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.
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.