October 23, 2004

CHAUNCEY'S GARDEN (via Mike Daley)

With Bush Trip, Blue New Jersey Is Flashing Red (Ben Smith, NY Observer)

New Jersey is starting to look like the red state next-door, as yet another poll shows President George W. Bush within striking distance of Senator John Kerry in the unlikelybattleground.

Deeply affected by Sept. 11, disgusted by their Democratic governor and
flush from Mr. Bush's tax cuts, likely voters in New Jersey preferred Mr.
Kerry to Mr. Bush by a margin of just 49 percent to 45 percent, according to
a Quinnipiac University poll released Oct. 19. The poll, which was taken
before the President made an unusual visit to South Jersey on Oct. 18, is
the latest in a series that show the Garden State as a tight race. Al Gore
won the state by 16 percentage points in 2000.

"Not only are we on your doorstep, but we've got a foot over the stoop,"
crowed Lewis Eisenberg, a co-chairman of Mr. Bush's New Jersey campaign and
one of his top national fund-raisers. "We're on our way in."

Here in New York, we know Mr. Eisenberg and a handful of well-heeled,
well-connected Republican insiders as the face of New Jersey's Republican
Party. They are sober suburbanites, people with high incomes and 212 office
numbers who may hold their nose at some of Mr. Bush's social positions but
love his tax cuts and support his foreign policy. Their leaders are members
of the party's liberal wing, like former Governors Thomas Kean and Christie
Todd Whitman. Later, after Mr. Bush's visit, this group would drive north to
a country road in Oldwick-a bit of New England in New Jersey-and follow a
torchlit path to Mrs. Whitman's spacious farm. There, they would meet with
First Lady Laura Bush and contribute $500,000 to her husband's re-election

But in the sunny afternoon, another of their number, lawyer David Norcross,
was leaning on a metal barrier outside the Evesham Recreation Center in
Marlton, N.J., standing out in his dark suit and college tie as the
red-white-and-blue clad crowd flowed past, copies of The Faith of George W.
Bush in hand. Mr. Norcross was talking about the surprising dynamics in his
state, which conventional wisdom had put in Mr. Kerry's camp-until polls
showed otherwise.

"I've never seen anything quite like it. It's a real bottom-up set of
locally driven things," said Mr. Norcross, who was chairman of the
Republican Party committee that oversaw the G.O.P.'s convention in New York.

The Party really needs to recruit a superstar to run for Governor.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2004 9:17 AM

Bret Schundler could have been a superstar, but the idiot NJ republicans wanted Bob Franks. They never supported Schundler because he's openly pro-life (which is probably what won him the nomination without their support). The NJRP is really not much better than the NJDP.

Posted by: NKR at October 23, 2004 9:37 AM

CW always thought NJ wasn't in play, but didn't we start reading around May/June it was?

Then the MSM kept trying to quash it.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 23, 2004 11:00 AM


Why not Schundler? He's kept up his visibility, He's far more articulate & attractive than any conservative I've seen lately, and has the name recognition.

Though he lost by a wide margin, he has the strong benefit this time out to say "Everything I said about McGreevey was true."

He would be a stunning national candidate, though too "new" for 2008.

Do you have inside info that contradicts my view?

Posted by: BB at October 23, 2004 11:40 AM


Corzine will spend tens of millions--Schundler have that kind of money?

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2004 11:41 AM


Actually, one aspect of McFein is that for every $5 or 10 million of their own money a person spends, the challengers per person cap goes up, 1st to $4K, then to $6K for the next person.

Schundler could well be competitive. Blogs & Talk Radio will help. THe other thing I've never understood is why a Forbes doesn't just "Pay" Schundler for a "consulting project" of some sort.

Announce the "deal" openly as a way to get around "counterproductive campaign laws that protect entrenched interests" & get tons of "free press."

Forget the negative media - they won't be fair anyway.

Play to win.

Besides, Schundler is rich too (but not as..)

Posted by: BB at October 23, 2004 11:55 AM


He won't get federal money for a gubernatorial race.

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2004 11:58 AM

Schundler was Mayor of Jersey City, and some of the people he was tied to were quite unsavory.

There is no hope in New Jersey. Even when the GOP wins, the people lose because the state party is dominated by the Christie Todd Witless types, who are as liberal and as profligate with the taxpayers' money as any Democrat, as well as being perfectly happy to mollycoddle criminals. Reaganite Republicans are treated like the crazy aunt in the attic, to use a Perotism.

I won't tell you, OJ, how these bozos are on social issues, because you'd freak.

Posted by: Bart at October 23, 2004 2:32 PM

If you're talking about Steve Forbes using his financial assets to enter the N.J. governor's race in 2005 to counter any self-funded Corzine campaign, I'm afraid that Steve is one in a long line of "start at the top" politicians who don't want to run for anything less than president in order to actually build up a legislative record that shows they could be effective as president (see Jackson, Jesse; Robertson, Pat; Buchanan, Pat and Clark, Wesley for some others with the same affliction).

Posted by: John at October 23, 2004 8:14 PM

Bruce Willis, your party needs you.

Posted by: AC at October 23, 2004 8:57 PM