Down to the Wire Messaging: Trump Agony Versus Taxes and Sanctuary Cities


An image circulated among Republican insiders this morning on the same day former Attorney General Eric Holder campaigned in Newark with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy. The image shows Murphy signs in Brick City that say something along the lines of: “Send Trump a Message: Vote Murphy.”

Looking at that through the party periscope on the other side of a quickening war, a Republican source said, “Good. That’s all they have. All they have is their ability to play to the Democratic base.”

Another Republican added, “They want to run up the numbers in the northern urban areas,” shrugging off the optics as intellectually inadequate to the task of crossing over and appealing in a broader way to areas arguably ripe for a conversation. President Donald J. Trump, after all, lost classically Republican Somerset County by 13 points or 21,000 votes.

But the same sources confessed to GOP gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno exceeding expectations as the party’s top-of-the-ticket nominee, arguing that on the issues matrix, she’s done a good job of using Murphy’s words against him on two critical suburban issues: taxes and sanctuary cities.

“New Jersey is not California,” the first source said.

Urban base versus taxes and sanctuary cities.

“The rest of it is all noise,” the source argued.

Sources in both parties continue to have the expectation of a low-turnout base election on Nov. 7th.

But spiking opportunities continue to play havoc with those expectations, in big money areas like the competitive 16th, where Democrats expect to shovel in some $1 million.

There, Dems have used the tax issue to their advantage as they attempt to push Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) back into office, highlighting GOP challenger Somerset County Freeholder Todd Caliguire’s local record when he served on the governing body in Montgomery. What the mail doesn’t note is Caliguire’s nay votes on those tax-hiking budgets backed by Democrats who controlled the council at the time. If Guadagno can shape-shift Murphy on his sanctuary state comments, Dems can fudge the GOP on taxes, a Democratic Party source cackled.

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