Jack Ciattarelli is down 16 points in the latest Monmouth University poll and to make matters worse, 61% of those polled said they had no opinion of him.
For a guy who campaigned for governor as he puts it, “up and down New Jersey, eight days a week”, it’s a problem so many voters don’t seem to know about.
Much of this has to do with the New Jersey media landscape.
New York and Philadelphia TV stations don’t really cover New Jersey politics, and newspaper coverage is paltry compared to just a decade ago.
But Ciattarelli’s immediate problem isn’t analyzing the media, it’s getting voters to know him and vote for him.
He thinks women are the key.
Studies show that women sometimes vote more frequently than men, so on the one hand, the strategy is wise.
Yet women also lean Democrat.
Ciattarelli has a plan for this.
Today, he launched a website built around the following theme:
“Phil Murphy doesn’t stand up for women. He stands on top of them.
Starring is Katie Brennan, who, as a Murphy campaign worker in 2017, said she was raped by a coworker.
The Brennan case made the news in 2018 and 2019. It seems like a different world, at least in terms of state policy. COVID did not exist and Phil Murphy was an anonymous character to ordinary people.
Nonetheless, the Brennan case sparked bipartisan legislative hearings, a short excerpt of which appears on Ciattarelli’s website. It shows Brennan testifying that her rape allegation was ignored by various agencies and individuals, including the Governor and the First Lady.
Let’s separate politics from real life.
The hearings showed the incompetence of Murphy’s associates in dealing with Brennan’s allegation, but not necessarily of the governor himself. Still, it is assumed that it is legitimate to blame Murphy for the failings of his staff.
It’s also worth noting that criminal charges against Brennan’s alleged assailant have never been filed.
Some of the other points on the website are not new.
One was raised over four years ago and relates to Murphy’s tenure at Goldman Sachs Asia. The allegation, which the current governor denied at the time, was that Goldman Sachs had invested in a Taiwanese company known to exploit workers.
The website also focuses on reports dating back to 2018 of footballers on a women’s team that Murphy bought to live in deplorable conditions. At the time, the governor said the players deserved better.
More recent reports of abuse at Edna Mahan Correctional Center, the state’s only women’s prison, are also mentioned. The state says the prison will be closed.
The website just popped up today, but the theme that Murphy treats women badly is nothing new. It surfaced, in fact, when Ciattarelli introduced her running mate Diane Allen a few weeks ago outside Edna Mahan’s doors.
Nothing subtle in the symbolism.
That day Allen said a lot about what’s on the website.
Clearly, Team Jack is convinced that there is political havoc to be made with women.
One obvious question is how do Murphy’s alleged faults – some of which are not new – align with the Governor’s support for things like equal pay for equal work and the expansion of the services of the government. health for women?
Maybe the next poll will tell us.
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