GOP Will Benefit From Down Voter Turnout, NJ Insiders Say

Both parties also approve of governor's level of support for those more affected by Sandy.

Republicans will be mostly likely to benefit from a down voter turnout Tuesday in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, New Jersey political insiders believe.

According to a Patch poll of state elected officials and party insiders, 15 of 22 Republican respondents believe voter turnout will be down slightly from where it would have been otherwise. Of 27 Democratic respondents, 26 expect there will be either a slight or sharp decline in turnout. 

"The areas likely to remain without power by Tuesday are predominantly smaller, suburban and rural communities that are typically Republican bases," one Republican respondent said.

"Power restoration to urban areas, with higher Democratic concentration, seems to have been prioritized," the respondent continued. "This could have an especially significant impact on races like the Bergen freeholder race, which depends on heavy turnout in northern Bergen to offset Democratic vote share in Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood."

Sandy ripped through New Jersey last Monday night, causing massive damage to the shoreline and knocking out power across the state. Several hundred thousand remain without power one week later.

"It's going to be difficult for a lot of people who lost everything," one Democratic respondent said. "The last thing they're thinking about is voting...it may impact or skew the results of the elections since not all people have the opportunity to cast a ballot."

Both parties, including 68 percent of the Democrats polled, agreed Republicans would benefit from less voters on Election Day.

However, one Democrat said the lower turnout could favor the president.

"It may improve Obama's standing among independents and those few voters who were still undecided as recently as 10 days ago," the respondent said. "It will also demonstrate that government has a crucial role to play in addressing issues like disaster relief and infrastructure development that just cannot be 'outsourced' or privatized.

Both sides were divided along party lines when asked if the state has done its part to properly prepare for the elections just one week after the storm.

More than 76 percent of Republican respondents said the "state government has done enough to make election day run efficiently and effectively." However, most Democrats disagreed, saying there should have been more communication about the polling location changes and transportation accommodations should be provided to bring voters to the new polling place.

One Republican agreed.

"I consider myself well informed and I still don't know where I will be voting since regular polling place does not yet have power," the GOP respondent said.

Republicans and Democrats polled approved of Gov. Chris Christie's support of those most affected by the storm.

More than 80 percent of Republican respondents "strongly approve" of Christie's handling of those affected by Sandy, while more than 85 percent of Democrats either "somewhat approve" or "strongly approve."

However, one Republican criticized Christie's response to the storm, including his interaction with President Barack Obama.

"Christie could have welcomed the president with all due courtesy and respect, while not completely fawning over him," one Republican respondent said. "Does Christie secretly want Romney to lose? I'm additionally disappointed in Christie's heavy-handed response to Sandy. Rationing gasoline? Who does Christie think he is? Jimmy Carter? No wonder he and Obama get along so swimmingly."

The significance of Tuesday's election was also on the minds of many respondents.

"This is the most important election of our lifetime," one Republican said. "The direction of the country will be determined."

suz November 06, 2012 at 02:22 AM
No way! All my Romney supporters are voting tomorrow or have already voted because they were displaced. Dream On...Go Romney Go!!!
David Fischer November 06, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Brick Township residents... If you do not like politics interfering with your school-system, vote for David Fischer. http://brick.patch.com/articles/boe-candidate-profile-david-fischer-1fb87a34
Ronnie Republican November 06, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Romney my boy go get em!
ray November 06, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Everybody who voted early that I saw at the Board of Elections were Democrats or voting for Obama
Builda Wall November 06, 2012 at 03:04 AM
It would seem to indicate Republican voters are more conscientious about voting.
ray November 06, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I'm a Democrat but I was still not happy to see Christy ration gasoline I think it was very heavy handed you could have handled it with more finesse
ray November 06, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Hey suz how you doing. I hope you made it through the storm okay I'm very serious I do hope you made it through the storm okay
Laci November 06, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Thousands have already casted their votes, 3 weeks ago thanks to mail in voting. No reason to visit a polling place anymore. Get up with the times.
John E November 06, 2012 at 03:24 AM
You're 100% correct..the state of NJ lets 'any' voters cast their ballots by mail weeks ago..even email now if in a disaster area. Me old fashion rather wait to election day.
ray November 06, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Vote vote vote
Kate Bigam November 06, 2012 at 06:09 AM
I find this article more than a bit lacking. Why, exactly, do we expect the GOP to benefit from low voter turnout? The content & quotes don't align with the headline & suggested information; if Republicans in rural areas are the ones without power, & Democrats in urban areas are the ones being restored to normalcy, shouldn't the former we worse off than the latter...?
Kate Bigam November 06, 2012 at 06:10 AM
In what way was it heavy-handed? I'd say that anyone who waited four hours for gas pre-rationing would probably disagree. I mean, GASP! Now you have to wait a whole 24 hours to fill up! Those are some WWII-era rations, right there... (Come on.)
scoped00 November 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM
The point is that based on polling, republicans believe voter turnout will not be affected by the storm and democrats believe voter turn out will be affected (with lower turnout). This suggests, according to the writer, that democrats will more likely have low voter turnout. Not sure if the reasoning behind the writer's conclusion is sound, but I guess one could make the argument that the poll could be somewhat predictive of what will happen on election day.
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress November 06, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The State will run to Obama - but it will be closer than the polls might indicate. Lower voter turn-out favors the status quo. If the early turn-out in the Third is any indication, it's going to be a long day.
NJarhead November 06, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Finesse? Some people will never be happy.
chehanjus November 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Kate, you said everything I was thinking!! After reading the article, I was shaking my head and thought I had missed something!!
Don Lee November 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM
first get obama out with romney, then can go further with Johnson next time.....otherwise just jprotest vote and things way tooooooo serious for that.
Don Lee November 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I was there...Romney/Ryan all the way
Don Lee November 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM
It worked didn't it!
Don Lee November 06, 2012 at 01:59 PM
terri November 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Unless you make over 800;000 a year Romney will care less about you.
Brad Schaeffer November 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Terri, you ARE aware that seven of the ten richest members of congress are democrats yes? You ARE aware that it was the democratic party who nominated for president just eight years ago the man who, at the time, was the RICHEST man in congress -- made the old fashioned way, he married it -- as well as a multi-millionaire trial lawyer who made his fortune bankrupting obstetricians using junk science as his running mate yes? You ARE aware that the richest counties in the USA now consistently vote democrat yes? You ARE aware that Obama had more Wall Street millionaires fund his 2008 bid for the White House than any other candidate in history yes? You ARE aware that the tired meme that the democratic party is the "party of the little guy" and the GOP is the "party of the rich" is the most obsolete narrative left in politics today--one that only far-left pundits, Hollywood and Hamptons elites (who view their millions as somehow more righteous than others'), and a few Patch-posting misguided individuals blindly swallowing this utterly false tale still harbor.
Ricky L. November 06, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Brad, I'm aware that you hit the nail right on the head!
David Fischer November 06, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Brick Township residents... If you do not like politics interfering with your school-system and Board of Education, vote for David Fischer. I took not political donations from anyone so I owe no political favors! Take a moment to read my ideas for our school system! http://brick.patch.com/articles/boe-candidate-profile-david-fischer-1fb87a34
Katherine November 06, 2012 at 03:33 PM
ALERT! MUST read: "Support for Kill List and NDAA make Obama and Romney Unfit for Office" http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/reawakening-liberty/2012/nov/2/support-kill-list-and-ndaa-make-obama-and-romney-u/
wookfish November 06, 2012 at 03:38 PM
New Black Panther Party members outside of Philly polling places again!!!! Where is Holder? It'e the only way Obama will win again
Shannon Kelly November 06, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Absolutely. Anyone who believes that any politician is for the "little guy" anymore is not being realistic. They all do that - not just the Republicans...
Rick November 18, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Who goes through a whole tank of gas every day? Are these people in the lines just topping off their tanks?
Rick February 01, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Tells me that observer is about three months late with that remark.


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