Would New Jersey Democrats have been better off leaving the primary on February 26?

When New Jersey originally moved the presidential primary from June to become more relevant in the nominating process, it was set for the fourth week in February. Later, when Super Tuesday began to take shape on February 5, the Legislature voted to move the New Jersey primary to that date. The political poobahs thought the battle for the nomination would be over on Super Tuesday.

Last week’s primary was clearly relevant, even though Barack Obama’s 44% was no better than Douglas Forrester’s performance against Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine. But New Jersey shared candidate time and resources with 22 other states.

Obama beat Hillary Clinton last weekend, and is positioned to score more successes today in the Mid-Atlantic primaries. Next Tuesday is Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington – a calendar that seems to favor Obama, but hardly states that will make or break any candidates. The pundits say the next battleground will probably be on March 4, in Ohio and Texas. No state has primaries or caucuses scheduled for February 26 – New Jersey’s original date. So in hindsight, New Jersey would have had the last Tuesday of this month all to ourselves, meaning even more attention from the candidates and the national media.

Would New Jersey Democrats have been better off leaving the primary on February 26?