HILLSBOROUGH – To say the least, things aren’t going well of late for Democrats in Washington. Once again on Thursday, infighting among congressional Democrats delayed action on two signature proposals of the Biden Administration – an infrastructure bill and a social spending bill.
Throw in the fact that the Dems’ seeming inability to govern has Joe Biden’s approval ratings “underwater” and Jack Ciattarelli likes what he sees.
As he cast his ballot Friday morning in his hometown, the Republican gubernatorial candidate predicted, or perhaps hoped, that the Dems’ problems on the national level will drive some voters into his column. That may be a tall order.
Polls this week have shown Phil Murphy with a comfortable, although not overwhelming, lead. Besides, the state and federal governments are two different things.
Shortly after casting his ballot in township hall, Ciattarelli was asked if he likes anything in the two bills.
He mentioned funding for the Gateway Tunnel, which is in the infrastructure bill, and added, “We want the SALT deduction back.”
That would be the ability to deduct all state and local taxes from your federal tax return. The deduction has been capped at $10,000 since tax reform was passed in 2017 under President Trump.
Democrats in Congress have made eliminating the cap a priority, but as Ciattarelli constantly points out on the campaign trail, that has not yet happened.
He also says he’s not a fan of the nine-day early voting system that is being used this year for the first time. Still, Ciattarelli opted to vote today and not on Tuesday.
An election worker said the polling location was averaging about 200 people a day. He assumed early voting will increase in the future, but that as of now, the location probably doesn’t need the 10 voting machines that it has.
Both anecdotal and real life evidence suggests that Democrats do a better job with both early and mail-in voting than Republicans do.
Ciattarelli isn’t worried. He said he’s confident he will get the votes he needs to win on Election Day.
It seems hard to believe, but Ciattarelli has been campaigning for governor since January, 2020. Yes, 2020. He kicked-off his campaign back when everyone was focused on last year’s presidential race.
His arduous trek, which he describes as “going up and down New Jersey eight days a week,” is now just about over.
He said he’s comfortable with how the campaign has unfolded.
“Our crowds have been enormous,” he said.