An Historic Election

Yesterday’s gubernatorial race in New Jersey was an historic election. A year after Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, the formally dark blue Garden State has elected a conservative as its next governor. This is evidence of a growing disillusionment with the Obama administration and its policies.

Jon Corzine’s central campaign strategy was to ride the wave of Obama’s popularity and the popularity of his policies to victory. Billboards throughout the state featured Obama and Corzine with the catch phrase “Keep it Going.” In the final days of the campaign, Obama, himself, sent out a series of robo-calls to the voters of the state. Obama made no less than five campaign appearances for Corzine during the course of the campaign. The Newark Star-Ledger commented on how “Obama seemed to take up residence somewhere along the [New Jersey] Turnpike.” Given that the majority of New Jersey’s voter registrations is overwhelming Democratic and that the state overwhelming voted for Obama last year, this was not a bad strategy to pursue.

Corzine Campaign Ad
Corzine Campaign Ad

However, Christie soundly defeated Corzine. In the process, the voters of New Jersey sent a message to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Triumvirate in Washington: “No you can’t.” Coupled with the results of the races in Virginia, Corzine’s defeat is a stinging condemnation of Obama and his policies. It also serves as a warning to the so-called “moderates” in Congress. If you hitch your wagon to Obama as Corzine did, you risk unemployment.

12 thoughts on “An Historic Election

  1. "This is evidence of a growing disillusionment with the Obama administration and its policies."

    You shouldn't present opinions as premises. Much of the staff at CRDaily should take a class in logic.

    Yes, NJ was historic, but so too was NY-23. You know, I think NY-23 is "evidence of a" continuing "disillusionment with the" Republican Party "and its policies."

    1. A Democrat hasn't won NY-23 in decades. You can levy as many excuses as you want, but it's still historic. Sorry.

      If it "doesn't reflect fully on Obama," how does it equate to disillusionment with his policies? That doesn't make a lick of sense, Mr. Dent. Semantics, semantics, semantics. That is a large leap in logic. You still didn't make an argument. What constitutes disillusionment? The tiny percentage of people that said that their vote was a vote against Obama?

      Perhaps we could be rational and think of other reasons Corzine lost. Could you name a few that don't have to do with Obama? Could those be the reasons he lost? Look at the exit polls and polls in general before you jump to conclusions. They are the only objective data that you could actually use to levy an argument of disillusionment.

      1. It doesn't matter if Obama carried the district. The fact is that the district hasn't been won by a Democrat since the 19th century. That is historic regardless of what happened in the general election.

        I don't think you understand the English language. My point and my whole argument is that there is no evidence that Corzine's loss is due to "disillusionment" with Obama's policies. None. In fact, the only evidence that does exist (exit polls and polls in general) does not substantiate such a claim. Get it? I wasn't arguing that people don't vote for more than one reason — only that the premise was an opinion, not a fact and should be presented as such.

        In fact, your assertion that I may not understand human nature can be spit right back at the author. Mr. Seelinger wrote that Corzine's loss "is evidence of a growing disillusionment with the Obama administration and its policies." Well, perhaps he doesn't understand human nature. Perhaps people voted for other reasons, like Corzine's own failures: corruption, property taxes, etc. So, following your own logic, Seelinger's assertion is at best conjecture. *sigh* You will cut off your nose to spite your face, Mr. Dent.

      2. I'm pretty sure they had to have had an election for the NY-23 seat in 2008, which means they elected a republican congressman while voting Democrat.

      3. If you look at the rhetoric used during the campaign, it is very revealing. Consider the picture of the billboard above. You'll notice that old BO is front and center in that billboard (which were put up all over the state). You'll also notice that on the billboard, Obama's name precedes Corzine's. In fact, if you didn't know that Corzine was a gubernatorial candidate, you might think that was an ad for an Obama Presidential campaign, with Corzine as his running mate.

        Also consider his speech at Newark on Nov. 1. http://blog.nj.com/ledgerarchives/2009/11/preside
        You'll notice that particularly towards the middle and end of the speech, Obama focuses almost entirely on himself and his policies. Corzine is thrown in almost as an afterthought. All accusations of narcissism aside, this illustrates the degree to which Obama inserted himself into this race. In his attempts to drum up support for Corzine, he invoked his own policies and drew parallels between what he was trying to accomplish in Washington and what Corzine would do (and has done) in New Jersey. On the basis of the election returns, these policies and Obama's agenda were flatly rejected by the people of New Jersey. This was a significant blow to Obama and the Democrats in what should've been a slam dunk election for Corzine (who has previously won state-wide elections).

        I'm sure that the fact the state's on the verge of bankruptcy, its people have the highest taxes in the country, and the fact that Corzine and his cronies are all crooks didn't help him much either. I'm focusing on the Obama-factor in the race. However, it's not as if New Jersey was some sort of conservative paradise before Corzine took office. The state's had these problems for a while, and Corzine has been elected under similar conditions before. The significantly different factor in this race was Obama.

      4. OK, I'll make this short and sweet: if you're going to focus on the Obama factor, then substantiate your claims with objective evidence. The margin of victory is not evidence of the Obama factor. Exit polls and polls in general are. Use them to help you understand the Obama factor. It doesn't matter how many speeches he gave, when he gave them, with whom he gave them, his rhetoric, or whatever. What matters is why people voted against Corzine. You are trying to build a correlation is causation fallacy and it doesn't work.

  2. I wasn't presenting an opinion, I was presenting an observation. Obama heavily inserted himself into this race and invested a lot of time and effort in trying to have his policies validated by the people of NJ. I found it interesting, that after doing so, he and Corzine were soundly defeated in a state that is traditionally very liberal.

    The NY-23 race is evidence why party bosses shouldn't select congressional candidates.

  3. That's funny because the exit polls were tinged with the following:

    "Those who said Mr. Obama was a factor in New Jersey divided as to whether their vote was a vote for the president (19 percent) or against him (20 percent). In Virginia, slightly fewer voters said their vote was for Mr. Obama (18 percent) than against him (24 percent)."

    "Observation" — please. You observed "disillusionment"? I think finding growing disillusionment is a subjective experience. Call a spade a spade. You tried to pass off opinion as fact. Pass off opinion as opinion. You will be more convincing if your arguments actually contain proper semantics. Right now, by presenting an opinion as a premise, you think you don't have to make a proper argument… wrong.

  4. I just don't think the NJ election is very interesting or historic. NJ voters didn't like Corzine before Obama got involved, and they didn't like him afterwards either. Corzine is a scumbag and so is Christie.

    NY-23, however, is fascinating. The Republicans had their asses handed to them after the lunatic fringe of the party decided the official GOP candidate wasn't conservative enough, and threw their support behind a doomed third-party candidate — a man with palpably negative charisma, but one who would be devoted to the party line on abortion and gay rights.

    I think this scenario is likely to be repeated in other districts around the country, unless the party leaders can figure out a way to co-opt the energy of the teabagger / Palinite activists without handing them the keys. I look forward to another year of right-wing infighting and hysteria.

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