Sorry, folks, but you’re about to get more of Phil Murphy this week.
The incumbent Democrat is officially up on air with his first general election TV ad, and it’s a tad… strange. It’ll probably remind you an old Labor Day sale ad for a department store chain. Murphy is strolling through a city park flanked by an escort of diverse actors and actresses (sorry to assume gender here!) and delivers all of the dialogue himself.
“My job? Moving New Jersey forward,” Murphy tells the camera. “And making New Jersey work for all of us. That means the best public schools. A stronger economy. A cleaner environment. That justice works for all. Working to make healthcare, childcare and college more affordable. It’s building opportunity. And protecting our right to vote and our right to choose. And always keeping us safe and healthy. That’s my job. And, with your help, I’ll keep working at it. We’re not going back.”
You’ll notice that he doesn’t actually mention masks, vaccines, or COVID-19 by name, referring only to “keeping us safe and healthy.”
It was obviously a deliberate choice, one which gives you important insight into his reelection strategy down the homestretch.
“Going back” = Donald Trump and Chris Christie.
“Moving forward” = the enactment of a far-Left list of priorities.
This is a base-centric campaign, Save Jerseyans. The early polling suggests Murphy may actually lose unaffiliated voters, but he’s happy to ride to victory on the Democrats’ one million plus state voter registration advantage. Team Murphy reasons that he’s got this thing well in hand if (1) the urban machines do their jobs and (2) every suburban voters who’s pissed about the Texas abortion decision casts a ballot. The sad part is that he might get away with, too, because the math is daunting.
The vast majority of New Jerseyans who aren’t hard Left – remember: only 1/3 of eligible voters voted in 2017 when Murphy won his first term – simply aren’t on his mind. He told you as much when he recommended moving if you didn’t like high taxes. He doesn’t represent you.
Republicans need to sharper their attacks accordingly down the homestretch.
Our state deserves a governor who represents ALL New Jerseyans and EVERY community, not one who skates by with paying lip serve to Montclair and Newark.
I know this state. You know this state. Even many of our left-of-center friends know this guy sucks at his job. This thing is winnable, but Murphy needs to be confronted aggressively by the opposition if victory is going to become reality.