Thursday, September 15, 2011

Does NY-9 bode ill for New Jersey's Rush Holt?

Let us, for at least this moment, take DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz at her word, as she speaks about the loss of the perennially Democratic seat in NY-9 in Tuesday's special election:

"It’s a very difficult district for Democrats,” said Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, noting its Democratic margins there tend to be the second lowest of all the districts in New York City.

Ah, OK, Debz. We'll take you at your word, despite the 3-1 registration edge held by Democrats in NY-9. If a D+5 district is "difficult" for the party to hold, well, there ought to be a lot of incumbent D's soiling their panties right around now.

Well, 50 of them, according to the NRCC. And one of them jumps out at me:

NJ-12   D+5  RUSH HOLT

Ah, yes, Mr. Holt. Rush "Lefty"  Holt first won election to the House in 1998 by a whisker, and by even less in 2000 as he won by 480 votes that showed up fashionably late, Democratic-style.  He was helped by redistricting in 2002, and won his elections through 2008 with an average of 62% of the vote.

Until last year, where it got a bit closer, as Holt triumphed by a mere 53%-47% margin.  Interesting....

Why should Holt worry? Well, he's got a large Jewish constituency in his district, and while it is less conservative than the one that helped turn NY-9, you can be sure that he will not receive monolithic support from this group, especially based on Holt's fondness for the Jew-haters on J-Street.  Holt is a dedicated tax-and-spender in one of the most heavily taxed districts in the nation, and his liberal social policies are quickly falling out of favor as well as the voters in NJ-12 age, and mature....

Look - Holt was challenged in 2010 by a millionaire and still held on.  Is he beatable in such a gerrymandered district?  Looks like millionairess Diane Gooch  may want to try next, and with hostility towards the Holt agenda much, much higher now than in 2012, with Wasserman-Schultz declaring, in effect, NJ-12 to be "difficult Democratic terrain", and with Gooch being even richer than 2010 challenger Scott Sipperelle...well, we'll see how localized the "NY-9 effect" actually is...

1 comment:

pyromosh said...

Holt is very representative of the kind of people that live in his district. I've lived in his district a year. Before that I lived in NJ 4th represented by Chris Smith, and I've also lived in the NJ 3rd when Jim Saxon was the representative (Now Jon Runyan's district).

These are three very different districts, and I totally understand why they elected the folks they did. They match the constituency quite well. When I visit friends and family in Bayville, or South Toms River, I run into lots of people who are quite conservative by Jersey standards.

Now living in Mercer county, the liberal majority is even larger than the conservative majority was in Ocean County.

Holt may have challenges, but it's not because he's not well representative of his district. If he has problems it will be due to a referendum on Democrats this election. Most likely expressed by better voter turn-out from the GOP than from disillusioned Democrats.