By Rev. Greg Quinlan
A recent Monmouth University poll reports that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is running 27-points behind Democrat Phil Murphy in the race to be New Jersey's next Governor. The poll found 53% supporting Murphy and 26% for Guadagno. Another 6% were planning to vote independent and 14% were undecided.
According to this poll, Murphy has the support of 87% of his party's "registered" voters. Guadagno has the support of just 69% of Republicans. That is a nearly 20-point deficit.
Laying to one side the fact that establishment polls in New Jersey are often engineered to produce desired results, as in the recent poll from Rutgers-Eagleton on Planned Parenthood funding, it should surprise nobody that a pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ, pro-RGGI energy tax Republican is turning-off those voters she needs to turn-out in high numbers.
For more on Rutgers' infamous Planned Parenthood poll scam, read:
For anyone whose top issues are funding Planned Parenthood, or funding LGBTQ lobbyists with a state license plate scheme, or funding politically-correct corporate cronies with the job-killing RGGI energy tax, then there is a perfectly fine party that suits your needs. It is known as the Democratic (in name only) Party.
If, on the other hand, you support traditional values and oppose politically-correct schemes to kill businesses, jobs, and raise taxes, then you should be a Republican and it is the job of Republican Party leaders to present their party's platform in a way that wins that support. It is not their job to deny their Party's platform or, even worse, to embrace planks of the Democratic Party platform. If they can't think of a way to present their Party's platform in a reasonable and positive way or if they don't believe in their Party's platform, then they should not be leading the Republican Party.
The message of the Republican Party, carried in successive party platforms, is a message of electoral success. Carrying the message of the most conservative platforms in its history, Republicans expanded their congressional majorities, captured an overwhelming number of state houses and legislative chambers, and defeated Hillary Clinton.
The Platform of the Republican Party is a living document that is debated and voted on every four years by democratically-elected delegates from across America. If you want to change the Party's platform, that is the time to do it. If a state party organization wants to "opt-out" then have the guts to stand up and say so at the national convention and then post what you actually stand for on your state party website. Make sure that it is as detailed as the RNC Platform and point-by-point, plank-by-plank, make your support or objection known. Then we will at least know who and what you are.
Instead, every four years, New Jersey Republicans elect delegates to the Republican National Convention who write and adopt a platform, only to watch as the state's Republican establishment willfully ignores it and even lies to those who support the Republican Party and what it stands for. It is time for a little truth in advertising.
The same old lie that has prevented New Jersey Republicans from achieving success is starting to circulate again. It's the one that claims Republicans can only win with so-called "moderates." Of course, this ignores the fact that the only Republican to win statewide in the last twenty years ran as a pro-Life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-gun, anti-tax conservative (yes, he used the word... over and over again). He defeated an incumbent Democratic Governor and was re-elected with over 60% of the vote. It also ignores the fact that the Republican Governor before him defeated a Democratic incumbent by promising big tax cuts and that the last time Republicans captured the state Legislature was due to a combined backlash on tax hikes and social issues.
It isn't that the average registered Republican lacks the confidence to be a Republican. It's that the average Republican leader is often too conflicted to be a practicing Republican. Too many of our Republican leaders get their incomes from sources that are antithetical to the Party's platform. How many Republican leaders did we see employed as lobbyists advocating same-sex marriage? How many have lobbied on behalf of Leftists like George Soros? How many are employed by local and county governments that are controlled by Democrats?
Republicans could be the party of the new have-nots. I mean the vast majority of voters who fall outside those 31 urban Abbott districts that absorb most of the state's education money and gives them the highest property taxes in America. This in spite of the fact that half the state's economically disadvantaged children live outside those districts, and that many of those districts have improved economically since the Great Recession, while rural and suburban districts have suffered. It has become a case of the rural and suburban poor subsidizing an urban elite unwilling to pay to educate the children of their communities, but many Republican leaders remain trapped in a 1980's mentality, viewing places like Hoboken and Jersey City through an antique lens.
Republicans could be the party of real democracy. With its unelected judiciary, unelected prosecutors, and a Legislature designed to be bullied by bosses, New Jersey is about the least democratic place in America. That could change and Republicans could be the leaders of that change. Why not give democracy and good government a chance? It might just be the "game-changer" the NJGOP keeps looking for.
In embracing these big-picture, broad-based ideas, Republicans should never forget that the average LGBTQ voter will always tend more towards the Left than the Right, so that means the Democratic Party; while the average traditional values voter will always tend more Right than Left, so that means the Republican Party. It makes no sense to depress and suppress those who want to vote for you, so that you can madly chase after those who have no interest at all in voting for you.
According to the Monmouth poll Kim Guadagno has already turned off 31% of what should be her Republican vote, while failing to make any serious inroads into her opponents' base. This is the "moderate" formula for crushing defeat.
Worry about your voters and turn them out, don't worry about their voters. If someone is such an LGBTQ voter that no measure of reform or democracy or tax fairness interests them, then move on, don't pander. Besides, with Democratic candidates like Phil Murphy to vote for, they'll be plenty depressed anyway.
Nothing kills a Leftist's buzz more than having a rich corporate globalist playing a "progressive" in a vain attempt to make voters forget who he hurt as a Wall Streeter. Get smart and tell your opponent's story so that his potential voters know what kind of dog the Democratic Party bosses expect them to vote for. But don't pander. You are looking to turn them off to him, not turn them on to you.
In closing, the French Canadians have a very appropriate motto that Republicans should adopt: "Je me souviens." It means, "I remember who I am."
Rev. Greg Quinlan is President of the Center for Garden State Families.