Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why Corzine lost

The post-mortems are in, and the consensus among reporters is that Gov. Corzine lost for three big reasons:

Why Corzine lost


The post-mortems are in, and the consensus among reporters is that Gov. Corzine lost for three big reasons:

- he failed to ease the property tax burden and repair state finances, two of the key promises of his 2005 campaign

- he never mastered politics, standing aloof from the political players he needed to help move his agenda, backing off of too many fights and failing to connect with the public he was leading

- he was hit with an economic storm that made all his inherent problems worse.

Here are some takes. Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger says it was a "pointed personal loss" for Corzine, who he described as the state's "unabashed liberal leader."

"He promised to ease the burden of property taxes and failed. He promised to use his Wall Street savvy to fix the state’s ever-broken finances, and he failed again," Moran wrote.

The Record's Charlie Stile writes that "For all his smarts, ambition and, of course, his money . . . Corzine never mastered the art of politics." He says the governor didn't learn he had to promote his own ideas, failed to take care of image problems and was stubbornly attached even to "politically radioactive" ideas.

Ross Baker, a Rutgers political scientist, told David Kocieniewski of The New York Times that Corzine was too timid to see his visions through. Kocieniewski writes that Corzine's "inability to stare down the state’s free-spending Legislature and its public employee unions doomed his efforts to straighten out New Jersey’s troubled finances."

My story took a look at how economic issues -- taxes, the recession, Corzine's ill-fated attempt to deal with state debt -- cost the governor who was sold as having economic expertise.

Those stories examined the four year arc of Corzine's time in Trenton. The particulars of Election Day came down to two big story lines: motivated Republicans turned out huge for Christie, while unenthusiastic Democrats delivered diminished margins in their party's strong holds.

We look at how the GOP-heavy Shore counties gave Christie a massive boost. The Star-Ledger examined the low turn out in Democratic bastions.

The most thorough vote break-down I have seen comes from Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. On his blog, Murray takes a look at region-by-region results. His biggest conclusions: turnout was down overall, but way up among Republicans in Ocean and Monmouth counties, and down in key Democratic counties, Hudson and Essex. And that Middlesex, which swung from a 17.6 point Corzine win in 2005 to a 2.7 point loss this year, may be the state's new bellwether.


Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Garden State Grapevine covers news in South Jersey and Trenton.

The Grapevine is put together by the 20 journalists on the Inquirer's award-winning South Jersey team.

Garden State Grapevine
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter