Analyzing Booker’s Bergen Victory

High-Income Whites Put Booker Over the Top

By Rick Shaftan | The Save Jersey Blog

Bergen CountyIt’s not often that a Republican wins Wallington, South Hackensack, Lyndhurst, Ridgefield and Rochelle Park and loses Oradell, Old Tappan, Norwood, Woodcliff Lake and Northvale but that’s what happened in this month’s U.S. Senate election.

Comparing the 2013 special with the 2012 presidential reveals some interesting comparisons.

Statewide, Lonegan ran 4 percent ahead of Mitt Romney – enough to have elected Romney had he run that much better nationwide.  But Bergen County was one place where Lonegan actually ran behind Romney. 

That’s news to people South of Route 4 where the former Bogota Mayor exceeded the 2012 Romney percentage by 10 points in Ridgefield, 11 points in Palisades Park, 12 points in Bogota and 16 points in South Hackensack.

But go North of 4 to the traditionally Republican part of the county and there’s a different story.  Lonegan dropped 14 points behind Romney’s 52 percent in Booker’s home town of Harrington Park, 13 points behind Romney’s 63 percent in Old Tappan and 10 points behind Romney’s 57 percent in Woodcliff Lake.

Lonegan’s drop from 28 to 17 percent in Teaneck is heavily caused by a major drop in the GOP vote share among Orthodox Jews. Mitt Romney won 58 percent of the vote in the four big Teaneck Orthodox districts (9, 10, 11 and 12) compared with just 28 percent for Lonegan, turning a 514 vote Obama deficit into a 749 vote Booker margin.

The difference was starkest in Teaneck 11 – the top Orthodox Jewish district in the state – where Lonegan won just 34 percent in a 67 percent Romney district.  Booker’s 256 votes were actually more than the 248 Obama received there a year earlier, perhaps the only district in the state to do so.

Even in the Upper Bergen County towns Lonegan carried, there was a major dropoff: Ho-Ho-Kus from 64 to 55 percent, Upper Saddle River from 66 to 58 percent, Alpine from 60 to 53 perecnt and Park Ridge from 58 to 51 percent.

Booker’s appeal to high-income Romney Republican voters extended to other suburban counties – especially Southern Morris and high income portions of Somerset, Hunterdon, Union, Essex and Monmouth Counties. 

It’s more than a little ironic that Cory Booker — a candidate whose main message was class warfare and support for left-wing programs paid for by wealthier taxpayers — would win an election with the votes of the very people he wants to punish with his very radical and extreme economic policies.

Rick Shaftan
About Rick Shaftan 6 Articles
Rick Shaftan of Neighborhood Research/Mountaintop Media is a national political consultant, pollster and controversial electoral combatant best known in New Jersey for his past work with former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.


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