The Social Media Primary

The Social Media Primary

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

SJtwitter2It’s hardly unusual for campaigns to slam opponents by way of social media in 2014, Save Jerseyans, but when the party establishment writes off the entire race and none of the candidates are “self-funders,” then social media wars take on a whole new level of intensity partly as a matter of necessity, in a way that many never imagined, ironically, before Cory Booker (D-Twitter) came into existence.

U.S. Senate hopefuls Murray Sabrin and Brian Goldberg threw down with each other on Twitter in the run-up to Easter/Passover weekend over guns, abortion and, of course, fidelity to the memory of Ronald Reagan:

Sabrin Goldberg Twitter War

We’ve moved from two-hand touch to tackle in no time flat!

Never one to mince words, Sabrin previously criticized Golberg’s reluctance to support a ban on abortion via press release. With the most money to spend but still lacking his primary target’s county line total, the Ramapo professor is stepping up his attacks online, rhetorically asking his Twitter followers whether “@Brian4NJ Goldberg running for US Senate or bumpersticker king? His policy positions are cliches w/o substance. @MSabrin offers specifics.”

Goldberg, for his part, denied Sabrin’s characterization of his positions and sought to re-frame the debate as one between a conservative (Goldberg) and the libertarian (Sabrin), even digging up and tweeting out a negative student review (the agitated student complained that Sabrin didn’t do anything other than recycle comments from a “damn libertarian website”).

Is any of this good for the party? I don’t know, but it is undeniably entertaining for politically-minded Twitter fans to watch, and it’s certainly an interesting experiment in social media campaigning for those of us who know that digital campaigning isn’t just the future but the now.

 

45 thoughts on “The Social Media Primary

  1. Jeff Bell or Rich Pezzullo in 2014. We need leadership, not moody teenage girls. These two have lost my vote.That said, Sabrin has a point- Goldberg is unclear on abortion. I think he should, at the least, put out some sort of statement totally explaining his position. Otherwise, he alienates pro-choice voters and pro-lifers alike.

  2. But I think it’s funny how in his first race, Goldberg is experiencing firsthand the wrath of Murray Sabrin. Like Joe Pennachio before him, Goldberg wasn’t ready to fight the many-headed Sabrin dragon, and like Pennachio and Sabrin in ’08, I doubt either of them will win the primary.

  3. Twitter Senator Booker is laughing his little tail off right now. Luckily for the GOP, we have two other candidates who have just as good a shot at the nomination as these two, but I’ll bet you Booker will dig up this little back-and-forth if Goldberg or Sabrin does end up the winner.

  4. Murray thought the primary was his for the asking; now he’s having a temper tantrum. More of a panic than a fight.

  5. Goldberg has zero experience, Sabrin is an industrial grade jerk, Pezzullo has no money, and Bell just phones the campaign in. This effin’ clown parade makes me miss Lonegan. Well, almost.

  6. Why is Goldberg defending his positions ‘negative?’ And correct me if I’m wrong, but how has a pro-life politician helped us since Roe v Wade? Grow up Sabrin. More exclusionary thinking that hurts us in November. I’m starting to like this Goldberg guy… he may be slicker than we think and we’re going to need it against Cory Bugger.

  7. Blame it on what calls itself the GOP establishment these days. Too busy cutting deals with the Democrats and laying down to go out and recruit a candidate stronger than Rand Paul loving Murray Sabrin so they back… Goldberg, who can’t raise enough to run for Mayor of Bogota let alone U.S. Senate. A thousand bucks… really? These idiot chairmen were walking around telling reporters that Goldberg was going to put in a million of his own money.

    The GOP is in preservation mode. Content to slowly lose what they have left, a little at a time.

    If they weren’t going to find someone real then they should have stepped aside and let “industrial grade jerk” Murray Sabrin torture Cory Booker on… TWITTER! Oh, the “temper tantrums” the anointed one would be having now as Booker faced the wrath of Murray.

    By the way, don’t be too hard on Murray for not taking sh*t from the likes of the GOP Jersey establishment, he probably grew up a lonely child after EVERY member of his family save his mom and dad were murdered by the government of National Socialist Germany. Imagine the reference points in that young family and imagine the pain held within each room of that small house. Until you’ve been there, you shouldn’t really judge. I bet you’d be pissed off too.

  8. Blame it on what calls itself the GOP establishment these days. Too busy cutting deals with the Democrats and laying down to go out and recruit a candidate stronger than Rand Paul loving Murray Sabrin so they back… Goldberg, who can’t raise enough to run for Mayor of Bogota let alone U.S. Senate. A thousand bucks… really?

  9. If the GOP establishment wasn’t going to find someone real then they should have stepped aside and let “industrial grade jerk” Murray Sabrin torture Cory Booker on… TWITTER! Oh, the “temper tantrums” the anointed one would be having now as Booker faced the wrath of Murray.

  10. “A little girl”? Don’t be too hard on Murray for not taking it from the likes of the GOP Jersey establishment, he probably grew up a lonely child after EVERY member of his family save his mom and dad were murdered by the government of National Socialist Germany.

    Imagine the reference points in that young family and imagine the pain held within each room of that small house. Until you’ve been there, you shouldn’t really judge.

  11. “A little girl”? Don’t be too hard on Murray for not taking it from the likes of the GOP Jersey establishment, he probably grew up a lonely child after EVERY member of his family save his mom and dad were killed by the government of the day in Germany.

    Imagine the reference points in that young family and imagine the pain held within each room of that small house. Until you’ve been there, you shouldn’t really judge.

  12. If the GOP establishment wasn’t going to find someone real then they should have stepped aside and let “industrial grade” Murray Sabrin battle Cory Booker on… TWITTER! Oh, the “temper tantrums” the anointed one would be having now as Booker faced the wrath of Murray.

  13. If the GOP establishment wasn’t going to find someone real then they should have stepped aside and let “industrial grade” Murray Sabrin battle Cory Booker on… TWITTER!

  14. Murray has been around since the 80’s and has never won anything. Goldberg won almost all the County lines and he’s a newbie. So yeah, I think when he wins the Primary and gets more Republican support, he’ll do very well running against Booker and Murray, who will no doubt change Parties once again.

  15. Some people have zero family, and what does that have to do with attacking Goldberg? Sabrin spits venom and trades Parties when he doesn’t get his way.

  16. Yeah, Booker will attack Goldberg as insufficiently pro-life – when pigs fly and Hell freezes over. The problem as of now is that Booker can take a vacation until November while his aides work on his victory speech.

  17. Goldberg posted on his Facebook attacks against Sabrin, calling him out for running as a Libertarian and for failing in his 2000 and 2008 Senate bids. Also, in speeches at the Cumberland and Mercer County conventions he attacked Sabrin’s run as a Libertarian.

  18. Goldberg talks too much about party loyalty. And to an independent voter, that translates in to GOP Rubber-Stamp, much like Booker is a Democrat rubber-stamp. I think we need somebody who’s not afraid to defy the party in order to do what’s right. Plus, in a primary like this, establishment support can’t help you much – 10 county lines won’t be enough to win with no money and no name recognition.

  19. Amen to that. Goldberg is running a carefully crafted campaign of deception. He told the Middlesex screening committee he would raise ten million dollars, and they called him on it and eliminated him on the first ballot.

  20. Amen! I’m not a Sabrin fan but I like what you have to say. Goldberg is a “safe” choice for the party to put on the ballot so that Chris Christie is still top banana in the NJGOP – with no real chance to beat Booker, and who will probably become a Dick Zimmer-esque joke post-election, Goldberg is the best choice for the high-ups in the NJGOP. People talk a lot about Christie cutting a deal with Norcross that the Democrats wouldn’t contest the Governor’s mansion so long as the GOP didn’t put up a fight for the Senate- and honestly, I’m starting to believe it.

  21. I don’t mean that- I mean he’ll portray Goldberg as childish, and use Murray’s talking points against him. The “no experience” thing is a killer that Sabrin isn’t playing up as well as he could.

  22. That’s hilarious! Name one legislator who backs Goldberg. No? Okay, Freeholder. Still nothing? Alright, mayor? Still 0. He has very little Republican support outside those convention rooms, he’s going to lose the primary to any of his 3 worthy challengers, and go back to being nobody and doing nothing.

  23. Sabrin traded parties exactly once almost 20 years ago. Goldberg had only barely graduated UCLA when Murray ran for Governor.

  24. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again- Goldberg would need upwards of 100k to win this primary. His three opponents have all done this before and are all incredibly politically savvy, and one of them will find a way to take away his county-line advantage.

  25. I met Goldberg at the Atlantic County convention, and before that I was a supporter of his. Now, I’m a Pezzullo guy, because Rich actually took the time to talk to me (even though I told him I was a Goldberg supporter he still wanted to make his case, and I think he’ll do the same with Booker supporters in the fall), whereas Brian just shook my hand and jetted off. After going home and comparing the two, along with Bell, Sabrin, and then-candidate Turkavage, I realized Rich was definitely the guy for us. That’s just my take on the race.

  26. Parties have very little to do with ideas, policies or philosophies of governance. The GOP were spendaholics under George W. Bush and the Democrats were once the party of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Sabrin may have switched parties, going from the purist Libertarian to the more general Republican, but anyone who wants to get elected must, because the two major parties have a monopoly on the system, right down to getting a break on campaign postage.

    Goldberg wouldn’t understand any of this, because the man is a pea brain with little interest in policy. To Goldberg parties are like sports teams and he likes to say “rah rah go team R” without having an understanding of what “team R” stands for because to him, it stands for nothing in particular.

    True, some people have zero family, and they are generally pretty well unhappy about it. That, and brains, makes a good bomb thrower to go after Sen. Booker. Don’t look to Mr. Daisycakes Goldberg to do that.

  27. My only problems with Rich are his positions on same-sex marriage (he supports it) and the death penalty (he opposes it). Nice guy otherwise.

  28. Yeah, but things change in 17 years. Reagan was a Democrat at one point. Gotta forgive people’s mistakes, yknow?

  29. People have a hard time accepting that Bell and Pezzullo are building support while Sabrin and Goldberg bicker on twitter. They won’t make the news as much, sure, but they’re building their bases of support and raising funds and attracting volunteers, while the Goldberg and Sabrin camps are suddenly hostels of negativity. I think come crunch time in the last week of May, Goldberg and Sabrin are going to look around and realize they both alienated the entire party, and Rich Pezzullo or Jeff Bell will be the nominee.

  30. Sane people do. What support? Show me the money.

    Pezzullo is out there trash talking Murray up at Sussex County. Wait until they find out Richie’s position on gay marriage. Oh dearie me!

    Bell is on working at the top of Steve “the trash man” Lonegan’s ticket. Nuff said.

  31. Hey there, Goldberg/Sabrin staffer!
    From what I heard, Rich actually mentioned his marriage position at an EJ tea party meeting and they still cheered for him. Why’s that? Because they’re tired of supporting Sabrin just to get destroyed by his own ignorance, and Goldy gets more and more liberal on the day. And in the end, I respect Rich for at least taking a position marriage equality. I may not agree, but the other 3 candidates are dead silent on the issue.

  32. The country is drowned in debt and overrun by 20 million foreign invaders, federal agencies are turning into 21st century Gestapo, our fabled healthcare is about to crash and burn, and all you care about is which candidate is less likely to legalize butt sex?! Maybe we should sort out our priorities…

  33. Exactly. 99% of the electorate could care less, quite frankly, and most of the electorate that does care is pro-marriage equality.
    Also, Sabrin has started attacking Pezzullo on Twitter- suggesting that Sabrin now fancies himself the 3rd-place candidate behind Pezzullo and Goldberg. He’s off by one – turns out Jeff Bell isn’t a self-obsessed ideologue, so he’s got Sabrin beat.

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