JERSEY CITY – Having promised a “historic” performance by his party next week, Gov. Chris Christie seems to have a very short list of planned events in the coming days.
“I don’t think I have a whole lot more planned,” he said when asked about any drop-ins or upcoming appearances. There is a “significant investment” being made by the state Republican Party this week in key areas – Atlantic City and Bergen County – paying for mail, television, and radio ads propping up their candidates.
Once again Christie said this year’s redistricting decision favoring Democrats set a low ceiling for the state’s conservatives. “(It) leaves almost no opportunity for competitive races,” he said.
A few Democratic Party sources have recently questioned why the poll-popular Christie isn’t trying to make more almost-competitive districts into competitive ones by engaging in some retail politics.
“Sen. (Sandra) Cunningham’s here today,” he said of the Jersey City Democrat in the first row. “I’m sure she’s not sweating for (Election Day).” Christie said there was no reason to “try to gin up votes against her” if the outcome wasn’t going to be affected.
Although Cunningham’s turf is not in question, some Democrats pointed to South Jersey – particularly in LD1, LD3, and LD4 – and to Central Jersey – LD14 and LD18 – as places Christie may have been able to crack into the Democratic base a bit, even if he didn’t pull out a win.
But Christie drummed the same downbeat of his party this week, noting that only one governor hasn’t lost seats – averaging 10 per year – in the midterm election.
“If all I did was come out of here even next Tuesday,” he said, it would be historic.
He also disparaged the 2003 effort by then-Gov. Jim McGreevey that netted the Democrat six seats in Trenton as reliant on an “unconstitutional map” that was passed in redistricting.