Thursday, October 8, 2009

Imperfect Together

For Heaven's sake, if you can't beat John Corzine in a year like this, I have to wonder how hard you are trying: What's Wrong With Christie?
Earlier this year, Republican Chris Christie looked like a really safe bet to beat New Jersey’s incumbent governor, Democrat Jon Corzine. The polls in July showed Christie with a lead ranging from 7 to 15 percentage points.

Of course, since then the former U.S. attorney has had millions of dollars
worth of negative ads dumped on his head; one estimate calculates that Corzine is spending a million a week on televisionadvertising. One result is unsurprising — Christie’s lead has dwindled to a mere 3 to 4 points in most polls — and another is somewhat surprising: Even with that barrage of the airwaves, it took Corzine until Tuesday of this week to garner more than 42 percent support in any poll. On that day, a Fairleigh Dickenson poll put Corzine up, 44 percent to 43 percent
.Corzine is a one man ground zero for everything voters say that hate about politics in 2009: a former Wall Street exec (from Goldman Sachs!) whose state continues to have high levels of the wrong things (taxes, spending, corruption) even after he came into office specifically promising to remedy all three. Christie has benefited from a anti-Corzine wave, but that might not be enough come election time when Joisey's habitual Democrat voters return to the polls.

Of course, New Jersey's status as a high tax, featherbedding den of corruption is not new. In fact, it's always been thus, which tends to make me think a majority of New Jerseyites like having corrupt, expensive government, so long as they get their cut. It is often called the Bluest of Blue States, and its "cash in envelopes" style of politicking is certainly Democratic to the core. If that really is what New Jerseyites want out of their politics, perhaps Chris Christie never had a chance to begin with.

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