In our year-end review of New Jersey politics, PolitickerNJ.com gave our worst prediction of the year award to Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts for touting the relevance of New Jersey’s February 5 presidential primary. At the time, Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani held massive leads in this state.
Over the last few days, several independent polls show the race between Clinton and Barack Obama tightening; Quinnipiac University had Clinton’s lead at just five percentage points.
In a statement released today, Senate President Richard Codey, who endorsed Obama after John Edwards left the race, said his legislation to move the New Jersey primary up has been a success.
“Clearly, our move to February 5th has emboldened voters. The eyes of the nation are on us this week, and for the first time in almost 25 years, we have the chance to really impact the course of our nation. I think we’re going to see that this move has awakened a sleeping giant – that large part of our electorate that had felt disenfranchised by the irrelevance of our June primary.
“This move has energized voters and engaged people who otherwise might not have had any interest in politics. More importantly, for the first time in many years, we are presented with a choice rather than just the opportunity to rubber stamp the presumed nominees. This is what democracy is all about.”
“Clearly this move is paying off in terms of drawing candidates and their surrogates to New Jersey to pay attention to the issues that matter to our voters,. And with that, they’re bringing revenue, attention, and a renewed sense of importance to our state. We’re no longer just an ATM machine for campaign coffers. Now we’re a substantive part of the debate on the direction of our nation.”