Rasmussen: Obama lead over McCain down to 5% in New Jersey poll

Sen. John McCain's lead over Sen. Barack Obama is down to 5% in New Jersey, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll issued this evening.

The telephone survey of New Jersey voters, taken Monday night, shows Obama ahead of Republican candidate John McCain 44% to 39%.

Just last month, Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, held a 48% to 39% lead over his GOP rival.

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Progressive group takes Bush-bash on the road

CWA leader Greg Payton of Newark stands against the backdrop of the Bush Legacy Tour bus: Politicker photoCWA leader Greg Payton of Newark stands against the backdrop of the Bush Legacy Tour bus: Politicker photo 

NEWARK - Driven by members of a progressive coalition called Americans United for Change, the Bush Legacy tour rolled into New Jersey this week, reminding residents in both Newark and Trenton of what the group sees as the wreckage of America’s 43rd president.

An interactive museum on wheels highlighting the war in Iraq, Katrina, the environment, skyrocketing oil and gas prices, and Constitutional abuses - the 45-ft. long, 28-ton clean bio-diesel fueled bus parked next to Bears Stadium on its way down from Bridgeport, Connecticut.

"We kicked off the Bush Legacy tour in Washington, D.C., last month (June 24) and we’ll continue traveling coast to coast throughout the summer and fall making 150 stops," said Americans for Change spokeswoman Julie Blust, who stood with local supporters from New Jersey Citizen Action and the Communications Workers of America.

***For PolitickerNJ.com's interview with Julie Blust, please go to http://www.brightcove.tv/channel.jsp?channel=463872426

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Surrounded by allies, Corzine authorizes $3.9 billion in schools construction

Gov. Jon Corzine signs the new schools construction bill at the Oliver Street School: Politicker photoGov. Jon Corzine signs the new schools construction bill at the Oliver Street School: Politicker photo 

NEWARK - Gov. Jon Corzine returned to the Ironbound this afternoon to sign a bill authorizing $3.9 billion in borrowing for new schools construction, which he said would fulfill the state’s constitutional duty to provide a thorough and efficient education, and create construction and other jobs.
    
Of an estimated 27 school projects statewide, six of the targeted schools are in the East Ward Ironbound, where the governor in late May announced his commitment to the legislation.

The six Ironbound schools were built before 1900 and are all overcrowded, according to the governor.

“We are doing what is right under the law and doing what is right for the state,” said Corzine, who praised the work of Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Newark), and others who banded together to pass the borrowing measure, which passed by one vote above the threshold in the Senate and three votes in the Assembly.

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Rob Andrews: Seriously, I’m not running

Again and Again, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) has said that he will not run for re-election to his House seat after challenging Sen. Frank Lautenberg in last month's primary.

But no matter how many times he says it, speculation - and in some cases hopefulness -- persists that Rob's name will be on the ballot instead of his wife, Camille, who is currently the Democratic placeholder.

Asked whether his promise not to run again was unequivocal, Andrews, who's held the seat since 1990, said, "Yes... as I've said since April."

In an effort to put an end to the speculation, PolitickerNJ.com asked Andrews if he would write and sign a letter to the Clerk of the House stating that, effective January 3, he would resign his seat no matter what. Such a letter would be reversible, but it could further dispel rumors of Andrews's impending return.

Andrews declined.

"It's not necessary or appropriate," he said.

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Payne doesn't rule out a 2009 comeback

Former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark), right, with Gov. Jon Corzine today in the IronboundFormer Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark), right, with Gov. Jon Corzine today in the Ironbound 

NEWARK - Former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark) today wouldn’t rule out a return run for his old Assembly seat.

"If I ran, it would be for the Assembly," said Payne, who was in attendance at Governor Jon Corzine’s schools construction bill signing at the Oliver Street School in the Ironbound.

"But right now, I don’t have any intentions of running," Payne added.

Thrown off the line last year when he insisted on challenging for Sharpe James’s vacated Senate seat in the 29th District against establishment choice and eventual winner M. Teresa Ruiz, Payne would have to run against Assemblyman Albert Coutinho or Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer.

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Lautenberg leads Zimmer in new poll; Corzine approvals low

Lautenberg leads Zimmer in new poll; Corzine approvals low

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg leads Republican challenger Dick Zimmer 49%-36%, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released today.

The poll also shows Gov. Jon Corzine approval rating at only 27%, while 40% disapprove. That’s a slight drop from last month.

The poll comes after two other recent polls from other organizations showed Lautenberg leading Zimmer by large margins, although a Rasmussen poll from early last month – just after both won their respective primaries-- showed the two in a statistical dead heat.

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Freedom's Watch targets Stender, Adler in robocalls

Two Democratic state lawmakers running for Congress are being targeted by a new series of robocalls about gas prices from Freedom’s Watch, the conservative-leaning advocacy group. The calls, which will begin today, will go out to residents represented by Assemblywoman Linda Stender and Sen. John Adler.

“Hi, this is an emergency gas price alert from Freedom’s Watch. Did you know New Jersey gas taxes add more than 14 cents to every gallon of gas? 14 cents!” an announcer intones on the calls going out to voters in Stender and Adler’s districts. The call then asks what Stender and Adler are doing to address the issue. “Nothing,” announcer says.

“If we can’t depend on Linda Stender to stand up for us today, when can we count on her?” asks the call targeting Stender.

The robocalls will be going out to homes throughout the week. It is the fourth set of calls Freedom’s Watch has released slamming Democratic House incumbents and candidates. The organization just wrapped up its first radio advertisement campaign targeting Democratic incumbents.

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Stender raises $1.54 million

Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union) raised just under $500,000 for her congressional campaign during the last fundraising quarter, bringing her total raised so far to $1.54 million.

Stender has $1.2 million cash-on-hand to run for the open seat of retiring Republican Rep. Mike Ferguson against State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon).  The race is one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) top priorities this election cycle. 

“I’m amazed by the overwhelming amount of support we continue to receive for our campaign,” Stender said in a statement. “New Jersey families have shown they want and need change. The failed policies of the Bush Administration have led our country in the wrong direction, and I’m running for Congress to get us back on the right track.”

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

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Op-Ed

How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >

Contributors

(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

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