By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
That’s the thesis of a new piece from the FiveThirtyEight blog, Save Jerseyans, in which writer Eitan Hersh takes a close look at states with non-November and/or off-year elections (our state being “Exhibit A” in Hersh’s estimation) and suggests a correlation between a messy election calendar and states where “Democratic-aligned interest groups, namely teachers unions and municipal employee organizations” are powerful as well as “higher salaries and better health and retirement benefits for teachers and public employees.”
Click here to read the full piece.
The reality in our Garden State might be a tad more complicated. For example, in 2012, Governor Christie signed a bill that made it through the Democrat-dominated legislature giving municipalities the option of holding school board elections in November. Democrats bitched to no end over Governor’s decision to hold a special U.S. Senate election in October 2013, instead of November, presumably to avoid ginning-up Democrat turnout. Conventional wisdom, after all, holds that general election turnout models favor the party with a voter registration advantage, and in this state, Democrats enjoy ant advantage of hundreds of thousands of registrants. Barack Obama won our state by almost 18-points in 2012.
Then there’s the map. That G-damn map. In 2013, 1,730,896 votes were cast for Democrat legislative candidates while 1,854,422 were cast for GOP candidate, yet thanks to the late Alan Rosenthal’s embarrassingly-bad and unconstitutional redistricting map, Democrats enjoy a decisive majority in the State Senate and a large majority in the Assembly.
Does timing truly matter when the map is THIS gerrymandered?
Still, with Super PAC spending quickly catching up to total regular political expenditures in this state, and most of that money has a public sector union origin, maybe this whole off-year election thing needs to be examined after the dust settles…