few of these folks are angry about the economy in general, but when push comes to shove, they will vote their self interest -- Corzine. NJ is now a state where 1/3 of the state works directly for the state, 1/3 derives some entitlement or pension from it, and the remaining 1/3 are the ones taxed to pay for it all. With that kind of math, I doubt very much that Christie will prevail.
Hope I'm wrong.
When the new New York City taxes of almost 60% are imposed (see:Drudge), there may be some antisocial individuals who may seek to avoid the honor. They could move to Conn, where they'd have to pay Dodd or one oh his relatives or move to Jersey. A Corzine defeat may actually increase Jersey revenues.
As I recall, many NYC business people avoid NYC taxes by running their businesses from Florida where they live more more than 50% of the year. What with video conferences and all the improvements in technology, a tax increase in NY (or Jersy) may simply drive away more of the pigeons.
Even as we speak, ACORN members, union members and other community activists are visiting graveyards, old folks homes and asylums, collecting names and addresses of Corzine voters. While these folks often vote (and, vote often) in New Jersey, they are notorious for their refusal to speak to pollsters.
I can certainly appreciate the basis to be skeptical about Christie's prospects. It's New Jersey, after all: heavily Democrat, with a long tradition of openly buying votes from the living and the dead, and run by county machines heavily populated by well organized unionized public employees with a lot at stake. All that is true, and Christie has a steep road to winning.
Having said that, if a Republican can win in New Jersey this is the year and Corzine is the dead wood candidate you have to like seeing as the opponent. He's got Goldman Sachs tatooed on his forehead, a populist cause celebre this year, he's openly bought off the unions (which can't be good this year) and the electorate hates him for failing to cut taxes. Plus he's a condescending plutocrat who is a terrible public speaker and he seemingly doesn't much like his job. I can't even figure out why he's running, truthfully, except I don't think he has anything else to do every day.
Christie has a good shot if he can learn to be an effective campaigner.
Christie welcomed the president to NJ with this advert. It's a pretty fair attempt to bridge the problem of having a president who won the state by a big margin last November endorsing your opponent.