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| | |-+  Why did New Jersey go blue so fast? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Why did New Jersey go blue so fast?  (Read 1598 times)
Chateaubriand Pact
AMB1996
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« 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
Chateaubriand Pact
AMB1996
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,745
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.06, S: 5.74

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« Reply #1 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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