Jersey swingers

Jersey swingers

: Way back in May, I said that New Jersey could become a swing state. So did John Podhoretz. I heard the cracking sounds of being out on a limb then but it’s turning out to be quite true. Hell, George Bush is coming to my turf today to give a big speech on terrorism, which will play here, considering how close we are to the action (my neighbors died… and terrorists are also my neighbors).

Jason Chervokas is worried about my state. Conventional wisdom is that the winner has to take two of three — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida — but now it appears NJ is in the mix. Chervokas nominates me as a poster boy for the problem:

New Jersey may be the biggest problem of all. The northern part of the state is full of upper middle-class suburban voters who are center-left socially but who think Kerry is soft on terrorism, voters like Jeff Jarvis. Also, the nation’s wealthiest state is densely populated by the C-level managers and small businessmen who are among the Republicans most loyal bases. There is also a big base of Wall Street employees who stand to benefit from the flood of money into the markets that will come with the privatization of social security. Then there’s McGreevey’s implosion. While it may not be having a profound impact on Kerry’s numbers, it has taken away what would have been Kerry’s number one surrogate campaigner in the state. (I bet the Dems wish they had Corzine on the ballot in a special election now!) Kerry needs to do something quick in New Jersey because he can’t win the presidency without winning New Jersey. (Theoretically he could, if he took Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, but c’mon!).

But I’m not sure what Kerry can achieve. My guess is that his biggest problem is a loss of traditional support among upper middle-class women from the northern suburbs. Not so much the soccer moms, more the corporate wives. There’s little Kerry can say to them at this point that be a difference maker. Still, at least he should show up in New Jersey. Spend a day. Show the Jerseyites some love. Maybe it helps get out the vote.

This time four years ago, this Garden State was growing campaign signs like corn. Not now. One rabid Bushie in my neighborhood has a sign up. Nobody else does. Driving around less Republican neighborhoods, I see nothing. That tells me we don’t want either of them. We’ll hold our noses like we do going through the Elizabeth refineries when we vote.

Tom Watson (the American) agrees and says that Jason “targets uber-blogger Jeff Jarvis, reliably centrist and stubbornly (even annoyingly) on the fence so far, as emblematic of NJ voters Kerry needs.”

Technically, I’m not on the fence. I’m soft.

Tom prescribes a dose of Clinton Viagra: “So saddle up Bubba, and get him to NJ.”

Bubba: Let’s lunch.

  • http://www.fiveandtwenty.com/spike/ Spike

    For the record, in my area (Lawrenceville, Plainsboro, West Windsor) I have seen tons of Kerry/Edwards signs (and Congressman Rush Holt signs) and absolutely no Bush/Cheney signs. Perhaps all the Bush voters live in neighborhoods where the development community association forbids lawn signs……

  • http://www.whataretheysaying.org/blog/index.html mary

    This time four years ago, this Garden State was growing campaign signs like corn. Not now. One rabid Bushie in my neighborhood has a sign up. Nobody else does. Driving around less Republican neighborhoods, I see nothing. That tells me we don’t want either of them. We’ll hold our noses like we do going through the Elizabeth refineries when we vote.
    LOL. One Rabid Kerryite has a sign up in our (Hudson county) condo courtyard. Otherwise, the place is pretty signless.
    My husband has a bumper sticker

  • http://www.facesofalzheimers.org Paul

    If you read the Trenton Times or the Princeton Packet like I do…. I live in Paul Krugman’s People’s Republic of Princeton…. You would think that the only people who write letters to the Editor are Kerry-ites. Of course, the trenton times has approached comical levels of anti-Bush diatribes masqueriding as editorials, but nonetheless… Bush supporters, I think, are tired of being called every name under the sun. As such, I think they will quietly go to the polls and vote.
    Paul

  • Joe Baby

    McGreevey’s bartering of his Homeland Security dept to get a little nookie has opened the Pandora’s Box in NJ. Clinton could ride in and save the state with a Sister Souljah-like stomping of McGreevey (even by referring to the situation obliquely, and posing as militantly anti-terror).
    The problem is that while Clinton could get away with it…Kerry would never dare.

  • http://somejoe.blogspot.com Somejoe

    Putting up a Bush/Cheney sign around here invites destruction of property, scorn and who knows what else. There are plenty of Bush supporters in NY/NJ, but most are realistic about the level of hostility and will show their support through the safety of the private ballot.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    I did the “Get Out the Vote” thing in Plainsfield yesterday. Equal number Bush and Kerry signs.

  • Tom

    Jeff,
    If it will make you feel any better, I will be in NJ this week, we can do lunch if you like.
    Of course, between meetings, my partner and I will probably find a Bush Cheney phone bank to work if they will have us.
    I would consider it an honor to be the one to convince you that for all the ills you see in the Republican party, there is a place in it for you.
    Tom

  • ronbo

    I moved to Mendham only recently so I can’t comment about four years ago, but we do have some lawn signs (mostly BC) on main roads although very few on residential lawns.
    On the other hand, I have seen quite a few bumper stickers – locally, in B’ville, Mo-town, on 287, etc. Probably a plurality of BC but not by much. KE stickers seem to be standard equipment on Subarus and Volvos – some cliches really are grounded in truth.
    Many of the stickers are anti-Bush rather than pro-KE. Some of them are really arrogant (example: “If you aren’t completely appalled you haven’t been paying attention”), others are still fighting the 2000 election (example: “Re-defeat Bush”) but almost all involve much vitriol and little wit.
    I’m not surprised that the BC campaign is giving NJ a shot.
    Best regards.

  • Pete

    The beauty of being late to the swing state party is that everyone in North Jersey hasn’t had to sit through all the terrible campaign ads that are running in Pennsylvania. But I’m glad this is happening. I really thought that my vote for Bush wasn’t going to count for anything. Now there’s a chance that it will make a difference.

  • Thom

    Are you serious in suggesting that Bill Clinton swing on over in order to soothe the feelings of Democrats who are concerned about terrorism? I laughed out loud until I realized that both you and Tom thought that might be a good idea.

  • ed

    Hmmm.
    Frankly Bush is no prize. He’s terrible on spending restraint and he’s made an enormous number of mistakes. Then there is illegal immigration, a particular hot-button topic for me.
    But Kerry just is not credible on the WoT. I may dislike voting for Bush but I’m not suicidal. And voting for Kerry, to me, would be tantamount to suicide.

  • http://ianargent.joeuser.com Ian Argent

    I live in north-central NJ, and I see A LOT more BC signs that KE signs. I suspect Union Co is more red than blue

  • dries

    visited a friend i wallington, yesterday.
    it used to be a typical, blue-collar, heavily polish-american town. currently quite a prosperous one, as many of wallington residents own their own small businesses – stores, construction companies, plumbing, electrics contracting etc. they still vote for democratic mayors & city councils, but BC signs outnumber KE 4 to 1.

  • http://www.aknobforbrightness.com greg

    here in the big blue zone of the Somerset Hills (Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Far Hills) I’m suprised by the large number of signs I see. Definitely more B-C than K-E, but a signifiant number of K-E signs that give one pause.
    And to think that I thought they completely eradicated liberals in this areas through an arial spraying campaign back in the ’80s..

  • Greg Toombs

    As your local “rabid Bushie” I appreciate the notoriety.
    I’m also being joined by many others putting signs on their lawns as we get closer to Election Day.
    I may put up some more Bush/Cheney signs to set up a lawnmower slalom course.
    Jeff, do you want to bring your mower over for a ride? Or do have rabid lawn guys cut your lawn for you?

  • rastajenk

    My out-on-a-limb prediction some months ago was that California would be in play, what with Arnold and all that. Well, I guess that won’t come to pass, but picking off Jersey would be a nice comeuppance for The Boss.

  • rastajenk

    My out-on-a-limb prediction some months ago was that California would be in play, what with Arnold and all that. Well, I guess that won’t come to pass, but picking off Jersey would be a nice comeuppance for The Boss.

  • Peg C.

    Jeff,
    I don’t live in Jersey, I live in the mid-Hudson Valley of NY, and we saw more and bigger Bush signs than Kerry signs when driving around Sat. to view the fall foliage. My theory is not that most people don’t want either and are holding their noses; I buy the theory that Kerry’s support is a mile wide and a milimeter thick, while Bush’s is strong and deep but his supporters suspect they will be assaulted and their property vandalized by Bush haters if they show their support. Instapundit has been tracking this intimidation. I have W stickers on my Jeep, but I don’t drive to NYC where my stepdaugher works (well, the Bronx). She says no Bush supporter dares say so or display so. If this doesn’t say all that needs to be said about Kerry and his supporters, I don’t know what does. It is NOT that Bush supporters are holding our noses and stop fooling yourself that it is.

  • old maltese

    ‘… and terrorists are also my neighbors’
    Present tense is noted.
    That should be, as lawyers say, dispositive.

  • Karl

    “…terrorists are also my neighbors…”
    Might want to call the authorities.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    I don’t live in Jersey either, but you guys really should consider going for Bush this once. Swing states get SO much more attention at election time. Texas is solidly behind Bush, so you wouldn’t even know an election is going on down here, apart from the numerous W bumper stickers.

  • http://www.memefirst.com Sterling

    The real problem for Democrats in New Jersey is that because they thought the state was a lock for Kerry, they didn’t dedicate resources to prepare to commit widespread vote fraud, as they’ve done in Ohio. I think it’s going to be close – less than 35,000 votes difference in Jersey, one way or another.