Long Morning Lines in GOP Areas

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

voting booth

Updated 4:49 p.m.

Don’t get too excited, Save Jerseyans.

It’s very, very early. The polls are open until 8:00 p.m. tonight. Did I mention it’s early?

That being said, I’ve heard anecdotal but consistent turnout reports this morning that bode well for a strong Lonegan performance in today’s #njsen special election.

Example? More than one person has told me about voting lines wrapping out-the-door in Oakland, New Jersey. The Bergen County community of just under 13,000 is home to approximately 1,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats and voted 55.8% for John McCain in 2008.

There are conflicting reports, but PolitickerNJ is also now reporting higher-than-expected GOP turnout contrasted to lackluster Dem turnout in many key spots; MoreMonmouthMusings cites a source who says it’s unusually quiet in Newark’s East Ward…

We’ve received similarly rosy reports from some other Republican-leaning towns around the state such as the affluent bedroom community of Moorestown in Burlington County.

By contrast, as indicated by Art Gallagher’s source(s) above, I’ve heard it was a ghost town in Newark’s Ironbound section this AM; similarly, I was told that there weren’t any lines in Jersey City (and pretty much everywhere else in heavily-Democratic Hudson County) or Trenton, New Jersey around rush hour.

It’s not just the cities either. One precinct in Southern Bergen County (in a mid-sized town that went for Obama by almost 10-points) reportedly had only 20 votes registered as of 9:00 a.m. Later in the day, one voter in Republican Ocean City (Cape May County) was number 65 in his precinct at 5 o’clock before the rush began.

Early nevertheless means early. Like I said, plenty of districts don’t have 30 or even 20 votes yet record in a precinct. That could change and/or cut more than one way.

Cory Booker clearly possessed the numbers advantage going into today in a state with a more than 500k Democrat voter registration advantage; however, in a low-turnout Wednesday special election, he needs to find a requisite number of votes in places like the Ironbound and Jersey City to stave off robust suburban turnout if it is indeed materializing. How badly Booker would need to fail in producing urban turnout on Election Day is a matter of debate.

Wednesday morning wasn’t hiccup free. The Lonegan campaign has alleged possible voting irregularities in Morristown and potentially one other district.

Where the candidates spent their final days was naturally very telling. Lonegan visited deep-red Morris County and the Shore counties that gave Governor Christie his margin of victory in 2009. Cory Booker stumped in Camden, Atlantic City, Willingboro, and other urban areas with large black voter populations.

Again, we’ll have to wait and see where this thing stands after the post-work rush hour. I’ll update this post as hard numbers trickle over to us… in the interim, get your butts to the polls if you haven’t already, Save Jerseyans.

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