New Jersey is Teasing Us Again and I’m Falling for It

by Mike on January 17, 2006

in Politics

The latest poll in New Jersey shows Republican Tom Kean leading Democrat Bob Menendez 36-25. This poll is neither Mason-Dixon nor Rasmussen (it is a Farleigh-Dickinson poll) so it must be taken with a grain of salt. Moreover, the number of undecideds is simply huge. Menendez is also about to be named to the seat by Governor Corzine.

New Jersey is known for teasing Republicans prior to an election but I believe this is different. The name Kean in New Jersey has an appeal similar to the appeal the name Casey enjoys in Pennsylvania. However, unlike Casey, Kean’s numbers will not plummet the second he opens his mouth. Pennsylvania will tighten because Santorum is much better on the campaign trail than Casey. (It doesn’t hurt Santorum’s chances with Catholic Democrats that he is pro-life, because unlike Casey, Santorum really is pro-life). New Jersey will be close because New Jersey voters seem to prefer the culture of corruption (nice try libs but Torricelli, Lautenberg, Florio and McGreevey are not Republicans). The pink state’s blue tendencies will be difficult to overcome, but it can be done.

Kean is a name New Jersey knows. Even Jersey voters will tire of the stench that is the Democrats. And remember appointed Senators usually do not fare well when it is time to run (Carnahan, Wofford, Frahm, Kreuger). My early prediction for NJ 2006: Republican gain

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris January 17, 2006 at 6:09 pm

As a native New Jerseyan and former poli. consultant in the state, I know the Keans very, very well (TK Senior was actually my academic adviser in college) and support them very much. I truly hope and pray that TK Jr. wins the election. However, I am not too confident in a Republican win. First, I will explain to you why I think TK won’t win and then will tell you what he needs to do to win.

Menendez comes from Hudson County, which is one of the largest Democratic counties in the state. In sheer numbers alone (Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Camden, Passaic, Mercer, Union) the Dems have the majority, especially when they get their GOTV working. On the other hand, while the Republicans have all the Northwest counties, they are losing hold b/c of the fact that new residents moving into the Westfields, Ridgewoods and Millburns are New York Democrats. Also, the GOP voters will not go to the polls if their candidate is weak (e.g. Schundler, Forrester). The Dems also have all the cash and the weight of the Hudson Co machine, the largest poli. machine in this state. Now the Republicans in this state are divided, can’t successfully fundraise and the Dems are taking advantage of this. Another item to worry about is the lessons of the 2002 Election. In terms of the corruption in this state, this is mostly a result of voter apathy…we have no national affiliate in NJ to report these actions to the people, no politicians to inspire us and as a result, the politicians know they can get away with their garbage. Plus, history is against a Republican win…last GOP NJ Senatorial Victory: 1972 Clifford Case (a RINO); last GOP statewide victory: Christie Whitman 1997 (and she’s as RINO as they come) Are these reasons for an absolute death blow to a Republican victory? Absolutely not!

In order to win, the Republicans need to be UNITED behind TK Jr…none of this abandonment crap that they did to Bret and yeah, I don’t agree with everything TK Jr says, but I think he’s a good man and our best shot at a win. On the campaign, TK needs to travel this state…go to every fair, kiss as many babies as possible, attend every summer and fall festival, and become a fixture at every diner and every boardwalk. He needs to get his base (Morris, Somerset, NW and Cape May) and also make sure he gets the swing counties (Bergen…route 4 and 17 divide the county Republican and Democrat, Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington…where all the senior citizens live…he needs to get the seniors on his side!!!) He needs to stand up to Democrat attacks and trust me, they’ll be there. The Keans were never ones for negative campaigning and while I think personally, he should hit back with everything once he’s attacked, the prudent retort would basically be to hammer away on his platform…corruption…say it enough and the people will start to listen, the National GOP and other donors will take notice and you may very well have a Republican victory.

Again not too confident about a Republican win, but if TK Jr and the Republicans take these above steps, I will be cautiously optimistic about a GOP win.


Mike January 18, 2006 at 9:09 am

Good points Chris. I don’t see NJ divided this time though. Republicans seem to realize that what you say of NJ is true and are rallying behind Kean. Don’t underestimate the fact of Menendez being the appointed Seantor either. The off year should also help the GOP, albeit marginally. (think of those uninformed types who only vote for president, in NJ they vote Dem, and they won’t be there in 2006). Good points though. This won’t be easy


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