Lost in all the focus on future failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s creepy dancing skills is another off-year election: New Jersey.
Here we have an equally clownish Democratic candidate. His name is Gov. Phil Murphy. Just like McAuliffe, his record matches Democrat overreach. More government in our lives and let’s tax everything we can touch. Let’s build a nanny state that tells you how to live your life.
McAuliffe’s loss seems almost inevitable, and New Jersey is not immune to runaway gas prices and rising inflation either. Democrat enthusiasm in both states is extraordinarily low for a variety of factors.
Here’s the thing. New Jersey voters don’t lap up like ramen noodles the liberal policies their Democrat governors serve up. To wit, no Democrat incumbent in the Garden State has been reelected in forty years. And the last one had an arena named after him that was torn down. His name was Brendan Byrne.
One-term Democrat governors Jim Florio, Jim McGreevey and Jon Corzine will never have the ignominious distinction of having an arena named after them torn down. The most recent Republican governors, Tom Kean, Christie Whitman and Chris Christie, survived reelection.
New Jersey gubernatorial races are famously decided late because of two main factors. The first is it’s an off-year election. No federal races for House or Senate or president on the ballot. The second is New Jersey voters consume information from the expensive New York and Philadelphia television markets. New Jersey news is not a priority in those markets. Turnout is lower and that typically benefits the party with a disadvantage in voter registration. Relative advantage to Republicans.
Jack Ciaterrili is the Republican nominee who channels more Reagan or Bush than Trump. Jack recently held a townhall event in Cape May Court House in southernmost New Jersey where attendance exceeded three times expectations. It’s doubtful any event Murphy could hold, even in north Jersey, could make that claim.
Jack is just what the doctor (not Fauci) ordered. A pro-business, serious and measured gentleman. He also has an electoral base of his own, having served as a member of the general from Somerset County.
Enthusiasm matters. Republicans have it and Democrats don’t. Jack has momentum. Let’s go Brandon.
The NBC national survey released Sunday was simply dreadful news for Biden’s Democrats. The biggest red flag is that a staggering 71% of voters believe America is on the wrong track, and that includes nearly 50% of Democrats. Bidens disapproval is 54 three days out. When a candidate runs on getting things done and a year later the opposing party has a 13 advantage on that score, it’s tantamount to a nuclear meltdown. It is the worst off-year survey for a major party I’ve ever seen in my nearly 40-year political career.
Keep in mind when consuming New Jersey polls to pay no attention to Monmouth University. That’s the oft quoted and false oracle the media regurgitates every election. The same outfit confidently predicted Amy Kennedy – yes from that Kennedy family — would beat party switcher Jeff Van Drew in the Second Congressional District. It wasn’t very close.
Those of us who follow New Jersey politics closely know Emerson College is a more reliable source. A recently released survey amongst very likely voters showed Ciaterilli leading Murphy 48-45 and Independents leaning towards Jack 56-32.
Add to the mix Murphy caught on camera stating he fully intends to restore coronavirus-related lockdown measures after the election. Think about how cynical a man must be to wait on measures he deems necessary for public safety until after he safely clings to power. Arrogance and the ever creeping nanny state will be Murphy’s legacy when he lands in the gutter with the other one-term Democrats.
Michael J. Hudome is a Republican media consultant whose clients have included John McCain for President, all four national committees and several current and former members of the House and Senate.