PoliticsNJ welcomes Governor Whitman with her first post

Over the past week, political pundits across New Jersey have been mulling over the latest Quinnipiac Poll which shows Rudy Giuliani and John McCain in a position to win New Jersey's fifteen electoral votes. While it's certainly early to be thinking about New Jersey's role in the 2008 general election for president, these latest poll results tell us two important things. First, New Jersey is winnable for Republicans. Our state, in which President Bush's share of the vote increased from 2000 to 2004, is in a position to be one of the key swing states in 2008. Imagine the attention New Jersey would get from presidential candidates if our electoral votes were truly up for grabs. Secondly, these results tell us that a centrist approach to politics works. Neither Rudy Giuliani nor John McCain are known for their overtly partisan rhetoric – instead, these two candidates take a more pragmatic approach to the problems facing our country. This is exactly the kind of thoughtful Republican who can win in New Jersey and many other states across America.

Perhaps the most important information from the Quinnipiac poll is that both Giuliani and McCain defeat Clinton among New Jersey's large segment of independent voters. In my two gurbernatorial campaigns (and in the campaigns of Republicans before and after) we saw that independents, not Republicans or Democrats, determine the outcome of elections in New Jersey.

The Quinnipiac Poll confirms what we've all come to know – that almost 60% of New Jersey voters are independent. Interestingly enough, both McCain and Giuliani lead Clinton by more than 10 points among these voters. It looks like a swing state is emerging just in time for 2008: the Garden State.

PoliticsNJ welcomes Governor Whitman with her first post