Republicans Gearing Up to Waste Millions More on NJ?

Oh, this could get good. As I have detailed before, Republicans have gotten themselves into a nasty habit that has really put them at a disadvantage nationwide: continually sinking money into futile campaigns in New Jersey. As a short refresher, remember that the Republicans sunk money...

  • Trying to win a Senate election in New Jersey in 2002, only to see former Senator Frank Lautenberg win by a comfortable 10 points after having joined the race late when then-Senator Bob Torricelli bowed out.
  • Trying to help George W. Bush carry the state in 2004, even as John Kerry carried it by a 7-point margin.
  • Trying to defeat Senator Jon Corzine in his effort to make the move to the Governor's mansion in an election he won by a double-digit margin.
  • Trying prop up Tom Kean Jr. (who had as good a name in the state as about any Republican because of his father's legacy) in his bid to unseat appointed Senator Bob Menendez, who won by 8 points.

On the basis of this track record, I've been saying for a while that I'd love to see the Republicans fall prey to this mistake yet again by dumping money they don't really have on a meaningless challenge to Lautenberg, who's up for reelection this year. And apparently, according to, the Republicans indeed appear intent on throwing away money in yet another Garden State election.

According to a press release from Anne Evans Estabrook's campaign, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (R-NV) contributed $5,000 and $10,000 to her campaign, respectively.


While he did not say whether Estabrook has the official support of the NRSC, Estabrook campaign manager Mark Duffy said that it shows that the party is coalescing around her.


McConnell and Ensign make up a significant chunk of Estabrook's donors. So far, she's raised about $1.7 million - $1.6 million of which is her own.

We won't have December's committee fundraising numbers for a few more days, but as of the end of November the National Republican Senatorial Committee trailed its rival, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, by a whopping $13.1 million when debts and obligations are taken into account. When this figure is combined with the fact that the Republicans must defend about twice as many seats as do the Democrats -- and, more importantly, that the Republicans really are on the defense in more than a half dozen districts whereas the Democrats might only have to play defense in a single state -- can the Republicans really afford to waste $4 million in New Jersey, as they did during the 2006 cycle? I'm pretty sure that the answer to that is a big fat "no" -- but that doesn't make me want to bet that they're not going to futility spend the money in the state anyway. Darn!

Tags: new jersey, NJ-Sen, Senate 2008 (all tags)



Re: Republicans Gearing Up to Waste Millions More


hi. my name is lucy and i have a football...

they never learn. good. i'm McLovin' it.

by lipris 2008-01-17 11:09AM | 0 recs
Giuliani could change things

If he tops the ticket he may pull some more people to the Republican side of the aisle.  I think Rudy will do better in New Jersey than NY, if he pulls out the nomination (not out of it yet).

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-17 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani could change things

Giuliani is behind McCain in the primary polls in NJ.  If he can't win a Republican election in the state, what makes you think he has a chance in hell of winning an open election?  McCain is the one that Dems should be worried about the most, both in NJ and everywhere else.  The thing about a McCain candidacy, though, is that if he is counting on winning the White House based on winning independent voters, he may do it very short coattails because he is aiming to attract the exact kind of voters that would be likely to split their vote on down-ticket races.

by NJIndependent 2008-01-17 11:42AM | 0 recs
Rudy did better earlier

When he was up in the polls and the media said he was the front runner he beat everyone but Clinton in NJ and that was close.  A big chunk of NJ is basically an extention of 'The City'.  Rudy will have a following there should he rise again, which he might if McCain loses SC.

Rudy will be a force in FL and may well pull it out.  If he does the media is going to shiite their pants and the media love affair will start all over again.  He would be dangerous going into Feb 5.

It could happen.

by dpANDREWS 2008-01-17 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy did better earlier

The last time Rudy came to a Yankees game he was booed.  And I don't mean just a couple of hecklers.

The other day, a 3-way poll between Clinton, Giuliani and Bloomberg had Rudy finishing a solid 3rd among NYC voters.

Rudy was not popular in NYC before 9/11 and for the last several years city residents have seen nothing but story after story about how he botched the pre-9/11 planning and failed to protect the health of rescue workers after 9/11.

You will not find much love for Rudy here.

by Steve M 2008-01-17 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy did better earlier

Latest polls:

NJ:  McCain +2 ontent/politics/election_20082/2008_pres idential_election/new_jersey/new_jersey_ republican_presidential_primary

NY:  Rudy +3 (down from +30 in Dec) rt.aspx?g=04be412c-3ea7-4a19-b6d9-f51040 1302bf

PA:  McCain +16 (down from Rudy +14 in Dec) 080117_McCain_surges__Clinton_sails.html

The Mid-Atlantic has no love for Giuliani.  He's a moron.  No one I know in Philly or NJ is a Giuliani supporter.

by NJIndependent 2008-01-17 05:32PM | 0 recs

The funny thing here is that Estabrook, who's considered the front-runner for the nomination to be thrown to the wolves, has only raised a paltry $100k.  That's less than one-sixth of the just-announced take from seventh district congressional candidate Linda Stender (who I work for). It's even less than fifth-district candidate Dennis Shulman, who's managed to nearly double her take, raising an impressive $190k for what promises to be a very tough race.

My suggestion is that the GOP really ought to dump a ton of money into state party coffers if they want to turn things around. I would also like to suggest that they turn hard right on message if they would like to win. Hell, let me also throw out there the suggestion that they only recruit candidates who are criminally insane and make getting to the bottom of what really happened in Roswell in 1947 a major part of their platform. (Why not swing for the fences, right?)

by Scott Shields 2008-01-17 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Republicans Gearing Up to Waste NJ?

While your at it, I live in Jersey and here are a few more suggestions:

Emphasize a campaign geared on turning things around in the cities.  Getting out that city vote on a hyper conservative platform worked real well for Bret Schundler (not).

Continue to have corrupt and inefficient government plus high taxes in your key areas of Monmouth, Ocean, and Morris counties.  That will depress your turnout.

Run a rude and obnoxious candidate like Scott Garrett wherever possible.

Continue inept political privatizations like Christie Whitman's screw up of the department of Motor Vehicles.  Garrett may be rude: they were rude, inefficient, bureaucratic, and extremely time consuming.  

Continue the wise a** routine in the Star Ledger blog and on talk radio.  It just confirms to the rest of the state what jerks the Republicans truly are.

by David Kowalski 2008-01-17 12:38PM | 0 recs
I can see why keep challenging

Although the election results always end up in our favor -the polling for NJ is always screwy. It always seems to show a closer race.

by Cleveland John 2008-01-17 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I can see why keep challenging

but you'd think they would have learned their lesson by now.  the dem turnout machines really get the job done in nj- regardless of whether the polls reflect that going into it or not.

by bluedavid 2008-01-17 05:34PM | 0 recs


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