June 5, 2009

THE WILDERNESS YEARS SURE DIDN'T LAST LONG:

No Bed of Roses for Democrats in the Garden State: The outlook is good for Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor’s race. (Michael Barone, June 5, 2009, American)

New Jersey voters went to the polls Tuesday, or at least some of them did, and chose a Republican candidate to run against embattled Democratic Governor Jon Corzine. Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan 55 percent to 42 percent in the Republican primary. This was labeled by many as a contest between a moderate and a conservative, but that is not quite what it was. Christie was pretty solidly conservative on the major issue facing state government—the fact that spending is outpacing revenues, and high taxes are squeezing the private sector economy—while Lonegan’s positions on some issues were, well, pretty eccentric. [...]

There are some interesting things to be said about turnout. In a decade when turnout has been sharply rising, and when victory has tended to go to the party that has a more enthusiastic base, the numbers here do not look particularly good for the Republicans—but look worse for the Democrats. Here are the turnout figures for each party’s last three gubernatorial primaries; only the 2009 and 2001 Republican primaries were seriously contested.

Thus Republican turnout was down 2 percent from 2001 to 2009, both seriously contested primaries, while Democratic turnout was down 26 percent from 2001 to 2009, both not seriously contested primaries. Local factors may have been at work here; presumably turnout is higher in counties where there are serious contests for legislative seats. Still, the decline in Democratic turnout, taken with the polling which has shown Corzine trailing Christie by significant margins all year, suggests that Democrats will have more trouble rallying the party faithful to the polls than the Republicans.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 5, 2009 8:03 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« PERHAPS THE MOST HELPFUL METAPHOR WOULD BE THE COVER SONG: | Main | SURE, IT WON'T DO BUPKUS FOR WARMING...: »