For John Sette, veteran chairman of the Morris County Republican Party, it comes down to one word.
He sees GOP energy for underdog Republican candidate Steve Lonegan in his sprawling suburban county, where the establishment Republican has had to ride the bucking bronco of Tea Party rebellion and now feels only too happy to harness some of that internal combustion behind Lonegan.
And Sette sees it elsewhere.
“I was down the shore and drove over to New Egypt for the Sarah Palin rally,” the chairman told PolitickerNJ.com. “Press reports said there were 2,000 people at that rally. There were 5,000 people there. They counted 2,600 cars. It was the momentum, the enthusiasm. I just think the momentum is going Steve’s way these last weeks. Look, I was with him from the beginning, and I did 50,000 robocalls for him yesterday. I hit 3-4 and 4-4 voter households. I had the rally last night, which was a nice rally. We had the chairman of the Republican Party there last night, who’s from Dover! it’s just unbelievable.”
The latest polls show Lonegan trailing his Democratic opponent by double digits, but Sette is convinced special election atmospherics will play to his candidate’s advantage.
“This guy works hard, he works very, very hard, and everything he says about Newark is true,” Sette said. “There were two more murders in Newark Monday, and we’re paying for the schools. I don’t think Steve winning is as long a shot as people think. I think he can win, and I think Cory Booker is not as sure of a win as he thought he was. His campaign is nonexistent here. I have not one Booker sign in Morris County. The bottom line is I think Steve Lonegan is going to do well and I would love to see him win.”