Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rutgers on Christie's win and NJ minimum wage

I concluded last month's Election news from Rutgers by he'd win as big as he is.
It looks like Christie is going to win in a 20-point blowout, in part because he's defused some key issues, in part because the Democrats in New Jersey have not helped his opponent.  If  so, he is in good shape for his future plans.
It happened.  Follow over the jump for Rutgers University, which has the story both before and after.

First, the before in Christie May Be Gaining ‘Coattails’ as Buono’s Base Abandons Her.
Governor holds better than 2-1 lead over challenger
Monday, November 4, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – In the final hours before New Jersey’s gubernatorial election, Gov. Chris Christie’s lead over state Sen. Barbara Buono has grown to 36 points among likely voters, up 10 points in the last month, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Christie’s 66 percent to 30 percent margin may also be helping Republican Assembly and Senate candidates, as voters prefer Democrats keep control of the Legislature by only seven points, down from 12 points in early September.

Christie’s increasing home stretch lead reflects a lack of enthusiasm among Democrats for Buono, leading to decreased levels of attention to the race and a lower likelihood of voting. While 95 percent of Republicans support Christie, only 59 percent of Democrats plan to vote for Buono.

“Over the past month, Christie’s campaign appears to have convinced more Democrats to abandon Buono,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Whether Democrats are switching to Christie or just planning to stay home, the small gains Buono had made with her party base over previous months have been reversed. The risk is great for Democrats up and down the ballot if uninspired party faithful fail to turn out.”

In a generic statewide ballot test, likely voters give Assembly Democrats just a six-point margin, 42 percent to 36 percent, nearly erasing what was a 17-point Democratic lead in early September. The state Senate vote is similar: 44 percent plan to vote for Democrats, while 38 percent will support the GOP. Overall, 47 percent of likely voters still want Democrats in control of the Legislature while 40 percent hope for a Republican takeover, down from 50 percent to 38 percent two months ago.
I'd have to dig deep into the election returns to see if this panned out.  However, Christie's re-election is right out in the open, and Rutgers has its analysis of that in Christie’s Re-Election a Personal Victory Driven by Year of High Ratings Post-Sandy.
Friday, November 8, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As voters headed to the polls Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election bid was buoyed by some of his highest favorability ratings – 65 percent – since February 2013, according to the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Only 27 percent of registered voters held an unfavorable impression of the governor. Similarly, 68 percent approved of the incumbent’s job performance and 59 percent said his work deserved at least a “B” grade.

Christie’s new ratings were nearly as high as they were right after Sandy, when 67 percent of respondents had a favorable impression and 61 percent awarded him at least a B. As he concludes his first term, Christie’s favorability rating is more than 20 points higher than it was just weeks after his inauguration in January 2010.

Despite Christie’s overall consistently high ratings, voters continued to question his performance on important issues. Near the campaign’s end, voters remained less than happy with his performance on taxes (42 percent) and the economy (45 percent). Voters were more taken with Christie’s Sandy recovery effort (80 percent approving), which kept his overall ratings high throughout the year.

“Governors and presidents regularly see downward trends in ratings over their term in office,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Governor Christie, however, managed to counter that, to his benefit in the re-election campaign. The cause is clearly his leadership in response to Sandy, which overrode other concerns voters might have had. His victory Tuesday was highly personal, not driven by issues.”
Looks like its time for a label for Chris Christie.  I already have one for Ted Cruz,* and I'll probably need one for Rand Paul, too.  Expect Christie's and Paul's to be like the ones for Romney and Santorum.  I want to have some fun in the middle of writing about doom.

Rutgers also called the result of the minimum wage vote, which I mentioned in Election eve news from campuses on the campaign trail, in advance: How Will Voters Settle Minimum Wage Debate?
Rutgers' labor relations expert Janice Fine says approving the ballot question would send a strong message to Gov. Christie
By Lisa Intrabartola
Monday, November 4, 2013
On Nov. 5, New Jersey voters will do more than elect a governor. They will have the final say in the state’s minimum-wage debate.

The ballot question – approved by the state Assembly in February – asks voters whether they approve of amending the State Constitution to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour – with annual adjustments to reflect cost of living increases. If approved, it will mark the first time the state has raised the minimum wage through an amendment to the State Constitution.

A Rutgers-Eagleton poll taken in September indicates that support for a minimum wage hike is wide and deep, with 76 percent of all registered voters backing the ballot question. More than half of Christie supporters favor the amendment despite the governor’s opposition.
As I mentioned in Health news for the week of election day, it passed.  That is good news from a sustainability position, as a livable wage comes right out of the intersection between a viable economy and an equitable society.

*I have written nothing here about Ted Cruz since he won his party's run-off.  Given how much news he's made since then, that's an astounding omission.  I'm sure he'll give me multiple opportunities to correct it in the future.

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