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NEW JERSEY

Scared Of Commitment

A Monmouth Univ./Gannett New Jersey poll; conducted 4/24-28 by Braun Research; surveyed 720 RVs; margin of error +/- 3.7% (release, 4/30). Tested: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), Rep. Rob Andrews (D-01), Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello (D), state Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R), '00 candidate/'97 Libertarian GOV nominee/Ramapo College prof. Murray Sabrin (R), ex-Rep. Dick Zimmer (R).

Primary Election Matchup

 
F. Lautenberg   35%
R. Andrews      20
D. Cresitello    4
Other/undec     34

e>

Primary Election Matchup

D. Zimmer       25%
J. Pennacchio    5
M. Sabrin        4

 
e>

Lautenberg As Sen.

-          Now 1/08
Approve    48% 43%
Disapprove 31  28

e>

Fav/Unfav

F. Lautenberg   43%/30%
R. Andrews      13 /12
D. Cresitello    5 / 7
D. Zimmer        9 /10
J. Pennacchio    7 / 9
M. Sabrin        4 / 7

 
e>

Do You Think _____?

-                               Now 1/08
Lautenberg should be re-elected 26% 19%
Time for someone else           61  58

e>

Is Lautenberg Too Old To Be Effective?

-    Now 1/08
Yes  41% 34%
No   46  51

e>

Menendez As Sen.

-          Now 1/08
Approve    41% 37%
Disapprove 31  25

e>

Corzine As Gov.

-          Now 3/08 1/08
Approve    34% 37%  40%
Disapprove 52  52   44

e>

San Dimas High School Football Rules!

In a blow to Andrews' camp, "the appellate division of the state Superior Court" ruled 4/29 "against his appeal for an open primary." Andrews "had hoped that clerks in all" of NJ's 21 counties "would be compelled to situate the three" SEN candidates "on ballots that do not give an advantage to the organization choice by allowing him to be bracketed with other organization candidates."

Andrews "wanted to be bracketed alone on the primary ballot" with Lautenberg and Morristown Mayor Cresitello. "Failing last week in the chancery division of Superior Court, Andrews' lawyers" 4/29 "took their case before appellate division judges."

The judges' ruling "enables Lautenberg to maintain his place at the top of the primary ballot in critical northern counties, with key allies," including all of the Dems in the NJ House delegation and party picks in Dem strongholds. Lautenberg spokesperson Julie Roginsky: "Obviously on the issue of bracketing, he's 0-3...We urge them to stop fighting this election in the courts and to start focusing on the real issues that matter to the people of New Jersey."

In "what the Andrews campaign argues is a win, the judges did order redrawings in those seven counties where the organization-backed candidate automatically enjoys line A placement." Andrews spokesperson Michael Murphey: "We have mixed emotions, but the big one was ballot fairness, and now the clerks have to at least visually put Rob on the same plain with Lautenberg. ...Frank Lautenberg has been trying to hide Rob Andrews on the ballot while he hides from debates in Washington, D.C. The court is loathe to disturb the political process...We would have preferred both decisions, but the biggest one is ballot fairness. The one we felt we had a shot on, we were successful on" (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/29).

NJ Dem chair Joseph Cryan's decision "to file an appeal" to the ruling "created an opening" for the Andrews camp to argue Lautenberg "could not claim total victory in the courtroom." Murphy: "Has Cryan decided to appeal today's ruling on behalf of Lautenberg? ...Certainly." Cryan, a Lautenberg supporter, and the Lautenberg people "deny that's the case and say it's more desperation from Andrews to spin a loss into an optimistic sound bite."

Roginsky: "We are not appealing the decision." Cryan: "I'm pleased with the decision to allow bracketing...although as the state chair I believe that line should get preference in any primary." In other words, the organizational candidate and his organization allies should always have the right not merely to associate in the same line but to occupy line A, according to Dem insiders.

Murphy "didn't acept that the appeal is anything other than a tactic in the current campaign cycle." Murphy: "It's a pretty thin veil they're using to protect Lautenberg" (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/29).

Meanwhile, state Sen. Joe Vitale, "one of the minority of northern legislators to endorse Andrews earlier this month, said that he'd like to see a debate that focuses on health care," adding his voice to Andrews's "frequent calls for debates" with Lautenberg (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com).

Also, the Atlantic Council of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers announced their endorsement of Lautenberg 4/29, while the southern NJ AFL-CIO endorsed Andrews (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com, 4/29).

This article appears in the April 30, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.

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