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Poll: The Murphy Lockdown — Terrific or Troubling?

Phil Murphy seems to have the Democratic gubernatorial nomination sewn up more than a year ahead of the election. What do you think of his early-bird special?

By assiduously courting Democratic county chairs across northern New Jersey, Phil Murphy has sewn up the backing of north Jersey powerbrokers, leading many observers to view him as the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor in 2017— seven months before the primary. That’s the way it appeared to state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) — widely considered to be a near-certain candidate — who quit the race after Murphy racked up the endorsements. Ditto: state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union), who had some less-than-kind-words for the process.

What does this say about New Jersey politics?

  • It demonstrates once again that New Jersey is basically corrupt. Party bosses have way too much power if they can just pick a candidate for governor in some backroom.

  • It raises troubling questions about money and politics. By self-funding his campaign — and donating to local races — Murphy is buying the nomination. We supposedly have public financing of gubernatorial campaigns but obviously, we need to update the law.

  • It’s sad. Voters should have a chance to determine candidates through their policy positions, not the wishes of a few politicos. That doesn’t allow voters to pick someone who really represents them to run the state. The position of governor of New Jersey is very powerful and should be selected based on specific policy proposals.

  • To think candidacies are decided any other way is just naïve. Rather than have a fractured and expensive primary battle, the party needs to coalesce around a candidate that its leaders think can win.

  • It’s a long way to November 2017. And there are still other Democrats thinking of running in June. A lot can happen between now and then.

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