Final Paper Bitches

Final Paper Bitches - Corey Cohen Professor Keller Corzine...

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Corey Cohen Professor Keller Corzine v. Christie Ad Analysis 12/03/09
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I. Background on Candidates/Campaign It was the election year of 2009, and the context behind the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign included former U.S. attorney Christopher Christie challenging incumbent Governor Jon Corzine. Independent Chris Daggett was also in the race, although Corzine and Christie’s campaigns hardly acknowledged his presence. Corzine had the misfortune of being elected at the peak of the economic bubble in 2006. When the economy fell into shambles, he was forced to renege on a campaign promise to reduce property taxes in order to fill gaps in the budget. Furthermore unemployment in New Jersey reached the highest point in 15 years just two months before the election, hovering at 9.8 percent. With similar gloom across the country it was not only Christie with a strong opportunity to unseat a Democrat, as several Republicans won elections during this cycle. According to polling data, voters ranked property taxes as their most important issue. This was followed by “the economy (21 percent), corruption (20 percent) and health care (18 percent),” (McKinnon). This information is crucial because it shaped the way that the two opponents campaigned against one another. Christie made property taxes and the economy major foci, whereas Corzine did his best to frame the campaign away from those issues. Christie sold himself to New Jerseyans as a reformer who refused to accept the status quo of corruption. He touted his credentials as a former federal law enforcer in New Jersey and the corruption that he curbed within the state. Interestingly, there were undertones of Obama’s theme of “Change” from the 2008 presidential election. This possibility of improving things via traditional Republican platforms was not an idea that
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he believed solely. New Jerseyans overwhelmingly considered him the candidate to bring needed change relative to Corzine by over 40% (Langer). Even greater than the issues were demographic figures at play in the voting booth. Voters aged 18-29 made up just 9 percent of the New Jersey electorate Tuesday, down from 17 percent in 2008 .” (Sinderbrand). This constituency voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008 and when its presence was cut in half, it made a substantial difference in the outcome of the race. Dating back to June of 2009 Christie had a 10-point advantage over Corzine (Real Clear Politics). That margin held up well until Chris Daggett entered the race on September 15 th . Based on the data it is apparent that his entrance had a deleterious effect on Christie’s campaign, with Daggett siphoning off some of the Republican vote. “"Without Daggett, Christie would be in better shape," said David Redlawsk, a political scientist and director of the Rutgers University poll.” (Burton). The election finished with a Christie victory by a margin of 4 points. Analysts
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Final Paper Bitches - Corey Cohen Professor Keller Corzine...

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