Linda Stender Vs. Mike Ferguson for Congress
Of the 609 “likely voters” polled by Democracy Corp, Stender’s name recognition stands at 18% and importantly, only 20% considered themselves liberal, while 43% called themselves moderate and 34% conservative. Linda Stender is a self-proclaimed liberal and once her “progressive” positions become widely known in the district, it’s unlikely her appeal to voters will increase from her current generic Democrat label.
In addition, unlike forty-eight other states, New Jersey held a general election in November of 2005. The New Jersey 7th congressional district went for the losing Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Forrester by 56% vs. 44% for Jon Corzine. Mike Ferguson won re-election to Congress with a similar percentage of the vote in 2002 with 58 percent and in 2004 with 57 percent. The knocks against President Bush from Iraq to Katrina were already baked into that election cake.
Meanwhile, Jon Corzine has become an increasingly unpopular governor with a state-wide approval rating of 35 percent. Corzine has proposed a state budget calling for a 9.2% increase in spending and $1.9 billion in tax increases - hardly music to the ears of voters in the7th, already among the most heavily taxed people in the nation.
Since Stender was elected to the New Jersey state Assembly in 2002, Democrats with total control in Trenton have imposed $3 billion in tax increases - while property taxes, already the highest in the country, have continued to soar. That’s one heck of a record to overcome in a congressional district that has been won by the Republican candidate in every election since 1956.
While anything is possible, the chances of Linda Stender winning against Mike Ferguson in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district are about slim to none. You can judge the mood in New Jersey by the real fight Democrats are having to keep a U.S. Senate seat - Senator Bob Menendez is currently in a dead heat against Republican state Senator Tom Kean.