Posts Tagged 'Governor'

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Absurd Analysis of the NJ Gov Race

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Leftist House Organ The Nation has a piece by someone named John Nichols that claims Jon Corzine got back in the race because he turned sharply left and Christie ran too hard to the right by catering to the “Religious Right”.

The Nation is free to have their own radical left opinions but they are not free to make up their own facts. The fact of the matter is Christie has not catered to the “Religious Right”. If Christie was so interested in pandering to the religious right, why did he name a pro-choice woman as his running mate? The simple fact is that he has not catered to anyone at all. He has not even run a campaign of any note and does not even have a message as to why he should be elected governor other than that he is not Jon Corzine. Voters have not warmed up to Corzine. He barely tops 40% in the polls and that is consistant with all the polling done in the race going back to the summer. What happened was Christie’s numbers went down because he allowed Jon Corzine to define him. Voters moved from Christie to Daggett. They did not move to Corzine.

Yes, Corzine was able to marshal democratic voters. That got him from like 38% in the polls to 40%. Wow. What a left turn.

Why I will (reluctantly) vote for Chris Christie.

Author: Rory B. Bellows

I have been torn during this election cycle over my vote for Governor. Chris Christie has run an awful campaign. Chris Christie is an establishment liberal. A Christie Governorship will do nothing to build a functioning Republican Party in New Jersey. In short, he will be a lesser version of Christie Whitman, who at least had the good sense to listen to her advisors and base her 1993 campaign around a supply-side 30% in 3 year income tax cut.

For conservatives, there is a protest candidate. Jason Cullen is the type of young conservative we need to come through the ranks. However, I cannot pull the lever for Mr. Cullen as much as I may like his governing philosophy and disapprove of Mr. Christie’s. I do not believe a protest vote in this election will accomplish anything.

The Star-Ledger has endorsed Independent Candidate Chris Daggett. Even Pual Mulshine, whose work I respect greatly, has taken a shine to Mr. Daggett. I have no idea why. Daggett is lying when he says his plan does not increase taxes. It does. He is trying to use the newspeak term of “expanding” the sales tax instead of increasing in the sales tax. He can try and spin it any way he wants but the slaes tax will now be applied to more services and goods. That is raising taxes. While some portions of his platform are laudable, imposing caps on municpial, county and school budgets using the CPI and eliminating property tax rebates, Mr. Daggett is still just another tax increaser and as one of the self-described earliest global warming crusaders in the country, we can expect more New Jersey Republican support for destructive policies of cap and tax.

Moreover, Mr. Daggett is every bit as liberal as Mr. Christie. There is no small government tilt in his ideology or campaing platform. The only thing that separates him from Christie is that he has put out a more detailed property tax cut plan. I do not want ot rehash too much, but I will give myself the old Barry Horrowitz pat on the back for previously posting that all Christie had to do was present a property tax cut plan and he would win going away. Chris Daggett has proposed a plan that increases taxes, but because there is some meat to it, everyone, including a leading conservative clolumnist, went ga-ga over it. Daggett’s plan is awful, but it is the only plan out there at the moment.

This leads me back to Chris Christie. Since I have explained why I cannot vote for the other challengers, I will explain why I will vote for Christie. Two words: Barack Obama. Bob McDonnell is going to curb stomp Creigh Deeds in Virgina. Chris Christie winning in New Jersey, regardless of the quality of the candidate and campaign, would send a clear message that ultra-leftist policy agendas practiced by ultra-leftist politicians is out right now. It would send a clear signal to Democrats in Washington that if they wish to pursue government run health care, cap and tax, pro-union legislation and redistribution of wealth policies, they will pay a steep price at the ballot box next November.

Vote to repudiate big government leftism. Vote, you can even hold your nose when you do so, for Chris Christie.

The Actual FDU Poll is Even Worse News for Christie

Author: Rory B. Bellows

Last night I posted that The Save Jersey Blog broke the news that the latest FDU Poll would have Corzine in the lead with 44% of the vote.

Well, the actual poll results have been released today and the situation is even more dire. Politico reports that Daggett is polling at 17% and Christie favorable/unfavorable is 38/45. This that the campaign is now between Christie and Daggett. Corzine’s numbers are not moving but Christie’s are droppng and Daggett is on the rise. Maybe today’s edorsement by the second largest environmental group will help Christie capture some Daggett voters. Maybe.

What this means is that Christie is going to have to ignore Corzine and attack Daggett. This diminishes Christie’s stature and only further elevates Daggett. This campaign is now an uphill fight for Christie. I am not sure what he can do to turn the momentum around because the dye is pretty close to being cast.

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.

Is there a campaign going on?

Author: Rory B. Bellows

You would not know it if you were trying to follow the New Jersey Gubernatorial election and it is starting to hurt Chris Christie in the polls. The latest Monmouth University Poll shows Christie’s lead shrinking fom 14 points in their last survey to 8 points. The poll has Christie at 47%. This is in line with all other recent polls that all show Christie’s lead dwindling and Christie no longer polling at or above the magical 50% mark. Other worrisome signs in this poll are the fact that independents are becoming increasingly skeptical of Christie and that Corzine’s base is begining to rally around him.

The good news for Christie is that Jon Corzine’s highwater mark in any poll taken is 42%. Basically this is the unlosebale election that Chris Christie is doing his damndest to lose. The polls show property taxes are the key issue yet in a recent Christie speech, he declined to say how he would go about cutting taxes or by how much. Campaigns need to be distilled in short slogans that are easy to stick on bumper stickers. If people cannot understand what your campaign is about, they will not for you because they tend to stick with the devil they know as opposed to the devil they do not. A recent example of this was the 2004 John Kerry Campaign or the 2008 McCain Campaign. What were they running on? You knew George Bush was about sticking iwth him because you knew where he stood and Obama had the whole hope and change thing going on. What is the mission statement of the Christie Campaign?

What is frustrating is having to keep writing the same post over and over again. There is nothing to analyze in this campaign because Christie is playing into the Corzine trap of keeping it as the campaign about nothing. All Corzine has to do is raise doubts about his challenger. This strategy is even more effective in a race with a third party. In a state with a huge democrat registration advantage, there is an outlet for disaffected Democrats to register a protest vote. If Corzine can keep Christie’s polling numbers in the mid 40s, anything can happen on election day, especially once the unions and Corzine use their massive resources to get “street” money out there.

It is depressing following this election. if you read any national outlet that covers politics, the only time the NJ Gov. race gets mentioned is when a new poll comes out. On the other hand, their are constant stories about the Bod McDonnell v. Creigh Deeds matchup in the other off year election for Virgina’s Governorship. Part of this is because the Washington Post has decided that Creigh Deeds must be elected at all costs, but whenever the Post runs a story attacking McDonnell for his socially conservative views, McDonnell responds by running an ad or giving a speech about transportation and jobs.

There is still time to correct a deteriorating situation but Christie has been running for Governor for eight or nine months no and no core message has been developed. That means this election is in the hands of voters, who naturally tilt left, who do not like Jon Corzine but have no idea what his challenger stands for.

Of Oscar De La Hoya and Christie Whitman

Author: Rory B. Bellows

I really do not understand what the strategery of the Christie Campaign is at this point. Jon Corzine is out with a new commercial bludgeoning Christie for the infamous $46,000 loan to his subordinate. The goal here is to undercut Christie’s standing as Mr. Law and Order. To date, Corzine’s strategery to bombard Christie with negative attacks is showing some signs of working as the RealClearPolitics polling average show Corzine’s numbers increasing while Christie’s are decreasing. Granted, the movement is not yet substantial but Christie campaign’s message to New Jersey voters is …..

There is no Christie message. Nothing beyond we need to have hope because we can change governors. Wow. How original. That is a compelling message for an electorate that is overwhelmingly Democrat. The Star Ledger’s Paul Mulshine had wrote an outstanding columnwhere he compared the Christie strategy to a boxer who has built up an early round lead on points and wants to avoid any middle of the ring confrontations so his opponent does not have any opportunity to deliver a knockout blow.

Allow me to expand on that. One of the most famous fights of the last ten years was Oscar “The Golden Boy” De La Hoya versus Felix “Tito” Trinidad in September of 1999. Going into the fight, De La Hoya promised to put on a boxing exhibition. De La Hoya dominated the early rounds of the fights but never knocked Trinidad down. Deciding he had put on his exhibition, De La Hoya spent the final four rounds of the fight running around the ring not throwing any punches. Trinidad continued to be the aggressor while De La Hoya was content to dance and sit on what he thought was a safe lead on the Judges scorecards. When the fight ended, the Judges awarded Trinidad a majority decision in large part, because while he never knocked De La Hoya down, he was the fighter who was initiating the action.

There is a lesson here for the Christie Campaign. If you want the Judges, in this case the voters, to award you with a victory, you have to go out and demonstrate why you are the better candidate for the entirety of the fight. While Oscar De La Hoya felt piling up points in the early rounds was enough for victory, the Christie people believed winning the Republican nomination is as non-controversial fashion as possible was enough. They saw Corzine’s disgustingly low poll numbers and felt as long as they could emerge unscathed from the GOP nominating process they could sit on the voters’ discontent with Corzine and cruise to victory.
Corzine does not need to knock Christie out; he just has to make him an unacceptable choice. Corzine is going to keep throwing punches until the final bell and hope his flurries convince an electorate that thinks of itself as sophisticated liberals that they cannot vote for Christie and still tell their friends they are liberals.

Christie has an easy counter punch. He can define himself as the property tax cutter. In 1993, incumbent Democrat Jim Florio also faced an angry electorate after he raised taxes during his first term. The Republicans even took control of the legislature during the 1991midterm elections. Once she secured the nomination, Whitman campaigned on a platform of a 30% reduction in income taxes over the course of three years. Her campaign did not believe it was enough to win the early rounds and hope the voters had the incumbent so much anyone else will do. They knew they had to finish the fight and convince the Judges Whitman should be the winner.

Chris Christie can profit by learning from the examples of Oscar De La Hoya’s fight with Felix Trinidad, and Christie Whitman’s campaign against Jim Florio. One believed that dominating the early stages of the fight constituted an exhibition of overwhelming superiority and the other believed that you must fight to the end and not give anyone a chance to take victory away from you.


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