When did blue NJ last vote for a Republican president?
If you're one of those New Jerseyans with a Trump sign on your lawn, it might feel discouraging to know your guy stands virtually no chance of taking Jersey's 14 electoral votes. Long considered a blue (Democratic) state, the Garden State is not exactly a battleground. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson poll on October 18th gives the Jersey vote to Clinton over Trump 51% to 40%.
Yet we elected then re-elected Chris Christie, a Republican. And we elected then re-elected (even if by a razor thin margin) Christine Todd Whitman. So this blue state doesn't always vote blue. Same for presidential elections. When was the last time blue Jersey went red in a presidential contest?
1988 in picking George Herbert Walker Bush. Before that we gave our electoral votes twice to Ronald Reagan. In fact, from 1968 straight through 1988, New Jersey chose the Republican presidential candidate every time. There was another red run farther back from 1948 through 1956, and again from 1916 through 1928. Granted after George H. W. Bush won in '88, we turned our backs on him in favor of Bill Clinton in 1992 and Jersey has voted blue ever since. But these things are cyclical. In fact, from 1916 through today, New Jersey voted 12 times for the Democratic candidate yet 13 times for the Republican candidate. Could the polls be wrong, especially in light of FBI Director James Comey's email announcement? Could this be the election where Jersey goes back to red for awhile?
Also interesting to look at is how many times Jersey's choice ending up being the nation's choice. In the last hundred years, 25 presidential elections since 1916, New Jersey went with the ultimate winner 80% of the time. Only 5 times did Jersey's choice for president not assume the Oval Office. That's not a bad track record. What will happen this time? We will know on Nov. 8.