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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“Priming” New Jersey Voters

The latest Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind survey shows Republican Tom Kean, Jr. leading Democrat Bob Menendez in New Jersey's senate race by 43 to 39 percent.

Of course this is spun into bad news for the Kean campaign by the FDU pollsters and the media. FDU’s press release begins, “President Bush and the conflict in Iraq continue to hurt the Republican candidate in New Jersey's senate race.” Not one word in the release is devoted to what’s causing Menendez to trail in the poll.

The Associated Press bypasses the senate race entirely in favor of Poll: New Jerseyans not bullish on Bush. The senate race isn’t even mentioned in the article save for the following vague references, even though there is only one statewide election in New Jersey and that’s the senate race between Kean and Menendez.

Democratic strategist Rick Thigpen said Iraq has become a difficult political problem for any Republican running statewide in New Jersey.

But Republican strategist Mark Campbell said "media coverage of the conflict will likely never portray anything but bad news coming from the region."

"As a result, liberal Democrats can sound like moderates and get away with it," he said.
Then there’s the “priming” FDU used in the poll:

In the study, half of the respondents were asked questions about President Bush and the war in Iraq before answering questions about the Senate race, and half were asked about the Senate race first. Among those respondents who were asked about Bush and Iraq first, Menendez held a two point advantage, 41 to 39 percent. But among the respondents who were not primed to think about the war in Iraq, Kean held an 11 point advantage, 47 to 36 percent.
The only issues the FDU survey “primed” respondents to think about were President Bush and the war in Iraq. The last Rasmussen poll of New Jersey voters asked respondents to name their top voting issue from a list of six choices:

28% of New Jersey voters name the economy as the top voting issue for this fall. While that’s typical of most states, the second choice was not. Corruption is the top issue for 18% of Garden State voters. The war in Iraq (18%) and national security (14%) are close behind.
Curiously, the FDU surveyed failed to “prime” respondents with the top two issues named by New Jersey voters and the ones most unfavorable to Bob Menendez’ positions and record – the economy and corruption.

A June Quinnipiac University poll stated:

In an open-ended question, with any answer allowed, 46 percent of New Jersey voters list taxes as the most important problem facing the state today, higher than any problem listed in any Quinnipiac University statewide or national poll.
An earlier Rasmussen poll found:

Sixty percent (60%) of New Jersey voters say that tax hikes hurt the economy. Just 15% say that they help. Kean has a solid lead (56% to 26%) among those who believe tax increases are bad for the economy.
As for corruption, Bob Menendez is the poster boy for what ails New Jersey’s politics. When Governor Jon Corzine appointed Menendez to the senate, here’s what the disappointed New York Times had to say:

Mr. Menendez has become a proponent of business as usual. He has long been an entrenched de facto leader of the Hudson County Democratic machine.

Mr. Menendez says there is a line between his personal and public lives. But New Jersey voters have a right to wonder why that line seems to exist only to protect politicians from questioning, and never deters them from mixing their private relationships with their official duties.

There have been 75 corruption indictments in New Jersey over the last four years. The public has a right to yearn for a break from the past, and Mr. Menendez does not represent a clean slate.
Since the Times editorial, voters have learned more about Menendez’ ethical lapses and ties to corruption cases: his lucrative relationship with a nonprofit agency to which he steered millions in federal funds, his one million dollar check "error" to a mob related construction contractor, the previously secret $80 million Board of Public Utilities bank account investigation involving the wife of his senate campaign chairman, the Turnpike Authority chairman found guilty of ethics violations who remains the finance chairman of the Menendez campaign.

It makes you wonder what the poll results might have been if respondents had been “primed” with the top issues concerning voters and the men currently in the senate race instead of the one who isn’t?


At 6:03 PM, Blogger KingDrudge said...

You know what so damn funny, I have been going to FDU for three years and have never been polled yet. Being the cynic that I am, it wouldnt surprise me if Mendenz won in November after all, if Corzine the Wall St Wizard can be senator and governer then why not Menendez. I am a conservative but I have to admit that I'm not all that crazy about the GOP in general or Tom Kean. I have already written NJ off and have plans to head south the minute my diploma is handed to me. No sane individual looking to buy a home or start a business can remain in this state. Kean still hasnt shown me much, but I can at least admit that Menendez has got to be far worst and should go back to that sewer known as Union City.

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kingdrudge... Menendez will win if 'Republicans' such as yourself don't support our candidate. I am also a conservative...prolife, strongly in favor of gun rights, ect. But I am supporting Tom Kean and already have been volunteering for his campaign! We need to change NJ and this year we can elect a fresh face to the Senate. Restore some dignity back to New Jersey state politics and you are giving up before even trying. It's time to start taking back our state from the corrupt Democratic Bosses like Bob Menendez. Get involved, volunteer, help change New Jersey this year!

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Dino P. Crocetti said...

Right on! As bad as New Jersey as been, we have the best opportunity we've had in years to bring about positive change and reject the rank and file business as usual.

Change always has to start somewhere and electing another Kean is just what the doctor ordered. The Kean name goes hand in hand with everything good about New Jersey and if we ever needed the leadership of a Kean then this is the time.

Bob Menendez is going to pull every dirty Hudson County trick up his sleeve to try to hold on to his Senate seat but it is becoming pretty clear that he is losing his grip. At this rate, the only county he might win is his own.

With that being said, don't be shocked if Boss Bob drops out of the race and gets replaced with Rob Andrews. New Jersey Democrats will do whatever they see fit to hold on to their power. The only reason Andrews wasn't picked in the first place was because Menendez imposed his will on Corzine.

Does anybody out there still believe for one minute that Corzine runs the state?

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Trochilus said...

A Parody:

This just in . . . or, at least we might expect something like this any day now:

"Menendez Campaign & State Dems Preview "Current Events" Video for GOTV Buses -- Voter Hospitality Booths to Play Clip at Polling Places Statewide."

Trenton - August 31, 2006 – The Senate Campaign of Bob Menendez and the Democrat State Committee, today jointly announced a coordinated effort they claim is aimed at voter education during their "Get Out The Vote" turnout program this fall. They previewed a "current events" video, which they say will be shown on all buses, and other transport vehicles taking voters to the polls this November.

The video will also be offered, along with free coffee and breakfast bars, for voter viewing in special hospitality booths to be prominently set up in parking lots adjoining polling locations throughout the State this Election Day.

The two minute video, consists entirely of short clips, includes disturbing scenes of car bombings in Iraq, interspersed with flashing and unflattering grainy photos of President Bush, along with five seconds from the climax of the Richard Nixon resignation speech.

It then shows scenes from a violent anti-American demonstration by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army forces in Baghdad, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., a clip featuring Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, the former Iraqi al-Qaida leader beheading a businessman, and delivering a "lurking snake" speech, followed by the last few seconds of the Zapruder film from Dealey Plaza showing the John Kennedy assassination. Then, viewers see a grainy partial clip of President Bush urging voters to "stay the course" in Iraq, which is followed by a Keith Olberman "Countdown" intro, alleging that Iraq is engulfed in both a full-blown Civil War, and is identical to the Viet-Nam "quagmire."

The video winds up with the famous disturbing Saigon assassination scene, showing the police chief shooting the Viet Cong prisoner, together with a last-second flip-through photo montage of Abu Ghraib prison pictures.

The Democrat campaign officials quickly scoffed at press questions about how this collection of clips, covering events and personalities often decades and continents apart, could be billed by the Democrats as a "current events" video, or how it informs voters of the merits of the candidates in the NJ Senate race this year.

"That is so partisan . . . the context is obviously the key," answered an adamant Democrat State Committee Chair Rich Thigpen. If you can’t see that, you’ll just never understand anything."

Aides also denied the idea for the video arose from indications in a Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) PublicMind survey, that measurably different polling results tended to be elicited from voters who were asked questions about the War in Iraq immediately prior to being asked their preference in this years New Jersey Senate race between Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Tom Kean, Jr.

"Don’t be silly," scoffed Menendez Campaign manager Steve De Micco. "We’re just putting our best foot forward. We believe it is important that voters have the opportunity to be reminded of important current events just before they step into the voting booth to vote this year. This Senate election has very important national implications."

The pair also skirted addressing persistent rumors they are also having a catchy hip-hop audio prepared for download onto MP3 players, along with a recommendation to young voters that they play this message, just as they are entering the voting booths.

In other news . . .

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am yet another conservative who refuses to vote for Little Tom Kean. I'll either vote third-party or write-in John Ginty.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...


Suit yourself, frankly we're just happy to discover you're a "conservative" reading us from Trenton.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger KingDrudge said...

I guess your right, you do have to start somewhere. If anything, after this election we will finally see where NJ is headed. Like I said, I am not all that crazy about Kean but if he wins then maybe just maybe there is some hope for this state. However, if someone as despicable as Menendez along with Lautenberg is to represent this state in the US Senate, then even you Anonymous would have to order a U-HAUL truck.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Trochilus said...

Hey Annoyingmouse,

You're a conservative? Sure you are! . . . And Tommy Smothers used to say, "I've seen a chicken with lips."

You say you're going to vote for a third-party candidate, or write-in John Ginty?

Gee, thanks for sharing that brilliant idea.

The first time I could vote in a Presidential Election, I foolishly told my mother that I was thinking of writing in someone's name.

She smiled at me and said,

"That's nice . . . Of course, someone is going to win."

Needless to say, I got it, and didn't throw my vote away.

Hey, I was young and dopey.

What's your excuse?

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Dino P. Crocetti said...

Heh, that reminds me of an episode of All in the Family.

Mike and Archie were arguing and Mike stops and says:

"Wait a minute, who am I arguing with here? This coming from a man who in the last Presidential Election, didn't like Ford and he didn't like Carter. So he wrote in Richard Nixon!"

To which Archie said:

"Wrong Meathead! I just told you that just to aggravate you! I wrote in Ronald Reagan!...and I'll tell you something else there meathead, whether you like it or not, you're gonna get stuck with Reagan in 1980 too!!"

As great as Ronald Reagan was, it wasn't his time yet and I'm sure there were plenty of people who wrote Reagan in in '76. As a result, we got stuck with Jimmy Carter!

Enlighten knows however, that this guy is a phony because as he implied, the blogger's IP was from Trenton.

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RINO's like Kean do more harm to our party than partisan Dems. Witness his recent call for Rumsfeld to resign. Do we really need another Lincoln Chafee in the U.S. Senate?

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Walter said...

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ged | parts Canada | homes for rent

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