As Republicans across the country debate what went wrong on November 6, members of the GOP in New Jersey have some definite ideas about their party’s defeat in the presidential election – and the challenges which await the party in 2016.
And those ideas may surprise some critics from within and without the party.
A new NJ Speaks poll, sponsored by the Kean University for History, Politics and Policy, shows that 40 percent of New Jersey Republicans believe that media bias is the most-important issue which the party faces today. Thirty-two percent said the nation’s changing demographics were the party’s biggest challenge, while 16 percent said the party is too conservative.
Given a list of five possible reasons for Governor Romney’s defeat, 29 percent blamed Hurricane Sandy for distracting voters. Twenty-two percent said the party moved too far to the right, while 19 percent said Democrats ran a better campaign. Although Governor Romney has come in for criticism in the aftermath of his loss, only 9 percent of New Jersey Republicans said he was a poor candidate.
One issue united nearly every respondent: Ninety percent said they either strongly approve or somewhat approve of Governor Christie’s performance. But that support doesn’t translate into hopes that the Governor will run for president in 2016. Fifty percent of New Jersey Republicans said the Governor should run, while 32 percent said he should not. Eighteen percent said they weren’t sure.
Note: The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Click here for more analysis of the poll results by Dr. Terry Golway.