Interactive Map: Christie’s ‘Landslide’ Deceptive Due to Record-Low Turnout

Colleen O'Dea | November 8, 2013

NJSpotlight

 

Much has been said and written since Tuesday’s election about Gov. Chris Christie being re-elected in a “landslide” and voters giving him a “mandate” to govern.

But fewer than four out of 10 registered adults voted and not quite 38 percent cast a ballot in the governor’s race – some even skipped it, and voted only for other offices or ballot questions. Of the state’s total adult population of more than 6.8 million, little more than three in 10 chose a candidate for governor.

The estimated turnout of 38.8 percent was the lowest turnout for any November general election in which a statewide office – governor or U.S. senator – topped the ballot, according to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

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Higher Wage Is Approved in New Jersey

The New York Times

Some employers in New Jersey, like Joseph Olivo, did not wait for the results of the vote on Tuesday to start preparing for the state’s minimum wage to rise by $1 an hour next year.

For months, polls had signaled that voters would most likely approve an amendment to the State Constitution that would take the minimum hourly wage to $8.25 on Jan. 1 and then step it up annually to keep pace with inflation. Indeed, the measure passed easily on Tuesday: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, voters approved it by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent, an outcome that pleased labor leaders and dismayed representatives of the business community.

Business leaders and Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, argued that the measure would harm the state’s fragile economy and could cause the loss of jobs. The proposal was put forth by Democrats after the governor blocked legislation that would have brought about a similar increase in the minimum wage.

 

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Democrats Stand Fast in Senate, Lose Two Seats in Lower Chamber

Colleen O'Dea | November 5, 2013

NJSpotlight

The Christie tidal wave, as one Democratic leader called it, did not wash away the Democrats’ legislative majorities.

As of midnight, it appeared the party lost only two seats in the Assembly -- one in the 1st district in South Jersey and the other in the 38th in the North -- and none in the Senate. That’s a far cry from the 14-seat gain the Republicans made in 1985, when Gov. Thomas H. Kean won re-election in what remains the largest landslide in modern state history.

Last night’s results still leave the Democrats with majorities of 24-16 in the Senate and 46-34 in the Assembly. But as with the past four years, that does not mean gridlock, since this same Democratic majority passed much of Gov. Chris Christie’s political program, such as pension and health benefit reforms. But despite Christie’s commanding win, the Democrats also pushed through this year’s ballot measure, a hike of the minimum wage.

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Bloomfield elects first new mayor in 12 years, East Orange mayoral candidate formally seals win

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on November 05, 2013

ESSEX COUNTY — A heated mayoral race in Bloomfield ended tonight with a Democratic at-large councilman beating his Republican challenger. Michael Venezia won a three-year term and will be the township’s first new mayor in 12 years.

The fierce mayoral battle drew big-name support. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) backed 31-year-old Venezia. Russell Mollica, 53, gained support from a local appearance last week with Gov. Chris Christie.

Bloomfield’s election was a focal point among more than 30 municipal and school board races across Essex County. Roughly one-third of the local races were uncontested.

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Chris Christie Coasts to 2nd Term as Governor of New Jersey

The New York Times

 

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey won re-election by a crushing margin on Tuesday, a victory that vaulted him to the front ranks of Republican presidential contenders and made him his party’s foremost proponent of pragmatism over ideology.

Mr. Christie declared that his decisive win should be a lesson for the nation’s broken political system and his feuding party: In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 700,000, Mr. Christie won a majority of the votes of women and Hispanics and made impressive inroads among younger voters and blacks — groups that Republicans nationally have struggled to attract.

The governor prevailed despite holding positions contrary to those of many New Jersey voters on several key issues, including same-sex marriage, abortion rights and the minimum wage, and despite an economic recovery that has trailed the rest of the country.

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James family returns to Newark City Hall as former mayor's son wins council seat

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger
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on November 05, 2013

John Sharpe James, pictured in this file photo was elected tonight to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Donald Payne (D-10th Dist.)

 

Roughly a week after former mayor Cory Booker left Newark City Hall, the James family returned.

John Sharpe James, son of former Mayor Sharpe James, was elected to a vacant at-large council seat tonight in a commanding 40 point victory over the next highest vote getter, according to unofficial returns.

"We know the real Newark. We know what Newark used to be," James told a crowd of roughly 200 supporters at Newark's Key Club. "We need to go back to that Newark."

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Runaway Governor’s Race Confounds Pollsters and Pundits

Mark J. Magyar | November 5, 2013

NJSpotlight

Four years ago, the last five polls in the governor’s race varied by just five percentage points -- with GOP challenger Chris Christie leading by no more than 3 percent and Gov. Jon Corzine by no more than 2 percent. Even with the complication of independent Chris Daggett in the race, the polls were basically right on the money: Christie ended up winning by 4.5 percent, within the margin of error for three of the polls.

Tonight, somebody’s poll is going to be very wrong -- and that’s in a race in which the pollsters have no argument over the winner.

The Monmouth University poll has Christie leading Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex) by 20 percent; the Quinnipiac poll has Christie winning by 28 percent; and the Rutgers-Eagleton poll shows a whopping 36 percent Christie landslide. For a polling profession that usually quotes margins of error of plus or minus 1.5 to 3.5 percent, those Monmouth and Rutgers-Eagleton polls are an Evel Knievel chasm apart.

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Cory Booker basks in glow of big day as nation's newest Senator

By Amy Ellis Nutt/The Star-Ledger
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on November 01, 2013

Sen. Cory Booker addresses hundreds of supporters in the Russell Senate Office Building with Sen. Robert Menendez at his left and Rep. Donald Payne Jr. at his right on Booker's first day as a US Senator. Washington, DC 10/31/13 (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

 

WASHINGTON — Lost in an ocean of admirers, Cory Booker stood on a small dais in a crowded ballroom at the Liaison Hotel on Thursday night, posing for photos. A waiting line snaked through the crowd as Booker stood as patient as a groom receiving well-wishers.

It was 8 p.m. and he was already due at the next party, but the new U.S. Senator from New Jersey was content to bask in the glow of flashing cameras just a little bit longer.

Cory Booker became New Jersey’s first African-American U.S. Senator and the first former Newark mayor to ascend to higher political office when he was sworn in at high noon Thursday in the well of the U.S. Senate.

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Booker Joins the Senate and Casts His First Vote

The New York Times

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday administered the oath of office to Cory A. Booker, recently elected to the Senate.

 

WASHINGTON — Cory A. Booker, who gained celebrity as a danger-defying, super-tweeting mayor of Newark, was sworn in as New Jersey’s junior United States senator on Thursday. He is the first African-American to be elected to the chamber since Barack Obama in 2004.

Mr. Booker’s arrival in Washington did not come with the same political portent rendered by another high-profile senator who arrived here via a special election — Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, whose 2010 victory signaled the ensuing power of the Tea Party movement, cost Democrats a 60-vote supermajority and placed a Republican in the seat held for nearly half a century by Edward M. Kennedy. (Senator Brown lost the seat to Elizabeth Warren in 2012, thus ending his swing-vote-laden tenure.)

But Senator Booker was met with a fair amount of attention from his fellow Democrats, whose excitement seemed to stem less from the fact that, after Senator Frank R. Lautenberg died in June, their party retained the seat as expected — but rather at his significant national star wattage and the fund-raising potential it may bring. He joins Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley earlier this year to replace Jim DeMint, who retired, as one of only two black senators.

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No Common Ground for Christie and Buono on Social Issues, Policies

Colleen O'Dea | November 1, 2013

NJSpotlight

 

On issues as diverse as abortion, same-sex marriage, and gun control, the differences between Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic challenger Sen. Barbara Buono could not be clearer.

That is, if anyone could find Christie’s positions.

Buono’s website has a section on issues that includes several position papers. Christie’s site, however, does not. The governor's campaign site only contains brief biographies of Christie and Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno; a description of seven accomplishments during his current term; contribution, contact and volunteer forms; a video archive and news releases, most of which are about ads and endorsements. This is quite different from his 2009 campaign website, which had the same Internet address and a full section on issues.

“The Governor’s positions on these issues are public and well documented during his time as Governor,” said Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for the Christie campaign.

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