TRENTON, NJ-Things haven’t been going well in the past two years for the New Jersey Republican Club according to party chairman Doug Steinhardt. On Tuesday, Steinhardt took to social media like a post-game press conference by the coach of the team that just lost the Super Bowl. His tone was somber and a bit deflated, but full of hope to rebuild, bring in some new draft picks and try again next season.
The GOP finished in second place in all but one national election campaign last year, which is also technically last place at the same time. The only winner on Election Day last year was the campaign for politically rock solid Congressman Chris Smith. Smith, who represents one of New Jersey’s most rock solid districts, our own fourth congressional district once again breezed back into congress with ease.
For the rest of the state, the big day was not so easy, in fact, if it was a football game, the score would have been 91-7.
After such a crushing loss to the radical, progressive, liberal left, coach Steinhardt says the team is ready to get back on the field for the 2019 season.
On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy, who is now facing a recall petition by the citizens of New Jersey, gave his victory speech in the form of his first annual State of the State address and Steinhardt listened…then he responded.
He provided Republicans with the “State of the GOP Address”.
“We have work to do,” Steinhardt told the 2,344 viewers watching his broadcast. “But it is a privilege to be at the center of the efforts to rebuild and rebrand the GOP.”
“November’s election results were humbling, but we learned important lessons,” the chairman said. “We’ll pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and re-engage in 2019 stronger and smarter. We’re focused on the future.”
Steinhardt then went on to say he will be taking plays from the Democrats playbook in 2019, expanding voter registration efforts and trying to figure out that new thing the Democrats like to call “social media” is and how to use it like they do.
The 2019 New Jersey state and assembly elections are important. Team GOP will be trying to defeat Team Democrat for the first time since 2001. They’re now entering their 18th consecutive year of defeats. Even if the recall petition for Phil Murphy is successful, it most likely won’t be on the ballot until 2020, so the only way to Stop Phil Murphy in 2019 is to take away the Democrat majority in the state house and senate chambers. It will be a tough challenge to make New Jersey red again.
This year’s election is equal to 2018’s midterm election, where the GOP has an opportunity to regain the house or senate to effectively turn Murphy into a two-year lame duck Governor.
Steinhardt has a huge mountain to climb as Democrats ran circles around his party in 2018. In just the past two elections alone, Republicans have sunk over $67.9 million into losing elections for governor, U.S. Senate, and Congress.
Here is the breakdown of the losses.
Bob Hugin for Senate $39.1 million
Tom MacArthur for Congress $4.9 million
Kim Guadagno for Governor $8.9 million
Leonard Lance for Congress $9 million
Jay Webber $1.6 million
Recently Steinhardt and the GOP made their rounds to discuss a solution to their problem. Those efforts will culminate in March with even more discussions and roundtables in Atlantic City at the party’s annual leadership conference. Once those minds have been set into motion, say around September or October of 2019, it will have once again been too late for Republicans.
You see, Democrats are already working their campaigns. They are already rallying their base. They’re already raising money and working on how to not only retain their majority in the house and senate but to take even more seats. That has been a fundamental problem in New Jersey for many years. Democrats are far more organized and far more in tune with their base of voters.
Republicans in New Jersey are out of touch with a very large portion of their base. Adding more voters isn’t the solution to their problem. Convincing a huge segment of Republicans in New Jersey that the party is still their party that represents their values is the main challenge.
The only thing the GOP has going for itself heading into 2019’s election season is Phil Murphy. Phil Murphy can help Republicans win big in November. All he has to do is keep doing what he has been doing. The red carpet has been rolled out for the GOP by the Governor. The GOP just needs to find a way to get their candidates from falling off the carpet on the way to the door.
Stopping Phil Murphy’s Democrat machine is not hard at all. In Jackson Township and Howell Township, Republicans came out in force to stop Murphy Democrats from taking over their towns last November. They were supported by independents and moderate Democrats. The Murphy hate factor is there. It’s not something you can discuss and strategize in an Atlantic City hotel ballroom with suits and ties and buffet. It’s something that if you’re running for office in 2019 and you’re not already getting the word out and driving home the point, you’ve already lost.
Steinhardt this week said the GOP is, “Going back to its roots, expanding our outreach and returning to our base.”
There’s just one problem, their base already knows he’s abandoned them. That’s why they did not come out to vote as feverishly as the Democrats who have had their base on standby for several years now. Many Republicans are upset with the liberal and middle of the line candidates the GOP has been running of late. It’s going be a hard sell for the establishment, many of whom are identified as “Never Trumpers” to his base to suddenly get back into the ring with the NJ GOP.
He went on to say that New Jersey is heading in the wrong direction under the leadership of Governor Phil Murphy and his “ultra-liberal policies”.
One thing Steinhardt did not do was accept blame for the losses or apologize to voters for the losses that have occurred under his leadership.
The bright side of Steinhardt’s video was that it wasn’t quite as awkward to watch as Elizabeth Warren’s beer video.