By my count ( and I was never particularly good at math ) Joe Biden has been to New Jersey three times this year, and Obama has been once. That is four times that the White House has taken more than just a passive interest in the gubernatorial campaign. Obviously, the White house would like to see a “W” here.
There are only two Gov elections this year: Virginia and NJ. And as polls in Virginia have shown Republican Bob McDonnell ahead ( still ) by as much as 11 points, the White House may decide to focus its hefty political capital on NJ. Virginia is an interesting race for a lot of reasons. First off, it went for Obama in ’08 which put Dems on notice that it is not only in play for them but might even be trending blue. There is no incumbent in the Governor’s race, but Creigh Deeds the Democrat has had difficulty carrying the Obama banner. For example, he favors restrictions on abortion which hasn’t played well with some women who might very well have gotten on board with the Democrat.
Compare that to here in New Jersey, where Corzine has a stronger pro-Democrat message on abortion and women’s health. Women are now flocking to the Governor in bigger numbers than perhaps even the Corzine campaign anticipated.
Then there is this cringe worthy video of Creigh Deeds talking to reporters. Not only is he squirmy on the issue of raising taxes, but note the way he speaks to a female reporter about halfway through:
So, what does all this mean for New Jersey? Well, assuming the White House doesn’t wanna bet the farm by investing in both races and possibly ( gulp ) losing, they may choose which is the better chance of winning and focus exclusively on that one. Clearly, New Jersey has been in their sights all along. But if McDonnell truly pulls away in the final days, you may see a real push by Obama in NJ. I am told by the Corzine campaign that Obama will definitely be back in NJ before the election. However, if it seems close ( as it has this past week ) you might see the President more than once. And that could help out in the so-called “base areas” where people might very well need a reason to bother coming to the polls.