Carol Platt Liebau: Look to Thyself, Forrester

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Look to Thyself, Forrester

In a stunning display of rank ungraciousness, gubernatorial loser Doug Forrester has blamed his loss to Jon Corzine on President Bush.

Hmmm. Seems that I recall Forrester also losing to Frank Lautenberg in 2002 -- after Lautenberg was called in as a fourth quarter replacement for Bob Torricelli in contravention of New Jersey election law. And Forrester lost in a year that was otherwise very good for Republican senate candidates, who picked up formerly Democratic seats in Minnesota, Missouri and Georgia. Wonder how Forrester explains that defeat?

In any case, Forrester's probably wrong in his assessment of his latest loss, as this analysis from Michael Barone suggests:

In 2004, John Kerry carried the state 53 to 46 percent. One year later, Jon Corzine won 53 to 44 percent. Once again [as in 2001], the Democratic candidate for governor got the same percentage as the Democratic candidate for president, and the Republican candidate for governor got 2 percent less than the Republican candidate for president.

Back in 2001 during election season, Bush's approval ratings were in the high 70's. And still the Republican gubernatorial candidate lost handily. So it doesn't seem that the New Jersey governor's race is terribly sensitive to presidential approval numbers, one way or the other. In light of the Democratic scandals in New Jersey, Forrester may have expected to do better, but the fact that he didn't can't be blamed on the president.

As difficult as it is, perhaps Forrester should look to himself . . . and come to grips with the fact that New Jersey is, sadly, a blue state.


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