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NJ Jobless Rate Could Be Major Governor’s Race Issue [AUDIO]

New Jersey’s jobless rate now stands at 9.3 percent, which is much higher than most other states, and if it does not start dropping significantly, it could soon become a focal point in this year’s gubernatorial campaign.

Unemployment Line
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

“As long as New Jersey’s unemployment rate remains higher than other states in the region I think it is fodder for the democrats come the fall,” says Montclair State university political science professor Dr. Brigid Harrison.

She says democrats will argue the governor’s policies overall haven’t had the effect of lessening the unemployment crisis in this state.

“For people who are unemployed or even for people who are under-employed,” says Dr. Harrison. “This is the most salient issue. This is the only issue that matters, and it has a ripple effect throughout the economy and throughout families and communities.”

Will It Make the Race Competitive?

As for whether or not this could really tighten the race or not in the fall, Dr. Harrison says, “I’m not sure that there is a magic bullet here in terms of decreasing the governor’s popularity.”

She also points out unemployment is clearly an issue for organized labor to become involved with, so expect organized labor to solidly back the democratic party in the fall, as the presumptive gubernatorial nominee, State Senator Barbara Buono, tries to chip away at Governor Christie’s lead in the polls in the months to come.

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