Winners and Losers: The Week of the Last Presidential Debate

Rumana, left, and state Senator Kevin O'Toole (R-Essex).

Rumana, left, and state Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-Essex). Observer

WINNERS

Sheila Oliver

Going “high when they go low,” the speaker emeritus showed how it’s done in her fireman’s carry take down of Donald Trump and Chris Christie on the steps of the Statehouse.

Scott Rumana

The Senate affirmed the veteran Assemblyman from Wayne – a genuinely nice guy and gentleman – for a Superior Court Judgeship. Good luck, Judge – and thanks for the memories!

Hillary Clinton

The Democratic nominee for president is leading in states where Democrats should not have any oxygen in a presidential election, according to polling released today.

Phil Murphy

The 2017 Democratic candidate for governor is in cruise control with bugs on the windshield at best potential opposition going forward as he seeks to lock up the nomination of his party next year. In its latest filing with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the Phil Murphy for Governor campaign will show it has crossed the $11 million mark in total fundraising, including over $1 million from individual contributions, according to the campaign.

Shanti Narra

The Middlesex Democratic Committee tapped the former North Brunswick councilwoman to fill a vacancy on the freeholder board, making her the first South Asian in history to occupy a seat on the governing body.

Bob Menendez

Wounded, the indicted senior senator from New Jersey stunned listeners at the Somerset County Democratic Committee gala this week with one of the best NJ political speeches some in the room had ever heard.

LOSERS

Chris Christie

A Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll this week showed the Governor of New Jersey with a record-low 21% approval rating, and his former aide, a defendant in the Bridgegate trial, testified on the witness stand that the Governor knew about the lane closures going back to August 12th, 2013. Bridget Kelly also tearfully related an ugly incident about the Governor allegedly throwing a water bottle that hit her in the arm and asking her, “What do you think I am, an f’ing game show host?”

Donald Trump

The Republican nominee for president received low marks for his performance in the final debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, as he coyly refused to say whether he would accept the outcome of the contest.

Scott Garrett

The 5th Congressional District Congressman has to run a campaign saddled  by the twin discomforts of Trump running far behind Clinton in New Jersey and an unpopular Republican Governor who further impairs the party brand with record low approval ratings. Internal polling on both sides continues to show Garrett’s contest with Democratic challenger Josh Gottheimer much closer than it should be in the GOP district.

The ‘Big Six’ Party Committees

The state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) found in its financial analysis of the six main state party organizations that significant growth in independent group activity and the impact of the complex pay-to-play law in 2006 have contributed to the anemic sputtering of the so-called big six. According to third quarter reports, the six committees, including the two state parties and four legislative leadership committees, raised $2.2 million and spent $2 million thus far in 2016; compared to $4.5 raised and $3.5 million spent in 2008, a similar year when there were no statewide elections.

Jose Rodriguez

In a tough local election, the Elizabeth School Board member got zinged on a residency issue.