New Jersey Democrats, freaked out over Jon Corzine’s losses in Middlesex and Gloucester counties, have made a clear decision to move to the center as they seek to avoid losing middle class white voters from their base vote. That was one of the reasons Democrats were unwilling to pass a same sex marriage law during the lame duck session, and the primary reason they pulled a bill that would have allowed illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at state schools. John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville), who is viewed as the leading candidate to become Democratic State Chairman, abstained on the tuition proposal when it was considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week. State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark), the sponsor of the legislation, told reporters he pulled the bill when he was told during a closed-door Democratic caucus that he was five votes short of passage.
U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), whose congressional district went for Republican Christopher Christie by seventeen percentage points, has already moved to the center as he prepares for his 2010 re-election campaign. Adler voted against President Barack Obama’s health care bill, and his amendment to loosen auditing regulations for smaller corporations — viewed by consumer advocates as weakening the Sarbanes-Oxley law – has upset progressives who worked on his 2008 campaign. One progressive blogger wondered the effort was worth it.