New Joisey


LIVINGSTON, N.J. — When Gov. Jon Corzine began his bid for a second term in January, public opinion polls showed voters in recession-racked New Jersey didn’t like him and weren’t going to vote for him.

Two weeks before the election, polls show voters still don’t like Corzine but may return him to office anyway.

National political parties are watching New Jersey — the only governor’s race this year other than Virginia’s — for clues to how next year’s congressional elections might go. Yet, here in the state, New Jersey’s economic devastation is overshadowing other issues as voters demand to know who’s at fault and what can be done about it.

Four independent polls show Corzine is in a dead heat with Republican Christopher Christie, a former U.S. attorney [under Chimpy George W. Bush and Karl Rove]. That improvement could give Democrats a chance to hang onto the governorship despite voter fury over New Jersey’s high unemployment and even higher taxes.

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Corzine is “struggling back,” says Peter Woolley, director of the Public Mind poll at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J. Also in the race is independent Christopher Daggett, a former environmental regulator. The three will meet in a debate Friday in Wayne.

Until now, voters who are angry about the state’s economic situation appear to have blamed Corzine, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs who served in the Senate before running for governor in 2005.


Recession has driven the state’s unemployment rate up to 9.7%, a 32-year high, and created a projected $8 billion deficit for the next budget year. Income tax revenue, which used to provide property tax rebates, has plunged. Corzine has ended most rebates, raised the sales tax and raised income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents.


Christie, 47, who was the state’s federal prosecutor for seven years, has tried to assure voters he’ll solve the state’s fiscal crisis, asserting he’ll increase property tax rebates and cut income tax rates, but he has resisted explaining how. Instead, he urges voters to fire Corzine.


Corzine, 62, has run a barrage of ads slamming Christie over a $46,000 loan he gave to a subordinate without reporting it on his taxes and accusing him of escaping traffic violations by “throwing his weight around.” Christie and his campaign say that phrase is a dig at the Republican’s physical size.

Corzine also has tried to focus on social issues he hopes will win back Democrats. He has criticized Christie’s proposal to let insurance companies sell cheaper “no-frills” policies, saying it would end coverage of mammograms.


President Obama, who campaigned for Corzine in July and is due to return before the election, is so popular in New Jersey that the Democrat’s campaign has put up billboards of the two men side by side “as if Corzine is Obama’s running mate,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “That’s generating, if not excitement, at least a sense of duty among urban voters.”


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20 responses to “New Joisey

  1. Sue

    Are you in NJ? I’ve been here, unfortunately, since I was 4 yrs old! The state is fucked up and I blame alot of it on Christie Whitman. Dems have had a hell of a problem fixing the wrongs of the rethugs. BUT… I will still vote to keep Corzine in office, I believe Christie would be like turning back the clock.

    • no, sue, but i’m from new yawk, and we would drive through joisey quite often. i don’t think i’ll ever forget the smell! 😆

      i think christie would be a disaster. it would be inviting karl rove into nj politics.

  2. To complicate matters, the Star Ledger just endorsed the 3rd party candidate! But if people do vote for Daggett, it might benefit Corzine anyway since Daggett has Republican roots.

    • hi mauigirl!

      you haven’t commented here in a long time! nice to see you.

      i read that doggett might be draining votes from corzine, not christie. i think, in the long run, people (especially dems) will remember ralph nader and floriduhhh in 2001, and they won’t throw their votes away on someone who doesn’t have a shot. dems can get awfully pissy with their candidates, but when push comes to shove, they come back when it counts.

  3. I’ve only ever been to Camden, N.J. (enroute from DC to Philly by car) and I have to say, before then I never actually realized a river could smell so much like dog crap on a real hot day.
    Then someone told me that river had actually caught fire once. HAHAHAHA!
    Yeah, yeah, I know–parts of New Jersey are just gorgeous, but to me Jersey will always mean The Sopranos, those horrible Housewives of New Jersey and that dog shit-smelling river.
    This Corzine cat might be a dud, but at least he’s not a Bush Republican like that other slob.

    • 😆 too damned funny!

      seriously, though, i’m surprised that christie is getting any rethuglican support, especially since he swallowed mike huckabee.

  4. Sue

    I’m in the deep southwest of the state, it’s pretty open space and country living. The times I have traveled up that horrific turnpike to N Joisey are times I’d rather not remember! To tell you the truth I don’t know what it will take to turn our state around. I can’t understand a state as populated as mine can have such difficulty with funding schools and because of it we have (i think) the highest property taxes in the country.

    • my memories of new joisey are driving through when we’d visit my grandparents in floriduhhh, shopping in paramus before the school year started (e.j. korvette’s is the store i remember best), and visiting my college roommate after she settled there (i think it was in or near elizabeth, that town’s name rings a bell). other than that, i’ve been in newark airport.

  5. I have nothing constructive to add here.

  6. The best thing I have to say about New Jersey is that it used to be one of the heartlands of drum and bugle corps, with multiple top corps hailing from the northern part of the state year after year on all levels of the activity. Note–used to be. The very best corps the state ever saw up and left for Allentown, PA, a few years ago and most of the rest have folded. Only a few of the small corps for youth and the corps for old farts are still going strong there.

  7. ok – i actually GREW up with chris christie – (tho he is a bit younger) — then again i also knew Jim McGreevey and lived around the corner from Tom Kean

    (and i am not kidding)

    and yes i am corrupt.

    and working in commercial clearance i have seen every commercial that the 3 candidates have produced – and i tell you, corzine is definitely hitting below the belt (if you can find it on christie)

    • i love it that corzine is hitting below the belt (and the enormous gut above it). i’m so damned tired of dems being so damned polite, only to get shit all over.

      you must one day tell us all about what your old neighbors were like.

      p.s. and i already knew you were corrupt, dcAp! 😉