Yet, good news for Trenton Democrats—the NJ Republicans are trying to lose
By Art Gallagher
State Senator Barbara Buono, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, received two doses of bad news today (so far) for her fledgling campaign to unseat Governor Chris Christie in November.
1) A Quinnipiac poll released today indicates that Buono has made no progress over the last month in increasing her dismal name recognition. 78% of those polled don’t know enough about Buono to form an opinion. That compares to 79% last month. Of the few who recognize her name, 43% have an unfavorable opinion.
Christie’s numbers remain amazingly strong. 67% approve of the job he is doing as governor. 66% says he deserves to be reelected. In a head to head match up with Buono, Christie wins 58%-26%, with 13% out to lunch.
2) Even worse for Buono, PolitickerNJ reports that she is likely to be the only major party gubernatorial candidate in the history of New Jersey’s matching funds campaign program not to qualify for the maximum amount. PolitickerNJ said that Buono has raised only $29,000 per week since she declared her candidacy in December. In order to earn the maximum $2 million in state matching funds for the primary, she would have to raise $216,000 per week over the next six weeks of the primary campaign.
Christie has opted out of the state matching funds program and has raised upwards of $5 million to date for the primary.
Trenton Republicans Trying to Lose
With Chrisite’s polling and financial numbers so strong, one would think that the Trenton Democrats that control the legislature would be concerned about Christie coattails. Trenton Republicans seem enthused about the prospect of taking control of the legislature, but so far their campaign is deploying the stupidest strategy imaginable.
I’m not a professional political strategist, I just play one of the Internet. In my not so humble opinion the NJ GOP‘s campaign against Corzine Democrats is the dumbest political strategy since Christine O’Donnell declared she is not a witch.
Governor Chris Christie has taken to the town hall stump declaring that the Corzine Democrats are back.
“In the last couple weeks, we’ve seen an ugly type of Democrat start to rear its head again,” Christie said during a town hall last week. “I think you thought you had slayed this type of Democrat in 2009 — that you had taken the wooden stake and out it through this type of democrats heart. But I am here to tell you today that I fear this type of Democrat has returned to the state legislature. You know what kind of Democrat I’m talking about: A Corzine Democrat.”
The governor will likely expand on the Corzine Democrats theme at his town hall meeting in Brick this afternoon, as he did last evening in his statement about the budget passed by the Democratic State Legislature yesterday:
“With today’s budget, Corzine Democrats reversed course and sent a loud and clear signal that they want to go back to the eight years prior to my administration when taxes and fees were raised every 25 days. After two years without raising taxes, the only way to feed the Corzine Democrats’ obsession is to hold tax relief hostage. I will not allow New Jersey to go back to the same failed policies that nearly put our state over a fiscal cliff. Tax relief for our hardworking families is long overdue and that is exactly what I will continue fighting for.”
But the budget the Democrats passed doesn’t raise taxes once every 25 days. It doesn’t raise taxes any day. It also doesn’t reduce income taxes as Christie’s budget proposed. Nor does it reduce property taxes as the proposal that Senate President Steve Sweeney reneged on would have done.
The budget that the Democrats passed spends $400 million less than the budget Christie proposed.
Christie’s budget would have increased spending 8% with a phased in 10% income tax reduction. It relies heavily on one shot gimmicks and increased borrowing. Christie’s revenue projections, which the Democrats have acceptted, are based upon extremely optimistic assumptions that seem to have little grounding in reality. New Jersey’s economy would have to suddenly start growing faster than the rest of the country in order for Christie’s revenue projections to come close. That sounds a lot like the fiscal cliff that the Whitman/DiFranceso/Bennett Republicans drove New Jersey over in the 1990’s until New Jersey voters kicked them out of power in 2003.