NJ Election Shows Cruz/Tea Party Strengthens GOP Even in Blue States

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The GOP panicked in its showdown with Obama Inc. over a fear of losing “moderate” voters. It has once again chosen to stand for nothing out of fear of standing for something that people don’t like.

How is that working out as a strategy? Badly.

In New Jersey, Cory Booker was the anointed candidate. He was unstoppable. The Obama of the Garden State. No one was even supposed to run against him.

And his opponent, Steve Lonegan, did all the things that he wasn’t supposed to do. He campaigned with Sarah Palin. Come on? Bringing Sarah Palin to a state where you can see Manhattan from your house? Crazy.

And he did it all while the media was running a national hate campaign comparing Cruz and the Tea Party to the new (Latino) Confederacy.

How did it work out? Not too badly.

Democrat Cory Booker underperformed his showing in almost all the polls, and wound up winning by only 10.3 points. By contrast, Obama won New Jersey by 18 points just last November. At the same time, Democratic senator Robert Menendez cruised to a 19-point victory over a veteran moderate Republican state senator…

Booker himself endlessly referred to Republican Steve Lonegan’s time as head of the state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a tea-party-aligned group.

But Booker’s strategy didn’t seem to work and may even have energized Lonegan’s base. Booker had a 35-point lead only six weeks ago.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll released just last Monday still showed him with at 58 percent to 36 percent lead. Quinnipiac’s poll released on Tuesday had Booker with a 14-point lead. Only the Monmouth University poll that came out on Monday properly pegged Booker with a ten-point lead.

In defeat, Lonegan won a higher percentage of the vote for U.S. Senate than any Republican in the Garden State has gotten in a dozen years.

Elections come down to turnout. Turnout comes down to passion.

Democrats understand that. Republicans don’t. There is a class of voters that turns out for every election. These people tend to be informed. And then there are voters who come out when they’re passionate about something.

The Republican strategy is to trade passion for neutrality. That was the Romney ticket. Put forward someone who seems competent and doesn’t upset people. And will minimize the Anti vote. And the turnout will somehow take care of itself.

And it does not work that way.

Lonegan was the opposite of the Christie Republican, who tapes sound bites, but stands for nothing once you get past the bluster. He stood for something. And he beat the odds. Not all the way, but more than anyone would expect against a candidate whom Christie was afraid to face off against… and who got pushed into the Senate slot in what was likely an under-the-table deal between Christie and Obama.

Republican consultants are still gulping in panic over the “damage” that Cruz and the Tea Party did to their brand. But the only hope for the Republican Party is to stop worrying about brands and start fighting for what they believe in.

Obama has done it and won. Cory Booker, who stands for nothing in particular, took the Republican approach and barely squeaked through.

There’s a lesson here and it doesn’t come with a white flag.

  • Guy Fromage

    Turnout comes down to passionfraud.

    Fixed that for ‘ya.

  • EricTheRed

    Right on point. I’m actually very proud of my state. It was a given that Booker was going to win yesterday’s special election. BUT, despite outspending Lonegan 8-1, with all the cronyism, the big moneyed connections, all the free media fawning, and the unquestioned support of the urban sheeple whose lives never improved one iota under his mayorship, he didn’t even get 55% of the vote. The “extremist right wing nut” got over 44% of the vote in Blue Jersey. That, to me, is a significant, and positive, sign.

    • cvmoonshadow

      You forgot to mention voter suppression. Many Conservative polls were closed due to gas smells some opened late and closed early some had bad machines but hey that is how they play next time we need to get more out. He has to do it all over again in 2014.

      • EricTheRed

        Heard about that but don’t think they were ever able to confirm that.

        Forgot: Although Lonegan got Chris Christie’s (lukewarm) endorsement, the RNC was nowhere. This was a bona fide grassroots campaign.

  • okokok

    Conservatives are predictably consistent haters–today you hate Muslims, blacks, immigrants, gays, Latinos, unions and even single women; in the old days you all hated the Irish, the Italians, Jews, Catholics, Chinese, Japanese, and Native Americans–to name just a few groups conservatives love to hate; every generation you find someone new to despise; it seems like it’s your national pastime; you are just a bunch of phucking bigots; really are just projecting your own self hatred. Get some therapy, leave the rest of us alone and for God’s sake, STFU already!.

    for example see the comments in this link, collected by jukeboxgrad says:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/the-gops-ongoing-bush-problem/#comment-1706835

    • ziggy zoggy

      Derpderpderp,

      Booker ran a hate campaign, just like Obama did and all the Dems do. Leftism is based on hatred. Elitism and totalitarianism are not altruistic.

      That’s why morons like you post hateful comments. Your accusations are almost as ridiculous as you are, especially considering that all the people you listed are harmed by Dem policies except unions and muslims – the only two who should be harmed.

      And NOBODY is going to follow your idiotic link.

      • okokok

        many already have, m0r0n! afraid to look at your fellow a$$holes in the face, coward?

        You chickenschitt conservatives are such cowards: they are afraid of gay people getting married or serving in the military; they are afraid of bringing terrorists to super max prisons in the US from which no one has ever escaped; they are afraid of the boy scouts letting gay kids in; they are afraid of everyone voting and are constantly suppressing the vote under some bogus voter fraud theory; they are afraid of letting students vote at their universities; they are afraid of women having the right to choose; they even are afraid of women getting contraception [the real issue actually is a women’s agency and control over their bodies]; they are afraid of mandating gun purchasers to undergo background checks for crazy people and terrorists; they are afraid of people smoking pot; they are afraid of climate change being real and contradicting their beloved Bible; they are afraid of legitimate campaign reform; they are afraid of Muslims; they are afraid of blacks; they are afraid of atheists; they are afraid of hippies; they are afraid of socialists; they are afraid of immigration reform leading to citizenship because they are afraid of– name whatever reason; they are probably still afraid of monsters under their beds; they are just rank cowards and keep making things up to be afraid of…now STFU

        • ziggy zoggy

          Republicans are evil cowards and Democrats are virtuous superheroes. Because you say so.

          According to your comment, you have a real problem with people expressing free will, and you want the 20% minority of leftists in this country to impose its groupthink will on the moderate majority.

          FPM claims that inside every leftist is a totalitarian screaming to get out, and that seems to be true. You sure fit that description.

          Grow up.

          • unionville

            I don’t mean to be mean, but I think somebody left the gate open at okokok’s mental hospital.

          • okokok

            time for some larning for you zigster [you know, facts from outside the bobble, lol]

            1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
            2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
            3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
            4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
            5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
            6. The Founding Fathers were liberals.
            7. Fascism is a right-wing trait.
            8. Sarah Palin is an idiot.
            9. The Earth is round.
            10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
            11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
            12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
            13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
            14. Global warming is real.
            15. Republicans hate illegal immigrants, unless they need their lawns mowed or their houses cleaned.

            16. The military is a government-run institution, so why do Republicans approve the defense budget?
            17. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union no longer exists.
            18. Paying taxes is patriotic.
            19. Republicans: Peddling the same failed economic policies since 1880. 20. The Republican Party began as a liberal party.
            21. The Presidents’ full name is Barack Hussein Obama and he was born in the United States of America.
            22. George W. Bush held hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.
            23. President Obama saved the American auto industry, while Republicans wanted to destroy it.
            24. Hate is not a Christian virtue.
            25. Jesus was a liberal.
            26. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats.
            27. Tea parties are for little girls.
            28. Public schools educate all children; private schools are for indoctrinating children.
            29. The Constitution is the law, NOT the Bible.
            30. Sharia law doesn’t exist in America.
            31. The President is NOT a Muslim.
            32. Corporations are NOT people. People are people.
            33. Fox News isn’t real news, it’s just a racist, sexist, hateful, right-wing propaganda machine.
            34. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea.
            35. Women are equal citizens who deserve equal rights.
            36. Women control their own bodies.
            37. Abortion is a relevant medical procedure, just ask Rick Santorum. 38. Please use spell-check.
            39. It’s “pundit”, not “pundint”.
            40. Social Security is solvent through 2038.
            41. Health care is a right, not a product.
            42. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a conservative leaning Supreme Court.

          • 11johnmac66

            1. You are an ass.
            2. Conservatives are not – as you maintain – afraid of the idiotic list you envision. In most cases they simply disagree with your ideological notions. In some other of your postulates it is down right preposterous to maintain a conservative ‘fear’ of a race i.e. blacks…Since when did being black preclude one from thinking and therefore appreciate the greatness of the liberal/capitalist society that made America the greatest country that ever formed in the history of man. You must then think that any black man or woman who is Republican is in some way either not really ‘black’ or some kind of traitor.
            3. It was the democrats who instigated ‘ Jim Crow ‘ aparthide in the south…it was Republican Eisenhower who initiated their dismantlement ( you would still be waiting if Thruman was in charge )
            4. Social security can not be solvent if America is not solvent..(.but you think printing monopoly money has no adverse effect on the economy. )
            5. Hate is not a Christian virtue but it is in Islam…( no doubt your brain dead moral relativism has no problem with that)
            6. Public schools are now centres of leftist ideological indoctrination centres.
            7. The tea party is about those great American values of self-reliance an individualism. – most couldn’t careless what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home . ( note also how British engineering and industrialism want into decline with the accent of the welfare state.) We could go on and on….

          • truebearing

            Let’s see how you did.

            1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
            A Socialist Christian, which is a contradiction in terms Christianity is diametrically opposite of Marxism in any of its evil forms.

            2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
            He had the ability to perform miracles. Doctors and hospitals don’t have that ability. Your point is ridiculous.

            3. Joseph McCarthy was an un-American, witch hunting sissy.
            No he wasn’t. He rightly feared communism, and was smeared for being so effective.

            4. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
            They were secessionists. Can’t you get anything right?

            5. The South lost the Civil War, get over it.
            Hey! You got something right! Boy, nothing gets by you….when it is blatantly obvious.

            6. The Founding Fathers were liberals.
            Not by today’s standards. You’re either lying or poorly informed, and probably both. Your assertion is ridiculous given that they were fighting to free the colonies from a monarchy — a form of statism. Nice try.

            7. Fascism is a right-wing trait.
            Wrong again, and now you’re really starting to show your lack of knowledge and propaganda saturation. Fascism is a derivative of Marxism. Hitler and Mussolini were big fans of Marx, but they wanted a modified form that was nationalistic. You’re still parroting Communist propaganda from 1930′s Germany which was designed to convince the dull-witted that Nazism was rightwing. Any idiot should be able to see that Nazism is about big government, anti-capitalist, and totalitarian. The Right is deeply opposed to all of those things. Massively stupid statement.

            8. Sarah Palin is an idiot.
            Wrong again. She was the person most responsible foer the success of the Tea Party, and therefore Republicans, in 2010. Just because you’re too stupid to see her intelligence doesn’t mean she isn’t. So far, if your comments were answers on an IQ test, you’d be at the imbecile level.

            9. The Earth is round.
            Way to go! I’ll bet you googled that one.

            10. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
            So? He inherited Jimmy Carter’s disaster, but he created zillions of jobs, defeated the Soviet Union, and made Americans proud and productive again.

            11. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
            Everyone makes mistakes. look qhat your parents are responsible for.

            12. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
            Yes, and once again you are being deceptive. He created a small agency for legitimate environmental issues, not for destroying American energy and pushing a Marxist agenda.

            13. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
            As his mental decline had become apparent. People lose touch with reality when they get alzheimers…or adhere to warped, failed ideologies, like you do.

            14. Global warming is real.
            Vacuous statement. The last 10 – 15 years have shown no overall warming, and possibly the begiining of a cooling trend. The lies about the correlation of carbon dioxide and global warming have been exposed, and there simply isn’t any evidence. The debunking of global warming is settled science.

            15. Republicans hate illegal immigrants, unless they need their lawns mowed or their houses cleaned.
            No, Republicans don’t want criminals violating our laws and sucking up tax dollars when they don’t belong here. What we hate are liars and race hustlers who will do or say anything for political power.

            16. The military is a government-run institution, so why do Republicans approve the defense budget?
            Are you really that stupid? Where did you get the idiotic idea that Republicans were against government? We understand the need for government, but we also understand the imperitive in limiting the size and power of government. Quick! Name one successful Communist/Marxist regime.

            17. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union no longer exists.
            What is your point this time? FYI, Putin is trying to rebuild the Soviet Union and is working on missiles that will defeat our defense systems. Sounds like the Cold War is reviving under Obama’s disastrous presidency.

            18. Paying taxes is patriotic.
            Defending your country and constitution is patriotic. Paying taxes is an imposed duty. I’ll bet you don’t pay any, Mr. Parasite.

            19. Republicans: Peddling the same failed economic policies since 1880.
            Republicans aren’t unified on policy, which shows how little you know, but conservatives are sticking with the principles that made this country the most prosperous in human history, as opposed to every Marxist nation in history, which have all utterly failed, leaving the citizens destitute.

            20. The Republican Party began as a liberal party.
            Not according to the definition of liberal today. Wrong, yet again.

            21. The Presidents’ full name is Barack Hussein Obama and he was born in the United States of America.
            Maybe.

            22. George W. Bush held hands with the King of Saudi Arabia.
            So? Obama smoked crack and had gay sex with Larry Sinclair.

            23. President Obama saved the American auto industry, while Republicans wanted to destroy it.
            Wrong again. obama butted into a situation where GM, and the nation, would have been far better off if GM had gone through bankruptcy. Obama violated the law of this nation when he stole from secured bondholders and gave assets to unions. He gave Chrysler away, to a foreign company. Now he is quietly ignoring the conditions of GM’s bailout and allowing GM to shift its manufacturing to China because they can’t turn a profit making cars in America. Big F for you on that one.

            24. Hate is not a Christian virtue.
            Who said it was? It is a virtue for leftists, however…that and lying.

            25. Jesus was a liberal.
            Wrong. Jesus wasn’t political in the least. Any similarities you see between Jesus and socialists is because Marx borrowed from the Gospels when he created his syncretic political religion you know as Marxism.

            26. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats.
            Blatantly false. Where is your proof?

            27. Tea parties are for little girls.
            Infantile comment. How old are you, little girl?

            28. Public schools educate all children; private schools are for indoctrinating children.
            Got that one backwards, but I can see which kind of school you went to….or perhaps didn’t go to….with the same effect.

            29. The Constitution is the law, NOT the Bible.
            Really? Then why are leftists trying so hard to destroy the constitution?

            30. Sharia law doesn’t exist in America.
            Yes, it does. muslims living in America practice Sharia. They have to according to the requirements of their cult.

            31. The President is NOT a Muslim.
            Yes, he is.

            32. Corporations are NOT people. People are people.
            And your vegetative point is?

            33. Fox News isn’t real news, it’s just a racist, sexist, hateful, right-wing propaganda machine.
            And that was a moronic regurgitation of lies and propaganda you picked up on PMSNBC.

            34. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea.
            Progressive Republican idea. No soup for you!

            35. Women are equal citizens who deserve equal rights.
            Are you vying for the “Most Vacuous Comment” award?

            36. Women control their own bodies.
            Some do, but not all. Prostitutes would be an example of women who don’t.

            37. Abortion is a relevant medical procedure, just ask Rick Santorum.
            Relevant to saving a mother’s life, not becoming a constitutional right.

            38. Please use spell-check.
            39. It’s “pundit”, not “pundint”.
            You, of all people, shouldn’t be criticizing other people’s comments. There are salamanders who could beat you at this.

            40. Social Security is solvent through 2038.
            Not necessarily. The massive loss of jobs that will be an inevitable consequence of ObamaDon’tCare will seriously diminish revenues while more and more older people are collecting their SS benefits.

            41. Health care is a right, not a product.
            It is neither. it is a service. Now point out where in the constitution it says that health care is a right.

            42. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan ruling made by a conservative leaning Supreme Court.

            Wrong again.

            Hey, that was fun! Anything else you need demolished?

        • objectivefactsmatter

          “You chickenschitt conservatives are such cowards: they are afraid of gay people getting married or serving in the military; they are afraid of bringing terrorists to super max prisons in the US from which no one has ever escaped; they are afraid of the boy scouts letting gay kids in; they are afraid of everyone voting and are constantly suppressing the vote under some bogus voter fraud theory…”

          Copy, paste
          Copy, paste
          Copy, paste
          Copy, paste
          Copy, paste

          okokokokok

          Yeah yeah yeah..

          Psychopath…

          • okokok

            Glad you liked it. The more who get the truth, the better, huh my little RWNJ?. Lol lol
            But your ignorant pathetically lame response is typical of you fools and losers.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            We’ve been down this road before.

          • m4253y

            the truth?

            what are your proposed solutions?

            a single party state?
            wealth distribution for all?
            limited freedoms and rights?
            bigger government?
            loss of privacy?
            continued loss of jobs?
            ballooning debts that cannot be paid over many generations to come?
            bankruptcy?
            no borders?
            open immigration?

            forget about your tirade of ‘us and them’.

            think about everyone and not just your purported causes.

          • m4253y

            ah, simple, elegant, poetic and thoughtful. crisp and to the point. Thank you. Saved me some typing.

    • BearNJ

      Of course the clueless Left ignores the facts to ply a racists angle.The Tea Party South gave the country two hispanic senators (Cruz, Rubio) two indian governors (Haley, Jindal) and the only African American
      Senator (Scott) plus the great former congressman Allen West. All
      of these Tea Party favorites were elected by majority white voters
      over white GOP Establishment types in the South because of their Conservative principals and policy positions. So much for the racist garbage.

      The Democratic Party has always been divisive. It was the GOP was the party that voted to end slavery (13th amendment), made blacks citizens (14th and 15th amendments) supported Reconstruction, and had had 80% of it’s legislature vote for the 1964 Civil rights act as opposed to just 64% of Democrats. The Democrats voted for Dred Scott, Democrats founded the KKK, had their Dem thugs turn the fire hoses on Civil rights marchers and stood in school house doors. After the “Great Society” they decided to buy votes of black poor selling them out to chronic poverty, crime and bad schools.The Democratic party has always been about dividing the country on racial and ethic lines. When it suited their purpose they were segregationist. After losing the Civil rights battle LBJ moved hard left and promoted the welfare state.
      Educate yourself and stop being a hater.