Sunday, November 16, 2008


Our State of New Jersey is often characterized as a "blue", or Democratic state. And, to be truthful, the Democratic Party has dominated the state in recent presidential elections, most recently with President-elect Barack Hussein Obama's carrying the state over Sen. John Sidney McCain III. Many pundits speak of this as if it were a foregone conclusion, like it had always been that way.
That is where they are so very wrong.
A look at presidential elections shows that New Jersey was quite a "red" state, for a long time, and recently. Let's look:

1948-Dewey over Truman.

1952-Eisenhower over Stevenson.

1956-Eisenhower over Stevenson.

1960-Kennedy over Nixon.

1964-Johnson over Goldwater.

1968-Nixon over Humphrey.

1972-Nixon over McGovern.

1976-Ford over Carter.

1980-Reagan over Carter.

1984-Reagan over Mondale.

1988-Bush over Dukakis.

1992-Clinton over Bush.

1996-Clinton over Dole.

2000-Gore over Bush.

2004-Kèrry over Bush.

2008-Obama over McCain.

What we see is, since the end of World War II, Republican presidential nominees carried New Jersey in all but two contests (1960 and '64) up until 1988. Nine out of 11 races, even where the G. O. P. nominee lost nationally. (Dewey and Ford)
That changed in 1992, when William Jefferson Davis Clinton narrowly carried New Jersey over President George H. W. Bush. Many at the time believed that the independent candidacy of H. Ross Perot was the spoiler, indeed, Perot's total vote far exceeded Clinton's plurality over Bush. Many Republicans believed that had Perot not been in the race, a large slice of his votes would have gone to Bush, handing him New Jersey's 15 electoral votes.
In '96, however, Clinton beat Dole outright. Perot ran that year, but his total was much smaller and would not have helped Dole had Perot not been in the race. No Republican has carried the state since then.
So what happened? We might have blamed 92 on Perot, but nothing else. Let's analyze this.
Changing Demographics: The population of New Jersey has changed over the past twenty years. Many who voted Republican in the past have left the state for more hospitable locations. A sizeable percentage of the new residents are immigrants and first-generation Americans, many of whom vote Democratic. That some illegal aliens may also be voting only compounds this.
Changing Democrats: I believe it to be no coincidence that this political shift has coincided with the rise of such political mega-bosses like George Norcross., as well as hyper-rich power-brokers like the Bozo-coiffed Governor Corzine. Where once their activity remained confined to the cities, these operators spread Democratic money and influence around the state through a process called wheeling.* That this effort has borne fruit for the Democrats can be seen in their taking over such formerly red counties as Bergen and Passaic.
A Weak State GOP Organization: Has Nero been fiddling while Rome burned here? Possibly. There hasn't really been much effort on the state level to build the party. Playing defense and retreat only gets you one thing: Defeat.

What is to be done? Well, by the time the next Presidential election rolls around it will be too late. We can't wish and hope that the next one will win Jersey. It's time to start now. Party building. If the state GOP leadership isn't up to the task, maybe it's time we got someone who is.

*Of course, with the Democrats, down is up and up is down and wheeling isn't wheeling, so I guess the money isn't really wheeled. Or something.

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