We need a 21-County strategy in New Jersey. Outlook can only get better.
Eight of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. went for Barack Obama in Tuesday's election, including Somerset County, NJ.
Only two of the richest went for Romney, and they're both in New Jersey - blue New Jersey.
Morris County, by census figures the 9th wealthiest in the country, came out for Romney 55-44%. It will surprise no Hunterdon resident that the split was greater there in the 5th richest; 59-40% Romney.
Class warfare was a recurrent theme in the 2012 election; the Republicans accused the Democrats of it, while they themselves played it whenever possible, to distract voters from what their standard bearer had to say about 47% of his fellow citizens, or the nearly party-wide sensibility that if people lose their homes trying to pay for uncovered pre-existing conditions, or are otherwise falling through America's cracks, it's their own fault for being lazy and shiftless.
And yet, plenty of wealthy Americans with their heads screwed on straight returned an imperfect model president back to the White House over a soulless businessman who celebrated their class as though it was the only one that mattered.
Hunterdon and Morris counties share a common border, and with crimson wastelands Warren and Sussex counties - not quite as wealthy, plenty red - form the northwest corner of New Jersey, where Democrats are electectable only in pockets, where some of the best Democratic candidates who run meet defeat. These counties abut 7th wealthiest Somerset, which voted for Obama 52-47%, had the largest Obama bump in D party affiliation in 2008 and is undergoing demographic changes with an influx of people from from the more progressive north and east that those other counties will surely soon see more of.
All of this argues for an initiative to link the best Democratic strategists and activists in New Jersey's northwest together, along with party leaders, to share ideas and best practices and plan together for beefier, smarter and better-funded campaigns down, and eventually up ballot. It's the kind of thing that should be obvious if Democrats were still thinking like they were during Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy. It's 21-County strategy, and it's about time.
Shout-out to my people in NW New Jersey ....