Phil Murphy had a message today for Jeff Van Drew.
“He made a decision and he’s going to have to live with it.”
That decision, of course, was becoming a Republican.
It may have made sense at the time. Van Drew was called on stage at Donald Trump’s January rally in Wildwood and enjoyed the crowd’s adulation. This was right after he jumped from “blue” to “red.”
A Gallup poll just around the time of the rally put Trump’s national approval rating at 49 percent; not really good, but just about the highest he’s enjoyed as president.
In the most recent Gallup poll, Trump’s approval rating had dipped to 38 percent, which explains Murphy’s comment.
This topic arose at today’s pandemic briefing because of Amy Kennedy’s win in Tuesday’ primary securing the Democratic nod to challenge Van Drew this fall in CD-2.
Murphy, who endorsed Kennedy, said she certainly can beat Van Drew.
Kennedy’s main opponent in the primary, Brigid Harrision, was endorsed by George Norcross, a political nemesis of the governor. Murphy had a chance today to gloat about Norcross’ candidate losing, but he eschewed the opportunity.
The national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was quick with a statement Tuesday night saying a poll shows the Kennedy-Van Drew race within the margin of error. That’s interesting, but you have to keep in mind that partisan polls are not very reliable.
As for the primary itself, which was basically a mail-in ballot affair, Murphy said he thought it “worked very, very well.”
That really is debatable.
Many election results have not been reported yet. One understands that mail-in ballots need to be counted, but is there any valid reason why at mid-afternoon today, Bergen County still had no posted results of any kind on the clerk’s website?
I also spoke to a voter who followed the rules about seeking a party declaration form to vote in the primary after being unaffiliated, but never got a ballot. One person not getting a ballot may be minor in the great scheme of things, but it’s not minor to the voter.
Murphy said today he’s not yet ready to decide how the November election will be conducted. Before he decides, it would behoove him to admit that the primary did not go very, very well in all instances.