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| | |-+  Why did New Jersey go blue so fast?
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Author Topic: Why did New Jersey go blue so fast?  (Read 1433 times)
marty
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« on: May 12, 2018, 02:26:46 pm »

This was a state that went heavily for the republican before 92. Bush 1 won it by 14 points in 88

What happened over the 4 year span between 88 and 92 that made independent voters in NJ abandon the gop?

I know 1992 every state swung D basically, but New Jersey wasn’t even considered a swing state in the 80s
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2018, 02:55:21 pm »

Rise of social (especially religious) conservatism, GOP losing a lot of strength in urban/suburban areas (Which NJ is basically 100% urban/suburban), Fast minority growth

As for 88 --> 92 specifically, George H W Bush performed amazingly in suburbs in general in 88. Part of this was many NJ suburbanites were concerned about rising crime rates, and Dukakis seemed useless and even dangerous for solving this issue to many people. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, seemed much better on this issue, and people were getting tired of republican presidents with the declining economy.
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 06:19:05 pm »

Rise of social (especially religious) conservatism, GOP losing a lot of strength in urban/suburban areas (Which NJ is basically 100% urban/suburban), Fast minority growth

As for 88 --> 92 specifically, George H W Bush performed amazingly in suburbs in general in 88. Part of this was many NJ suburbanites were concerned about rising crime rates, and Dukakis seemed useless and even dangerous for solving this issue to many people. Bill Clinton, meanwhile, seemed much better on this issue, and people were getting tired of republican presidents with the declining economy.

That pretty much hits the nail on the head. Especially the minority growth part.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 12:51:30 pm »

  • Changing demographics, as stated above.
  • An end to the violent crime epidemic of the 60s-80s. Republicans were able to maintain control of the State Senate into the 21st century by running on an tough-on-crime, anti-tax platform.
  • The spending policies of the Whitman-DeFrancesco era also cost the state party a lot of credibility on fiscal issues. Republicans were anti-tax, but supplemented debt for revenue instead of cutting spending.
  • The national party emphasizing social issues, though I think this is overstated as Bush II was competitive in 2004 and the state has a huge conservative Catholic population.

With all of this said, be careful pegging NJ as a strongly Democratic state 1992-2012. Clinton and Obama had strong personal appeal here, but Republicans continued to win down-ballot and most suburban districts/towns. Republicans won the popular vote for State Senate in 2013 and very nearly took control of the chamber.

I might argue it's only entering truly Safe D territory post-Christie.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 12:59:10 pm by AMB1996 »Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 01:22:48 pm »

  • Changing demographics, as stated above.
  • An end to the violent crime epidemic of the 60s-80s. Republicans were able to maintain control of the State Senate into the 21st century by running on an tough-on-crime, anti-tax platform.
  • The spending policies of the Whitman-DeFrancesco era also cost the state party a lot of credibility on fiscal issues. Republicans were anti-tax, but supplemented debt for revenue instead of cutting spending.
  • The national party emphasizing social issues, though I think this is overstated as Bush II was competitive in 2004 and the state has a huge conservative Catholic population.

With all of this said, be careful pegging NJ as a strongly Democratic state 1992-2012. Clinton and Obama had strong personal appeal here, but Republicans continued to win down-ballot and most suburban districts/towns. Republicans won the popular vote for State Senate in 2013 and very nearly took control of the chamber.

I might argue it's only entering truly Safe D territory post-Christie.


NJ swung to Bush in 2004 because of terrorism and especially considering the Osama tape released before the election. Because of 9/11 there was a substantial swing in NJ-NY suburbs to Bush especially amongst Italian-americans of which many had family members that worked in NYPD or Fire Departments and after 9/11 for a long term their number one focus was terrorism. 
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2018, 01:28:03 pm »

  • Changing demographics, as stated above.
  • An end to the violent crime epidemic of the 60s-80s. Republicans were able to maintain control of the State Senate into the 21st century by running on an tough-on-crime, anti-tax platform.
  • The spending policies of the Whitman-DeFrancesco era also cost the state party a lot of credibility on fiscal issues. Republicans were anti-tax, but supplemented debt for revenue instead of cutting spending.
  • The national party emphasizing social issues, though I think this is overstated as Bush II was competitive in 2004 and the state has a huge conservative Catholic population.

With all of this said, be careful pegging NJ as a strongly Democratic state 1992-2012. Clinton and Obama had strong personal appeal here, but Republicans continued to win down-ballot and most suburban districts/towns. Republicans won the popular vote for State Senate in 2013 and very nearly took control of the chamber.

I might argue it's only entering truly Safe D territory post-Christie.


NJ swung to Bush in 2004 because of terrorism and especially considering the Osama tape released before the election. Because of 9/11 there was a substantial swing in NJ-NY suburbs to Bush especially amongst Italian-americans of which many had family members that worked in NYPD or Fire Departments and after 9/11 for a long term their number one focus was terrorism.  

This is not the entire story, but it is a contributing factor. I figured it went without saying on this forum that anti-terrorism helped Bush in the NYC MSA; the topic has been discussed to the fullest extent.

My point is that I don't believe that Forbes or McCain (for example) would have necessarily done even better in NJ in 2004 because they were more socially liberal/progressive. There is a strong pro-life constituency in NJ, and I believe that helped rather than hurt Bush in 2004.
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2018, 01:41:35 pm »

Look no further from the swings of '88 to '92.  The GOP lost the suburban vote in a hurry. Since then, CA (for many reasons), NJ, CT, DE, VT, IL, MD and PA (until this past year) haven't sniffed the GOP column.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 02:08:02 pm »

Look no further from the swings of '88 to '92.  The GOP lost the (blue state) suburban vote in a hurry. Since then, CA (for many reasons), NJ, CT, DE, VT, IL, MD and PA (until this past year) haven't sniffed the GOP column.
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2018, 02:12:06 pm »

With all of this said, be careful pegging NJ

cc: Pennsylvania
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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2018, 02:12:53 pm »

With all of this said, be careful pegging NJ

cc: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan...


FTFY.
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018, 02:33:55 pm »

The suburban areas were bastion of the “liberal republican” brand that people like Rockefeller were so known for. In fact, for 72 years (1918-1988) the only Democrats to win New Jersey were FDR, John F Kennedy and LBJ.

But as the suburban areas near NYC and Philly became denser and denser - and as the “liberal Republican” became more extinct from the GOP, New Jersey became more and more of a Blue (Democrat) state. It didn’t really have much time as a true tossup/purple state as it narrowly went for Clinton in 1992 then was never close again.....reminds me a lot of Virginia in 2008 & going foward.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2018, 05:44:58 pm »

Immigration, college/wealthy whites shifting from R to D, and the GOP going hard to the right caused NJ to go from leaning R to solid D.
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2018, 05:39:38 pm »

But as the suburban areas near NYC and Philly became denser and denser

Is this actually true? Maybe at the county level, as residential housing cropped up on undeveloped land, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find places where the existing residential tracts actually became more densely populated.
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