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Senate Republicans Lose Candidate in New Jersey

Remember last week's Senate Line in which we praised Republicans for finding self-funding candidates to challenge potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents in New Jersey and South Dakota?

Well, scratch that -- at least in New Jersey.

Developer Anne Evans Estabrook removed herself from the race against Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) today just two days after suffering a minor stroke.

"Make no mistake, until Monday I was ready to fight for the Republican nomination and the chance to defeat Frank Lautenberg," Estabrook said in a statement. "I have never backed down from a fight and I am convinced we would have been successful."

John Ensign (Nev.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Estabrook "an excellent candidate" and added: "I am sure she will remain a force in New Jersey politics for years to come."

Senate Republican strategists quickly sought to soften the blow of Estabrook's decision, emphasizing that the same factors that made Lautenberg vulnerable a week ago mean he is vulnerable today.

That's true -- with one HUGE caveat.

Polling in the state does seem to show that voters don't feel all that strongly about re-electing Lautenberg. A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed the Democratic incumbent with a relatively modest 37 percent to 30 percent advantage over a generic Republican; the same survey showed 39 percent of voters approving of the job Lautenberg has done and 31 percent disapproving.

So, what's the caveat? M-O-N-E-Y. Estabrook had it -- she had already loaned her campaign $1.6 million -- and no one else in the Republican race at the moment does. In New Jersey, campaign cash is the beginning, middle and end of a successful statewide campaign. Why? The Garden State is covered by two of the most expensive media markets in the country -- New York City and Philadelphia -- a factor that means a statewide ad buy is counted in the millions -- not thousands -- of dollars for a single week.

Look back at the 2006 Senate race. Republicans recruited state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. -- the son of the well-regarded former governor. Democrats had Rep. Robert Menendez as their candidate. Menendez had real potential trouble spots -- most revolving around potential ethics questions -- but Kean was never able to stay competitive financially and therefore couldn't capitalize on Menendez's weaknesses. Menendez spent more than $13 million on the race, compared to less than $8 million for Kean. Game over. Menendez claimed a 53 percent to 44 percent victory.

Could New Jersey be competitive in 2008? Sure. But it would require Republicans to find another candidate -- like Estabrook -- with deep pockets and the willingness to reach into them. And, even then it could be tough given the Democratic lean of New Jersey and a national environment likely to favor Democrats in November. The filing deadline in the state is a month from tomorrow, leaving Senate Republicans relatively little time in which to recruit another candidate.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 5, 2008; 5:58 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Next: Clinton's Blueprint for Victory


Come on, Bryan_Filer2006.

If you're going to stump for Jersey Joe, at least know his name. It's "Pennacchio."

Youre better than that.

Posted by: arvdaddy | March 7, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Finally, we may have a truly motivating conservative running in the general in NJ politics. St. Senator Fenacchio should be a fine candidate, as he will motivate the right to vote for him & come out in force. He should also motivate independent catholics there in NJ to come out in large force, and if that happens he has a great shot to win this election.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | March 6, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Democrat politicians are destroying the state. It's an absolute shame that we allow NJ Dems to continue to aid in the destruction of the US Senate. For shame.

Posted by: ryan.crowley | March 6, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

drindl, here's the discussion to which I think Mark referred. Last night's Newshour, with Jim talking to guests Bill Bradley, Leon Panetta, Geralidne Ferraro & Jesse Jackson.

Posted by: bsimon | March 6, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

drindl asks
"mark, are you talking about bill bradley, McCain supporter?"

I believe he's talking about the former Senator Bill Bradley, who ran a compelling race against a certain Albert Gore, Jr, for the Dem Presidential nomination in 2000.

Posted by: bsimon | March 6, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

seeds of change... what a despicable, lying, racist as*hole you are. how does it feel to be scum?

Posted by: drindl | March 6, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

mark, are you talking about bill bradley, McCain supporter?

Posted by: drindl | March 6, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama's muslim mother and father:

1. Mother married a muslim man who already had multiple wives in Kenya
2. Mother married a second muslim man to help bring up her "only child" after first husband left her
3. Mother moved her "only child" to Indonesia to provide a muslim environment and life style for her only child. Indonesia is the largest muslim country in the world and site of "Bali bombing". Indonesia is a terrorist hot bed.
4. Obama has no record of participating in Christian church activities in his early age
5. Obama has no record of participating in Christian church during college years.
6. Obama has no record of church activities after his graduation
7. Obama started church activities after he decided to run for public office and started participating in voter sign up activities. His church leader is friend with Farrahkhan
8. Obama's relation with Farrahkhan is unknown at this time

Obama can not win a general election.

Posted by: SeedofChange | March 6, 2008 5:19 AM | Report abuse

The Sub prime crisis finally hit the Bush Family. Yesterday the Carlyle Group defaulted on a bunch of mortgage backed securities.

Posted by: Trumbull | March 6, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

"The Canadian Press -- Canada's domestic equivalent of the AP -- is reporting ... Hillary as the candidate whose people were reassuring Canada that the anti-trade rhetoric was all just campaign talk."

Posted by: brumby | March 6, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Reliable sources inside the Clinton campaign inform The Truth that office space is being looked into in the territory of Guam, and that the territory will be her last stand. Hillary feels that if Obama can not rack up at least 95% of the vote on the island, then it is clear that the citizens of America are embracing experience over change. Once the logistics of shipping 6,000 boxes of Dunkin Donuts overseas is figured out, the Clinton campaign intends to amp up its efforts there.

Posted by: TheTruth | March 5, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Will Hillary kill hope as she enjoys her reinvigorated spoiler role?

Here she is, a tool of the lobbyists, claiming she is the "people's" choice.

Hillary even refuses to release her tax returns for the past two years, which would reveal the source of her sudden wealth.

If Hillary claims experience in foreign affairs, then let her share responsibility for her husband's immoral inaction on Rwanda, when hundreds of millions of black Africans were slaughtered while the Clinton White House refused to act.

(According to the British Guardian newspaper: "President Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, according to classified documents made available for the first time. ...

"It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington's top policymakers." [])

For every comment the Clinton trained seals make about Hillary's favorite target--Rezko--it is important that people remember the reason Jimmy Carter's chief of staff, Hamilton Jordan, called the Clintons our "First Grifters."

Remember their ties to disgraced fugitive financier Norman Hsu?

Remember Bill's supping at the trough of the emir of Dubai?

Speaking of the Middle East, remember Hillary's silence when Yassir Arafat's wife libeled the state of Israel?

Of course, the media bends over trying to accommodate Hillary, today the MSNBC talking heads explained that they have to tread softly because it is hard to criticise a woman.

National security and the fate of the country are apparently tied to some moronic political correctness from a media that did not exactly cover itself with glory when America was about to go to war.

Of course, today's media establishment cares as much about access to the red carpet as anyone else.

The legendary journalist Edward Murrow would have liked Barack Obama, beause he also believed, like Obama himself has said, that cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom.

Fight back America!

Believe in yourself!

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 5, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

wpost, when "proud" lists the ethical challenges of the Clintons, Ds on "The Fix" ignore her because she is an R.

But tonight, on Jim Lehrer's News Hour, a D noted for his devotion to open government made the same points about the Clintons that "proud" usually lists, and pointed out that 7 years after she left the White House her papers remain sealed because of her - not anyone else.

Bill Bradley flatly connected $1/2 Mil "contributions and donations" to pardons and contracts.

If HRC is the D candidate - or even if she is the VP nominee - a very hard, but nevertheless honest, campaign may shred the D ticket.

BHO may take it upon himself to do the coup de gras in the next few weeks. Perhaps that is what Bill Bradley signalled.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 5, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

politics is all about compromise. there are no real negatives about a joint ticket, except in deciding who's who. flip a coin. win/win.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 5, 2008 08:17 PM

point taken, but maybe not a coin. who ever is ahead in delegates and popular vote?

speaking about vp's the one running mate that would pretty much end McCain's chances(and almost made me spit out coffee this morning) condi rice. talk about a bush 3rd term.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 5, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

politics is all about compromise. there are no real negatives about a joint ticket, except in deciding who's who. flip a coin. win/win.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 5, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

wpost/rifkor- funny thing, ive been hearing a lot about a unity ticket all day now!

Reasons why it should be a good ideal!
-the first African American/Woman ticket in history.
-both poll well against McCain.
-the excitement both bring to the table,and new voters
-the ability to compete where dems never compete(TX,CO,and OK come to mind)
-having a former ex-president as a spouse campaign for you is a plus also.

Now heres why its a extremely bad ideal!
-both hillary and obama arent willing to play second bannana to each other.
-both are from blue states(what red or purple states are they going to win jointly?)
-both are going to get beat up on national securtity.

obama/clinton may be historic but it may come down to clashing personalities and electorial strategy.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 5, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

CC-if you or anyone else think NJ is in play for the gop, let me have what ever your drinking or smoking.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 5, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing new Clinton and Obama can say about or against each other. The nomination will go to whoever can best carry the battle to McCain from here on.


As in all matter concerning Clinton and Obama, the arguments have equally weighted pros/cons.

Joint ticket is the answer.

Flip a coin.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 5, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing new Clinton and Obama can say about or against each other. The nomination will go to whoever can best carry the battle to McCain from here on.

Posted by: shinebob | March 5, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse


I was going to post this on your prior blog post but it looks nice here:

Delegates: Won on Mar. 4

Hillary Rodham Clinton 185

Barack Obama 173

A whopping 4 delegate gain per state win for Billary!!!

Posted by: rfpiktor | March 5, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --


"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

"GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

Posted by: jreno2 | March 5, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the NJ Senate seat always purchased by some rich person?

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 5, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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