Winners and Losers: Post 2016 Election Edition


Donald J. Trump

The Republican billionaire real estate tycoon racked 276 electoral votes and 59.2 million popular votes to win the presidency, embarrassing the Washington, D.C. establishment and standing political punditry on its head.

Chris Christie

Mired in awful polling numbers in a state that repudiated Trump, the Bridgegate-smudged New Jersey governor can bask in seeing the full flowering of his own kind of in-your-face style in Trump and look forward to some kind of elevation within the expanding Trump universe. Christie came out early for Trump, and now presumably can reap the rewards.

Cory Booker

The charismatic U.S. Senator from New Jersey can crack the binding – legitimately now and with real urgency – on  all those moldy Woodrow Wilson biographies, as he tries to figure out how Wilson somehow turned the handicap of New Jersey into White House gold. Talks within Democratic Party establishment circles are going on right now about Booker 2020.

Mike Doherty

The movement conservative senator from Warren County jumped aboard the Trump train early – and never looked back. While his GOP colleagues ran and hid, Doherty stuck his chest out and unapologetically broadcast the Trump line. After years of flirting with a run for federal office, Doherty has positioned himself now for better things, whether it’s a position in the Trump administration in veterans’ affairs or, at long last, a financially well-connected run for higher office.

Josh Gottheimer

The CD5 victor bucked national trends and put haggardly 19th Century Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett on  his back for good in a thrilling contest. By running a tremendously effective, aggressive and financially well-connected campaign against a guy who looked unbeatable in a Republican district, Democrat Gottheimer accomplished the unthinkable.

Lou Stellato

He was laughed at for supporting Steve Fulop and then trying to throw his weight around in Murphy world, but the Bergen County Democratic chairman proved his mettle again last night. The chieftain captained an effort that resulted in full Democratic Party control of the freeholder board, and a gutty win by Josh Gottheimer in CD5. Big night for Stellato.

Shaun Golden

The Monmouth County sheriff (and Republican Party chairman) with statewide ambitions last night handled a very credible opponent in Marlboro Committeeman Jeff Cantor.

Al Gaburo

Hillary Clinton won his county, but the Somerset Republican chairman’s countrywide candidates prevailed in turbulent weather. Incumbent Freeholder Director Pat Walsh and Sheriff Frank Provenzano both won, Walsh particularly handily.


Kim Guadagno

On the one hand she’s in good shape. Christie (see above) will probably depart, handing the keys of the gubernatorial kingdom to his long-duct taped second banana. That gives her a runway, at least, for a 2017 gubernatorial effort as an incumbent. But Guadagno didn’t back Trump for president. Went on record in opposition to him. So she’ll look awkward trying to kiss his ring now. Tough spot. She does, however, have Bill Stepien, newly bucked up by his national efforts with Trump, in her corner.


Hillary Clinton

The country didn’t want her. They didn’t want Bill Clinton shuffling around the Oval Office in his slippers and they didn’t want a Wall Street-friendly centrist with shifting positions on tough issues. Democrat Clinton won the popular vote but fumbled away the electoral college map to a rust belt-angered Trump.

Scott Garrett

Garrett on Tuesday seemed angry, irritable and irritated, out of sorts, reclusive and elusive, secretive about his schedule and unwilling to share with the media his Election Night plans. So he looked like his usual self, poised for victory. But it didn’t happen this time for the CD5 Republican congressman, run over by Gottheimer in the New Jersey race of the cycle.

Tim Kaine

It’s over. The harmonica-playing U.S. Senator couldn’t pull North Carolina for Clinton and could barely get a very trembling chin over the bar in  his home state of Virginia. Catholic Kaine’s version of Joe Biden 2.0 turned out to be the second coming of Joe Lieberman.

Paul DiGaetano

He got swept up there, the newly minted chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization. Yeah, he didn’t have much help. Christie’s toxic and bogged down with national politics, and the GOP never looked weaker in New Jersey than during the week heading into Election Day. But he ate the loss. Oh, and Garrett got smoked, too.

Bob Menendez

Indicted on corruption charges and delaying and delaying his case for the political terrain to change, the senior senator from New Jersey was in a holding pen just waiting for Clinton to win last night. It didn’t happen.

The Media

The punditry establishment thought it could let the Brotherhood of the Wolf-inspired beast out of the basement and let it run rampant in the Republican Primary for ratings, then get it back in a cage in time for the general election.  Not happening.

Winners and Losers: Post 2016 Election Edition