I have to start with a mea culpa. I predicted a double-digit victory for Phil Murphy. In the words of the late and revered New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, “When I make a mistake, it’s a beauty.” And my landslide prediction was a big mistake. I’m not offering any excuse.
That said, I still believe incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy will defeat Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, due to the unreported mail vote and outlying areas results. Yet there is already a message to the nation tonight of New Jersey and Republican Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia.
Each party has its extremist element that frightens the electorate of 2021. For Republicans, it is the Trumpian mafia MAGA. For Democrats, these are Sanders’ socialist progressives.
Phil Murphy is not a progressive socialist of Sanders. Yet when he invited Bernie Sanders to the state last week and reported an appearance on GOTV with Hudson County Democratic Senator Brian Stack, it sent the unwitting message that Phil Murphy was one of the extremists. by Sanders.
The Trumpian MAGA mob poses a threat to democracy. The rise of the Sanders Socialist Progressives symbolizes the potential downfall of the US economy.
New Jersey and Virginia swing voters sent a clear message. They believe there is currently more to fear from Sanders’ socialist progressives than from the Trump MAGA crowd.
My fear: I hope it doesn’t matter who ultimately wins the governorship, we don’t have to face the cries of a “stolen election” afterwards.
Alan J. Steinberg was a Regional Administrator for Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.
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