Get on the Ballot in 2013, Folks

It’s way, way too soon to declare an impending Christie landslide, folks.

The early polling numbers look good. A full year of campaigning nevertheless awaits, and in a state that President Obama just carried by 17+ points, no Republican can take anything for granted running statewide.

Dan Cirucci’s right… Chris Christie will run hard either way.

That’s why it’s important for any and all Garden State conservative Republicans who’ve ever weighed a run for office to get on the ballot in 2013, Save Jerseyans.

This scenario assumes, of course, that New Jersey Democrats look at Christie’s numbers, the party boss’s weigh their options, and ultimately decide it’s worth taking a pass at the big chair next year. The result is unlikely to be quite as lopsided as Tom Kean’s 69.6% to 29.3% win over Democrat Peter Shapiro in 1985. Our state has gotten a lot more “blue” since then (remember: Bush, Sr. carried NJ in 1988). Still, a 10+ point victory for Christie could bring other down-ballot Republicans across the finish line in unlikely places. That’s what happened in ’85.

My advice?

Stop complaining about how bad Republican candidates were in 2012 and RUN for something yourself in 2013…

How?

It’s easy. Start by seeking out your municipal and/or county Republican organizations.

If they exist/function, get involved now (attend a Christmas party?) and express interest in any openings to run next year. Even if you don’t want to personally hop on the ballot, there are plenty of volunteer/campaign opportunities on the immediate horizon and, particularly in “blue counties,” you’ll almost certainly discover unfilled GOP committee seats in your town. That’s a great way to get involved and learn the ropes so to speak.

Always remember: enthusiasm is a good thing; beginning your first consequential political conversation with “this is what I think we need to do…” or “this is what you’ve been doing wrong” (despite the fact that you’ve never run a campaign in your life) is much less good. Humility. Enthusiasm. Action. Write it on your hand if it helps you remember.

But if there isn’t a local Republican presence in your neighborhood, I highly recommend jump starting your own local club! Find out which council seats are “up” in your town for November 2013, and begin working/researching/networking TODAY to make it happen. Successful campaigns don’t begin after Labor Day. In fact, at that point, most of the critical groundwork should already be laid.

All politics is local — really and truly. It’s not just a cliché. Don’t waste your precious campaign time sitting in your living room, drinking lemonade, preaching to the choir, getting bogged-down with “inside baseball” items, and designing wordy, highly-technical and therefore thoroughly uninteresting flyers for neighbor’s windshields. That’s fruitless. Get out there and attend civic meetings, knock doors, and develop face-to-face relationships in your community. Listen more, talk less. Gather information regarding the identities of key local figures and the issues that your potential voters care about (e.g. a municipal bond issue or park restoration project? Leaf collection?).

Those substantive interactions (or “touches” in the political vernacular) are what really yield results on Election Day. No results are possible, however, unless you’re willing to seize would could be an historic opportunity to “save” Jersey.