Q. Nationally, what can we conclude off Tuesday? Does it still look like a blue wave or has that been dampened a bit?
Roginsky: I am out of the absolute prediction business since Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. I will say that the concern lots of us had about not having Democrats nominated in targeted California districts due to their primary rules were assuaged on Tuesday, luckily.
DuHaime: I’m not sure Tuesday’s results tell us anything new. The first midterm is always very difficult for the president’s party, almost always resulting in lost seats. The historic number of retirements on the Republican side and the anti-Trump energy among Democrats adds to what is an already challenging political environment. Republicans already know this, and the smart Republican candidates have been preparing to run solid campaigns in the face of a tough environment.
Q. Earlier this week, House Speaker Paul Ryan kiboshed Trump’s claim that the FBI embedded a spy into his campaign and warned the president not to pardon himself. Does it matter?
Roginsky: It doesn’t matter. Trump supporters and his media echo-chamber will keep insisting on it being a fact, despite the fact that it is an absolutely ridiculous allegation. Ryan will still allow charlatans like U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., to obstruct any real House investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And Rudy Giuliani will still be running around on national television, trying to convince an exhausted American public that the president of the United States can pardon himself for any criminal activity, including the murder of the FBI director. If I were reading what I just wrote a decade ago, I would think this were a great creative writing exercise. Sadly, it’s reality.
DuHaime: Responding to your question, no it won’t matter. There is a very short list of people who truly influence the president’s thinking, and Ryan’s not on it. I don’t know why the president would want to tweet about pardoning himself. In PR, that would be reinforcing a negative perception. Julie is right that the president’s supporters and conservative media truly do believe there is a great deal of overreach by the Justice Department in this investigation, and they clearly will not stand idly by and not vocally make that argument.
Q. It is getting very stormy in Trenton. It looks like Gov. Murphy will get only a portion of the $1.7 billion in tax hikes he’s proposed. How damaging will that be to his agenda?
Roginsky: I know that conversations between the governor’s office and the Legislature are ongoing. Let’s see what kind of budget is signed into law later this month before speculating about its impact on the governor’s agenda.
DuHaime: Julie, our whole (unpaid) job here is to speculate on things for which we only have partial information. That’s what makes this so fun. The answer is yes, it certainly will hurt or at least delay the implementation of the governor’s agenda. The governor put forth a very aggressive agenda, parts of which came with considerably more government spending. Obviously, he needs these proposed tax increases to go through to fund that increased spending.
Q. Let’s wrap up with yet more informed speculation: With about three weeks to go in this legislative session, the state Senate still hasn’t held a hearing on legalizing marijuana. Is the weed initiative in trouble?
Roginsky: The Legislature is out of session in three weeks, so there’s plenty of time to take up marijuana legalization. Grab a bag of Doritos, get some Phish going on your radio and settle in for a debate on this issue. In my (unpaid) professional opinion, it will happen eventually.
DuHaime: I would be very surprised if this were approved by the end of June. There are still some very influential legislators on the Democrat side who are very hesitant to move forward with this legalization.
They’re foes in New Jersey politics. But they’re also friends. Julie Roginsky is a Democratic strategist. Michael DuHaime is a Republican strategist.
Can Americans still have a sensible and friendly political discussion across the partisan divide? The answer is yes, and we intend to prove it. Julie Roginsky, a Democrat, and Mike DuHaime, a Republican, are consultants who have worked on opposite teams for their entire careers yet have remained friends throughout. Here, they discuss the week’s events, with prompts from Tom Moran, editorial page editor of The Star-Ledger.
Q. Let’s start with Tuesday’s primary results in New Jersey: U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., won, but 38 percent of Democrats voted for an unknown challenger who didn’t spend a dime. Is it conceivable he’ll lose in November?
Roginsky: Anything is conceivable, but I am not particularly worried about Sen. Menendez’s prospects. First and foremost, I doubt that voters in New Jersey are in any mood to send a Trump-supporting drug company executive like Bob Hugin to Washington this November. Second, Sen. Menendez also didn’t spend a dime on this primary, while having the kitchen sink thrown at him to the tune of millions of dollars by his Republican opponent.
DuHaime: Democrats should take nothing for granted this year. Republicans are energized by Hugin’s campaign and Tuesday’s results. His campaign is being aggressive; they’re advertising early, and clearly it will be one of the most well-funded campaigns we have seen in New Jersey.
Roginsky: Hugin got many fewer votes (167,000) in the Republican primary than Menendez received (260,000) in the Democratic primary. So I would guess the energy is with the Democrats this year, as we have seen all over the country in special elections. And most of those places aren’t even as blue as New Jersey.
Q. In the 11th …read more
Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News