In a closely-watched Hoboken mayoral contest, the allies of Councilman Ravi Bhalla continue to hammer on the fact that Council President Jen Giatino is a Republican, trusting in a depletion of their arch-rival in a two-way fight to cohere the city’s reform base, but Giattino’s allies welcome the designation in a winner take-all election.
In a four-way plus contest with no incumbent, 25-30% can win the election. Around 3,400 GOP households in heavily Democratic Hoboken have voted in two primaries in the last four years. All four major candidates have measurable support, and the conventional thinking based on polling is that Bhalla, Giattino, Hudson Freeholder Anthony Romano and Councilman Mike DeFusco are bunched up at this point within the margin of error.
The undecided vote is around 20%.
“Four weeks ago the polling showed it narrowing down,” a source told InsiderNJ.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno is polling at 20%.
“In a winner take-all election, the Democrats making an issue out of the fact that Jen’s a Republican is only bringing attention to it, which can help her with a divided Democratic vote. The Republican thing is a tw0-edged sword,” a source said.
As he wars with Giattino to shore up the reformer vote that retiring Mayor Dawn Zimmer leaves behind, Bhalla in particular has bashed Giattino on her party affiliation. Predictably, the issue came up at yesterday’s mayoral debate forum hosted by the Hudson View’s John Heinis.
“I’m not going to say,” Giattino told audience-members when asked who she intends to vote for in the gubernatorial contest. “I’m going to have to work with whoever’s governor.”
The answer prompted derision from the supporters of her rivals.
Giattino further made the point that state Senator Brian P. Stack (D-33), Hoboken’s legislative overlord, backed Republican Governor Chris Christie’s reelection in 2013. also, she said, Christie helped Zimmer save the hospital.
“People forget that Dawn got GOP votes,” the Hudson source said, trusting in Giattino’s ability to win every reliable Republican vote on Nov. 7th – which could put her within striking distance of the win with Democrats cannibalizing.