New Jersey Voters Will Choose Between Pro-Abortion Gov. Corzine, Chris Christie

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Voters Will Choose Between Pro-Abortion Gov. Corzine, Chris Christie

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 3
, 2009

Trenton, NJ ( — After the Republican gubernatorial primary election on Tuesday, New Jersey voters will now have the opportunity to choose between two candidates this November in one of the handful of off-year elections. They will pick between pro-abortion Gov. Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, who ran as a pro-life candidate.

Christie, a former U.S. attorney, defeated pro-life former mayor Steve Lonegan.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Christie led with 55 percent of the vote compared to 42 percent for Lonegan. State Assemblyman Rick Merkt, a Republican who also ran in the race, received three percent.

Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, pledged to get behind Christie, telling supporters to help Christie.

Christie, at his victory party on Tuesday night, wasted no time in contrasting himself with Corzine, who has earned strong opposition from pro-life advocates.

“I think he’s a good man and I think he’s well intentioned, but he is simply wrong for this job,” Christie said. “For the past four years Jon Corzine has made bad choices."

Recent polls showing Corzine trailing Christie in a general election
matchup and his approval ratings have been on the decline thanks to the slumping economy in the state.

Corzine won the Democratic primary with 77 percent of the vote against token opposition.

Corzine said that New Jersey voters would face a “very clear choice between very different sets of values and very different visions for the future” when they go to the polls in November.

In a Research 2000/Daily Kos poll released last week, Christie led Corzine 46 percent to 39 percent, while 15 percent of voters were undecided. More than half of those surveyed – 55 percent – gave Corzine an unfavorable rating with just 36 percent viewing him favorably. Another nine percent had no opinion.

Deal Hudson, a Catholic writer, has commented on the New Jersey race and says it could give hope to pro-life advocates who are still smarting from the election of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

He said Christie’s lead over Corzine is remarkable in the post-Obama political climate when pro-life candidates, like Christie, are supposed to be passé," he says.
"In New Jersey 42 percent of voters are Catholic, but the Republicans haven’t nominated a Catholic for governor since 1973," Hudson explains. "Whether New Jersey Catholics will rally around a candidate like Christie remains to be seen."

The last Catholic governor of New Jersey was James E. McGreevey who received a majority of the Catholic vote in spite of pro-abortion policy positions.

Hudson says that, while there has been some question about Christie’s pro-life bona fides, he is thoroughly pro-life.

"You might assume from the reputation and recent history of New Jersey politics that there must be something questionable about Christie’s pro-life position that explains his present popularity," Hudson says.

Hudson says the potential general election matchup between Christie and Corzine is huge for the pro-life community.

"Another vulnerability stems from his position on life issues," Hudson explains. "Corzine made headlines a few months ago when New Jersey filed a lawsuit to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions."

"The election of Chris Christie in 2010 would put a sudden end to all the talk about the need for Republicans to distance themselves from their pro-life constituencies," he concludes.

Christie was nominated in 2001 by President George W. Bush as the U.S. attorney general for the District of New Jersey.

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