NJ wasn’t always a blue state
We think of New Jersey as a blue state. Certainly it is at present with the whopper win for Joe Biden. He’s projected to win our state and is currently at nearly 61% of the vote. With the electoral college system, New Jersey is of course a winner-take-all state of 17 electoral votes. It has to make a Trump voter feel disheartened to know their vote seems to only count in spirit. Just as a Democratic voter would feel in Wyoming or Utah.
The fact that the day after the election we have no clear winner and are waiting for this to be decided by a handful of 'battleground' states speaks to that feeling of futility. Yet for as long as we have heard that New Jersey is a 'blue' state, it hasn't always been the case. Over the centuries New Jersey has gone back and forth. Granted, with the 2020 presidential election we now have the longest running streak of a Democratic candidate winning, but it surely will turn 'red' again if you look at history.
New Jersey has gone for a Democratic presidential candidate every time since Bill Clinton first ran in 1992. That's 28 years. But did you know prior to that we voted for the senior Bush in 1988, Reagan twice in 1984 and 1980, Ford in 1976, and Nixon in both 1972 and 1968. Yes, so-called 'blue' New Jersey went red for 20 years.
Before that it went 'blue' twice; Johnson in 1964 and Kennedy in 1960. Back to 'red' again in 1956 and 1952 for Eisenhower and 1948 for Dewey. We were 'blue' in the Roosevelt years of 1944, 1940, 1936 and 1932. Then go far enough back to the years 1916, 1920, 1924 and 1928 and you had 'red' Jersey voting for Hughes, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.
We will stop there. But the point is clear. As much as we think of New Jersey as forever a 'blue' state squashing the dreams of Republicans, we're not standing far enough back to see the full timeline. New Jersey will again one day vote for a Republican candidate for president. If I'm lucky in 2024 it will be John Kasich.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.