GOP Wins Big in NJ, But Loses in NY

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WASHINGTON -- Republicans completed their sweep of the governors races with a win in New Jersey -- but they lost a controversial New York congressional election.

President Barack Obama came to New Jersey five times to campaign for Gov. Jon Corzine, and still the governor lost.

Obama couldn't help Corzine win, but there are other danger signs in Corzine's loss for the Democrats now in charge in Washington.

Nine out of 10 New Jersey voters told pollsters they're worried about the economy. And it's a bad economy that usually hurts incumbents in Washington.

However, New Jersey had enough problems of its own to suggest that's why voters threw out Corzine and elected Republican Chris Christie.

"On the campaign trail, what Kim and I really learned was that the suffocating taxes and a government that was out of control has rendered Trenton completely out of touch," New Jersey governor-elect Chris Christie said.

Taxes were a big issue for voters, with the average household paying more than $7,000 just in property taxes alone.

But Corzine also ran an unremittingly negative campaign, which may have turned off many voters.

"I just think it was a little ridiculous: the slander, the name-calling and stuff like that," Hoboken voter David Goyco said.

But just like in Virginia, a big problem for Democrat Corzine was getting young people, African Americans, and independents to come out for him like they did for Obama last year.

"I guess I decided not to vote, because it seems like my vote doesn't matter. They have an agenda. Whatever you vote for, it doesn't get done," independent voter Jawad Boukhriss said.

If there was a bright spot for Democrats, it was Bill Owens winning New York's 23rd District, which had gone Republican since Ulysses Grant was president.

"They put aside partisanship and declared that they're ready to move forward, not backward," congressman-elect Bill Owens, D-N.Y., said.

But that race may have been mostly about grassroots Republican anger over party bosses picking a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage liberal to be the GOP candidate.

Many party conservatives rallied around a third party candidate, Doug Hoffman, while the liberal Republican gave up and dropped out.

"All along I have been fighting for the soul of the Republican Party," Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, said.

That battle wasn't settled in this race. And conservatives plan to keep on fighting for the GOP's soul in the months ahead, before next year's congressional elections.      
    

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.