Phil Murphy this week became the first Democratic governor of New Jersey to win his second term in 44 years. But when the Associated Press finally announced the game on Wednesday night, this historic achievement was not so much a victory as a relief.
After winning the state by 17 percentage points four years ago, the former Goldman Sachs banker defeated the little-known Republican State Congressman Jack Ciattarelli by just 29,000 votes.
For his discomfort, Murphy can thank voters, such as Ray and Tony Firaoli, who are the second acting hairdressers, who stood outside the salon in Fair Lawn, New Jersey on Thursday afternoon. Both voted for Murphy in 2017, but not this time.
“I’m tired of the Democrats,” said Ray, 77, who, like many people in this area of northern New Jersey, is angry about the state’s notoriously high property taxes. He pays $12,000 per year.
When he set his sights on Washington and the huge infrastructure and social spending plans on which Joe Biden was based during his US presidency, he only saw future inflation. “He wants to spend all this money. Where did it come from?” Lei asked.
“This is a democracy,” Tony said, “and [Ciattarelli] He is a noisy Republican. “
In New Jersey—where there are 1 million more Democrats than Republicans, and Biden easily took control of the state last year—the concerns expressed by the Firaoli family seem to be widespread. They are particularly serious in the suburbs. Last year many voters abandoned Donald Trump because they found him too extreme and unpredictable, but now seems willing to rejoin the Republican cause.
Murphy ran for his success in advancing long-sought progressive causes such as millionaire taxation and raising the minimum wage. He also touted his decisive handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But these seem to have aroused insufficient enthusiasm among voters because they are angered by their wallet concerns about taxes, inflation and the damage caused by the new crown virus to the US economy. Some people are also annoyed by the cultural problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and expressed concern that the party’s progressives have pulled a weak president too far from the center. For these voters, Murphy’s determined effort to link Catarelli to Trump seems to be counterproductive.
“When I have to pay an extra $1.50 to fill my 1,000-gallon domestic heating tank, would you ask this question?” A woman frowned. “That’s $1,500!”
This anger is evident in southern New Jersey, where Steve Sweeney, the most powerful legislator in the state, was overthrown by the Republican Ed Dur, a truck driver and novice candidate, and he was on a smartphone. A video of his campaign was filmed on.
Republican strategist Mike Duheim called this week’s results “a wake-up call to Murphy” and argued that the Democrats misread the 2020 election: suburban voters’ dissatisfaction with Trump’s push for victory is not the same as promulgating The mandate for comprehensive reforms. Progressive agenda.
He was particularly shocked by the results in Morris County. The Hedge Fund House is the wealthiest county in the state and a bastion of little “c” conservatives in wool vests. As Duheim said, its well-educated voters “stand out from the Trump world” last year, making Biden the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Morris since Lyndon Johnson. But Catarelli defeated Murphy there this week, 56% to 43%.
“That’s it, if I give advice to the Democratic Party, it will make me a little scared,” Du Haimei said. “You see the same with the foundation of the Republican Party, and then you see the more moderate Republican districts returning to Trump’s pre-Trump behavior.”
Bob Goodsell is a semi-retired lawyer in Madison Village, Morris County. The quaint main street of the village is lined with small shops and American flags. When he saw some local parents protesting angrily against the governor Murphy was in trouble when he asked the children to wear masks. School.
“There was a problem that was almost caught by some people,” Goodsell said, adding that he hoped Murphy could improve even more. He speculated that if the Democrats in Washington passed Biden’s spending plan, the governor would perform better.
Ciattarelli has also made progress in the traditionally democratic Bergen County, which is located in the northeast corner of the state. The county is the most populous county in the state, full of Manhattan commuters, blue-collar millionaires, and increasingly less modern immigrants.
Ferraiolis’ father left Rome in 1928 and went to Bergen after working in a mine in Pennsylvania. “He is a [Italian] Who can’t find a job to shovel shit,” as Lei said. He opened a barber shop in Fair Lawn with the motto “A good place to visit, a better place to live”.
The county’s diverse population seems to be united by one thing: fatigue from high taxes. This made Ciattarelli’s campaign so popular that it endlessly repeated Murphy’s observations from 2019 that if taxes are your top priority, “we may not be your state”-Murphy claims this is Comment out of context.
It is common sense for some people and arrogant for others, especially from a former investment banker and US ambassador to Germany. Among the latter is the 54-year-old John, who is a financial consultant for Glen Rock. On a recent night, he wore black sportswear, smoked a cigar, and walked along the main street with his mini dog. .
Before voting for him, he admitted that he knew little about Ciattarelli, calling him “a blank piece of paper”. But John doesn’t need much persuasiveness.
The sons of Greek immigrants and former Obama voters despair of the “endless discussion” of race. “It just permeates the whole [Democratic] Party,” he complained.
Taxation is his biggest concern. He is sure they will have to improve further to cover Biden’s agenda. “I just bought a place in Florida. I’ve walked out the door,” he said, claiming that some of his friends are also moving to the low-tax Sunshine State. “Those who can do this, because things in the future are unreasonable.”
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