Evidence that NJ was not a referendum on Obama/Dems

I thought that I would just go ahead and aggregate the evidence that what happened in NJ last night was more of a referendum on Corzine then on President Obama or the Democratic Party as a whole.

Note: Most of these were lifted from this website or fivethirtyeight.com. I know I should link to the sources more, and I'll try to get around to it.

Ok, evidence that NJ was a problem with Corzine instead of Obama:

1) Corzine had a 37% approval rating going into the election. Nobody has been able to find even a single instance of a sitting Governor winning reelection with an approval rating that low

2) Whereas three-quarters of Corzine's voters cited a national issue -- health care or the economy -- as their primary reason for voting for him, two-thirds of Christie's picked a local one (property taxes and corruption). -Silver

3) Obama approval was actually pretty strong in New Jersey, at 57 percent (the same % Obama won NJ by)-CNN

4) 27 percent of those who approved of Obama nevertheless voted for someone other than Corzine

5) the Democrats look like they'll lose just one seat in the state legislature in Trenton -Silver

6) Corzine went super-negative, including ads attacking his opponent's weight

7) Chris Cristie's ads mostly didn't even mention that he was a Republican, and most of his ads used the Democrat's blue background -Silver

8) the exit polls had 60 percent saying that Barack Obama played no role in their gubernatorial vote, 19 percent saying that their vote was one in support of the President, and 20 percent saying that their vote was in opposition to President Obama. -Mydd

9) The Dems did ok in some other areas, such as going 2/2 in Congressional elections (although they had a bad night in VA)

10) Corzine's poll numbers didn't change off of their trend lines when Obama stumped for him - meaning that Corzine was the issue, not Obama

11) Gubernatorial races are extremely poor yardsticks for other elections, with almost zero correlation -Silver

12) NJ has gone for a Governor in the party opposite of the President's party for decades, including when Reagan and Clinton were very popular and including 2 months after 9/11 when Bush had 90% approval ratings.

Tags: Democrats, NJ, obama (all tags)



Re: Evidence that NJ was not a referendum

I think you can stop at #1.   Nobody wins with that approval rating unless their opponent is in jail, on his way to jail, or just got out of jail.

If you look at Corzine getting 45% I think Obama helped him a lot.  At least to the tune of about 8 points.

by RichardFlatts 2009-11-04 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence that NJ was not a referendum

true, but the more evidence, the better i guess

by jeopardy 2009-11-04 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence that NJ was not a referendum

It was a good diary.

by RichardFlatts 2009-11-04 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Evidence that NJ

The fact that Democrats held onto the Assembly is really just due to ridiculous gerrymandering.  Otherwise these are valid points.  There was actually a Christie ad that used audio of one of Obama's speeches (in a good way), so it's clear that his campaign understood the reality that Obama is popular in NJ.  You sure didn't see Chris Christie campaigning on the argument that a vote for him was a vote against the Obama agenda, even if that's how people want to spin it after the fact.

by Steve M 2009-11-04 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: NJ was not a referendum on Obama/Dems

I can tell you that I live in NJ, I contributed to Obama in 2008, I voted for Obama in 2008 in both the primary and general, I would vote for Obama again, and I approve of the job he is doing (or trying to do in most cases).

I do not approve of the job that Corzine did and I did not vote for him (I voted for Daggett).  While it's sad that Christie is now my governor, this election was 100% a referendum on Corzine and he did not deserve a 2nd term.  I do not make compromise or "lesser of two evils" votes.  That does not improve politics.

by NJIndependent 2009-11-05 03:56PM | 0 recs


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