More on the other day’s election in my home state of New Jersey.
For fun, I decided to run the numbers for Somerset County, since I am from there. All 21 municipalities, comparing Governor Corzine’s 2005 election numbers to what he got Tuesday.
He was down everywhere in the county, but surprisingly the biggest drop came in Raritan Boro. Raritan? What, you mean he didn’t show for the Basilone Parade and Christie did?
But the other big drop offs were all in the boroughs. Since it’s a Republican county no matter what registrations tell you, Corzine never pulled it off big even the first time in Somerset. But in the boroughs, he just cratered. Raritan, Manville, Bound Brook, Somerville, South Bound Brook.
He did almost as bad in areas of a Republican county that routinely back Democrats for things than he did in other parts where local Democrats simply never win.
Now, you can try and blame Obama or health care for that, but . . .. But New Jersey boroughs are really incorporated villages or small towns, with a limited business tax base. The boroughs rely on property taxes much more than the surrounding townships, which used to be farmland. The townships had much more land for the office parks, strip malls, big box stores.
So property taxes have been high everywhere, but not quite the crisis that they always are in the boroughs.
I conclude that people expected Corzine to do something about the property taxes after 2005. But they just kept going up (now averaging $7,000 statewide). So his credibility was shot, regardless of the bad economy or how hard he tried on other things.