2013 Will Be A Year Of Political Battles In New Jersey [AUDIO]
As we watch the dysfunction in Washington, D.C. we should remember New Jersey is no slouch when it comes to political fights.
The battles could be epic this year because it is a huge election year. Not only is there a gubernatorial race, but all 120 seats in the legislature are up for grabs too.
"The biggest battle of the year will be the Governor's race," predicts Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Peter Woolley. "I think there are a lot of people who think that it's a gimme for (Governor Chris) Christie, but in a Democratic leaning state like this it's not a gimme for the Governor. He's going to have to work hard to get this. The Democrats will be gunning for him and the fact is that there are more Democratic voters in the state than there are Republicans."
Democrats are also pushing to increase the minimum wage and tie future hikes to the rate of inflation every year. That's a battle that should rage all year too because Democrats are pushing to put the issue on the ballot to ask voters if they'd like to hike the minimum wage. Christie is opposed to the annual adjustments.
Woolley says, "Public opinion is generally favorable towards raising the minimum wage. It's really a tough one for the Governor to fight off and that's really partly why the Democrats picked it (as an issue). They need a wedge on the Governor and that one, in terms of public opinion certainly leans in their favor.
Other issues expected to stay front and center in New Jersey politics in 2013 include; charter schools; the revitalization efforts in Atlantic City; and sports betting.
Woolley says, "Then there's the issue that never goes away in New Jersey which is taxes. Chris Christie would like to get some sort of tax cut on the books for himself, but that's unlikely given the fact that revenues are soft."