March 10, 2024

ICYMI - New Jersey Wakes Up to Headlines Showing Andy Kim is the Strongest Candidate to Win NJ Senate Primary

MOORESTOWN N.J. – This morning, New Jersey voters woke up to headlines reinforcing Andy Kim as the strongest Democrat to win the NJ Senate primary in June.

These headlines reinforce months of reporting of Murphy’s failure to connect with New Jersey Democratic voters, and her constant defense of corrupt political systems and well-connected close friends like Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

“Tammy Murphy won’t be able to hide behind her well-connected friends for much longer”, said Kim spokesperson Katey Sabo. “Headlines like this bring voters face to face with her actual record; 30 years as a registered Republican, six-figures in donations to anti-choice GOP candidates, and using an undemocratic system to bypass voters at a time when our democracy is already under attack from the same Republicans she once supported.”

Star Ledger (Opinion): Can Andy Kim play giant slayer?

Andy Kim Giant Slayer

Andy Kim seems to be inspiring something most political candidates around these parts rarely do, genuine enthusiasm. People actually like this guy and believe he’ll do a good job representing the great state of New Jersey in the United States Senate. Belief in a candidate for higher office is a nice change of pace.

The Murphy camp clearly thought they could waltz into the race, lean on the county bosses and cruise to the nomination, and against a lesser candidate she probably would have. But Kim is an excellent candidate.

He’s got the resume complete with public service, prior experience in elected office and the fact that he wasn’t a major Republican donor a decade ago. People aren’t excited to vote against Tammy Murphy, they seem to be excited to vote for Andy Kim. Even some of those aforementioned party leaders, who so publicly backed Murphy, are privately backing Kim. In the counties where endorsement votes are by secret ballot Kim is raking in the votes.

Star Ledger (Opinion): It’s no secret that Tammy Murphy’s a weak candidate

I guess they had to destroy democracy in order to save it. That was my impression after watching the proceedings of the Somerset County Democratic Committee last week at the VFW in Manville

One of the two top candidates for the Democratic nomination is the wife of the governor and one is not. Guess which one got preferential treatment in Somerset? If you guessed Tammy Murphy, you’re correct. As for her opponent, U.S. Rep. Andy Kim threw a big scare into the Murphy camp last month when he defeated Tammy Murphy at the convention in her own Monmouth County.

The most recent Monmouth Poll of New Jersey voters shows Kim received a response of 28 percent favorable with just 10 percent unfavorable. Murphy came in at 14 percent favorable with an unfavorable rating of 26 percent.

There’s a lesson in that for the party leaders. Watch out when you try to destroy democracy. It may end up destroying you.

Star Ledger (Opinion): Andy Kim explains how he’ll win, even in this rigged race.

As Rep. Andy Kim and First Lady Tammy Murphy battle for coveted county endorsements in the Senate primary, a pattern is taking hold. When it’s a fair fight, Kim wins. When it’s rigged by the bosses, he loses.

As for who would be strongest in November, the answer to that is Kim without doubt. He’s better qualified, by a mile. He’s won three times in a district that Trump won twice. He’s a much better speaker, with a more compelling personal story of service. And after his three campaigns, we know that Republicans have already dug deep into his closet. What will they find when they dig into Murphy’s.

Granted, it’s hard to imagine Republicans winning a statewide race with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. But the latest Monmouth poll, released last week, does point to some glaring weaknesses of the First Lady.

The poll didn’t measure the head-to-head contest, but it reinforced earlier polls showing Kim with a substantial lead. It found that Democrats are feeling the love for Kim, with 48 percent have “favorable” views of him, and a miniscule 2 percent “unfavorable.” Opinion on Murphy was split, with 24 percent “favorable” and 13 percent “unfavorable.”

The more striking finding concerns independent voters, who tend to decide general elections in New Jersey. Just over half say they have ruled out voting for Murphy, giving Republicans a rich target to harvest votes in the fall, should she take the nomination. Just 30 percent of independents said the same of Kim. He believes that’s because the party brand was soiled by the bribery indictment of Sen. Robert Menendez, who was embraced by the machines from the start, even after his first corruption trial ended with a split jury.

To me, Kim makes the more persuasive case. These contests in the machine counties are fake, and because of that, it was almost inevitable that Murphy would win this inside game. When it comes to the June vote, though, my money is still on Kim. It’s a secret ballot, after all.

Star Ledger: Nepo babies of N.J.

A son getting such a head-start because of a well-known father is what the internet first called a nepo baby. The term was initially coined for Hollywood royalty whose kids get a nepotism boost because, like in “Cheers,” everybody knows their name.

It’s a concept now front-and-center in Jersey politics as First Lady Tammy Murphy goes for a U.S. Senate seat and is being accused of having the path cleared for her in the Democratic primary because her husband happens to be the still-very-powerful Gov. Phil Murphy. Her chief opponent, U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, has made it a race in part by calling this the ultimate example of insider politics.

This is all playing out on a big stage as county parties hold conventions and votes in the spirited Senate battle between Murphy and Kim. The first lady’s opponents allege her husband’s standing in the party — and over the state budget — gives her an unfair advantage. Insiders recently told NJ Advance Media many Democrats are afraid to publicly back Kim, and two lawsuits — including one filed by Kim — are challenging the county line.