Losing the Unloseable Election

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Watching Thursday night’s debate was maddening. Yes, Chris Christie hammered home the point that Jon Corzine is a serial tax raiser. Good. But that was the end of the good. Christie spent the rest of the night being tag teamed by Corzine and Indepedent candidate Chris Daggett. When Christie was pressed to respond to attacks his response was “They are wrong”. That. Was. It. Christie’s challenge is to present himself as a credible alternative to an electorate that has decided they are willing to fire Jon Corzine. Christie came off as a Bush clone where mindlessly repeated boiler plate slogans and talking points without giving any indication he had any understanding of what he was talking about was the gameplan.

While I normally deplore the media demand to offer solutions, what they mean by solutions is larger, more expensive and more intrusive government, Christie has to show he has a grasp of the issues. When asked what he would do, Christie’s response is a Nixonian secret plan to cut taxes. The answer is simple, affordable housing mandates and school funding need to be reformed. For the life of me, I will never understand why when running against a Governor no one likes because property taxes keep increasing, the Republican in the race will not offer a plan to cut property taxes. Instead, Christie offers an implicit endorsement of the Corzine record on property taxes by insisting he will maintain Jon Corzine’s rebate program.

This debate was such a disaster that even the Wall Street Journal disapproved of his performance. The Journal wrote:

To the extent that Mr. Christie has deigned to discuss taxes at all, it’s usually been to criticize the reform proposals of others. When his primary opponent suggested replacing the state’s graduated income tax—the top marginal rate is nearly 11%—with a 2.98% flat tax, Mr. Christie denounced it as a tax hike on working families, even though the average family would see its annual tax bill decline by $1,000. And this week when Chris Daggett, an independent candidate for Governor, promised a 25% property tax cut for all homeowners and said he’d pay for it by expanding the sales tax, Mr. Christie denounced it as a tax increase.

If Mr. Christie has some better ideas for reducing the tax burden in the Garden State, he might share the details with voters. His Web site mentions property and income tax relief but offers no details. The race has narrowed in part because Mr. Christie is losing supporters to Mr. Daggett, not Governor Corzine. Mr. Daggett’s appeal has grown because he’s offering voters precisely what Mr. Christie isn’t: A specific plan for controlling runaway taxes and spending.

I suspect the next round of polling will show a further deterioration in Christie’s numbers as pissed off voters register their disgust with Corzine by flocking to Daggett. In Thursday’s debate you could tell Christie was worried about Daggett because he attacked him. If Daggett was not drawing votes from Christie, Christie owuld have been falling all over himself to heap proase on this third party interloper. I would wager that the next round of polling will show Jon Corzine in the leade over Chris Christie. Christie has no one else to blame. He is going to lose an election to an incumbant governor with a low 40% approval rating who has presided oer an econbomic collapse in his state. Only in New Jersey could a political party find a way to lose an election in this enviornment.

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1 Response to “Losing the Unloseable Election”


  1. 1 alexhiggins732 October 29, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Regardless of who Chris Daggett hurts, Daggett is not a spoiler and he can win.

    Daggett has broken 20 percent and can win. The Washington Post says at 20% there is a path for Daggett to win and political analysts say with 25% in the polls Daggett can win.

    Now its a matter of getting that last 100,000 votes to get Daggett in a position to win.

    To do that we are reaching out to voters that want to Vote for Daggett but are afraid a vote for Daggett is a wasted vote. So…

    The I’ll vote for Daggett Pledge:

    “I want to vote for Chris Daggett, but only if he has a real chance of winning. He needs pledges from 100,000 people like me. I don’t want to wait til Election Day to find out that those votes existed, but we were all afraid to cast them. So, I’m signing my name below, with my address to prove that I’m real, and pledging that if 100,000 people like me sign up, I will vote for Daggett.”

    Take the I’ll Vote For Daggett Pledge Here

    Spread the word about this pledge, so we can bring an end to politics as usual.


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