Anyone who believes the outcome of New Jersey’s next election for governor is a foregone conclusion has some compelling arguments to support that opinion. But the race is far from over.
To explore the possibilities, let’s start with the factors that make incumbent Republican Chris Christie a tough man to beat. Not only has Christie enjoyed high poll numbers since taking office in 2010, but in the aftermath of his performance in response to Hurricane Sandy, those numbers are higher than ever.
Since the media and elections course I am teaching this summer is in Rome, I wanted to add a little international flavor to the curriculum, especially since my students are from five different countries.
Over the past few weeks, in addition to politics and campaigns in America, we’ve explored issues in media and elections in places such as Italy, Chile, France and Japan. But when it comes time to illustrate points about specific items, I always seem to come back to New Jersey.
When we discussed polls, I used an example from the Monmouth University Polling Institute. For the class on political consultants, the students read David Chen’s New York Times piece on Message and Media. To demonstrate new media models, we looked at New Jersey Newsroom.com and The Alternative Press. And to prompt discussion on trends in the relationship between reporters and politicians, we watched the YouTube video of Governor Christie’s exchange with Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran.
When New Jersey’s 2009 campaign for Governor comes to a close on Tuesday night, one candidate will bask in the glory of victory. The state’s reputation, however, won’t be as lucky. Once again, the level of discourse in a New Jersey political campaign has gone so low that pundits around the nation are chastising the Garden State. Continue reading →