Tags: Jon Runyan

He Picked Up and Neutralized the Democrats’ Blitz


I think New Jersey Democrat John Adler is finding his path to reelection… blocked.

The lead has switched in the race for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.  Republican challenger Jon Runyan now leads Democratic incumbent John Adler by 48% to 43% among likely voters in this district.  In a poll released on September 30, Adler held a nominal 42% to 39% edge.

Runyan has a sizable 50% to 37% advantage among independents.  Last month, Adler had a 43% to 32% edge with this voting bloc.  Runyan has also widened his lead in the Ocean County portion of the district to 54% to 37%, and nearly evened the playing field in Burlington County and Cherry Hill – trailing Adler there by just 3 points, 44% to 47%.

“There was some concern by Republicans that a so-called Tea Party candidate would hurt their nominee’s chances.  If anything, it may be hurting Adler,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll asked half of the respondents the vote question with Pete DeStefano identified as the New Jersey Tea Party candidate and half were offered a generic “other candidate” as a third choice.  Either way it was asked, all third party candidates combined receive no more than 5% of the vote.

Furthermore, 51% of likely voters have heard about the controversy surrounding the Tea Party candidate, who according to published reports has been aided by Democrats close to the Adler campaign.  Among those aware of the controversy, about half (49%) think that Adler’s campaign was involved in the DeStefano candidacy.  And among those who think Adler’s people were involved, 72% say that it has made them think worse of the Congressman.

Tags: John Adler , Jon Runyan

Another Batch of NRCC Young Guns Comes to Washington


Observations from the latest NRCC Young Guns event:

  • Jon Runyan, GOP candidate in New Jersey’s 3rd district and a former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman, stands out in a crowd. I think he could hold my head in the palm of one hand. He notices that his rival, Democrat John Adler, is trying to hold up his vote against Obamacare as proof that he’s a moderate or independent, but Runyan says that argument isn’t plausible when you vote with Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time, and points to Adler’s 16 years of reliably liberal voting in the state senate as further evidence. “Look at the mess in Trenton he helped leave for our governor,” he said. Speaking of the governor, Chris Christie has campaigned for Runyan and the candidate hopes to be joined by him again; at first glance, there may not be a stage in the state big enough for Runyan and Christie.
  • I liked this observation from Mike Kelly, running against Kathy Dahlkemper in Pennsylvania’s 3rd district: “The only difference between the voters in this district and me is that my name is on the ballot.”
  • Mo Brooks aims to be the first Republican elected in his Alabama district since 1868. The district is currently represented by Parker Griffith, a Democrat until he switched parties earlier this cycle; Brooks won the three-way GOP primary over Griffith and another Republican easily. He says Democrats in the district were depressed when one of their own left them, then were fired up about the chance to run against him, and now that Brooks is the nominee and leading healthily in this conservative district, “they’re depressed again.”
  • Nan Hayworth, who just won her primary in New York’s 19th district, apologizes when she cites the Public Policy Polling survey of her district commissioned by Daily Kos. I figure no apology is needed when citing a poll showing her narrowly leading the Democrat incumbent, John Hall. She describes the mood in her district as “anger, tinged with desperation . . . But now there’s some excitement that there is a chance to change it.”
  • Sandy Adams has a lot of factors going in her favor in her race against Suzanne Kosmas in Florida’s 24th district, but probably none more powerful than the district’s sense of betrayal. Kosmas ran as a fiscal moderate and was helped by an Obama wave; in 2008, the Democratic presidential candidate was pledging to save manned spaceflight. Kosmas defied her district by voting for health-care reform, and many figured she had traded her vote to the Obama administration for some sort of deal to save Space Coast jobs. Instead, President Obama’s space-policy changes are effectively ending manned spaceflight*, disastrous news for workers in her district.
  • I ran into Bobby Schilling, the once-longshot Illinois Republican whom I mentioned as a potential upset early in this cycle. He thanked me for that early expression of confidence in his chances, and I told him no thanks were necessary; 50 percent of that assessment stemmed from the opportunistic, pugnacious style of his campaign and the other 50 percent reflected the fact that his rival, incumbent Democrat Phil Hare, is such a [coarse term that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush]. Schilling laughed and noted that Hare’s personality is not wearing well in the district. He said that the two key counties in the state’s 17th district are Rock Island and Macon; Schilling feels he has a bit of an advantage compared to other recent GOP House candidates in this district because of his roots in Rock Island. He added his campaign has made 120,000 live calls to voters in the district so far.

The NRCC now has 75 candidates at the “Young Gun” level, which is a threshold that varies by district. In short, this is the NRCC saying, “These folks have promise and are running good campaigns.”

* This is Adams’ assessment; Rand Simberg disagrees.

Tags: Bobby Schilling , Jon Runyan , Mo Brooks , Nan Hayworth , Sandy Adams

Democrat John Adler, Polling in the Mid-30s


It’s not as eye-opening as the recent polls showing GOP challengers leading Democratic incumbents in the House, but Jon Runyan has to feel pretty good about this early poll:

U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) holds a slender lead over Republican challenger Jon Runyan, among all registered voters according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released this morning. 

Adler leads Runyan 31% to 25%, with third party candidate Peter DeStefano polling at 4%. Thirty-four percent of respondents say they “don’t know” who they support, while another 6% say they will not vote in the Congressional race.

In a mano-a-mano, Adler leads Runyan 35% to 28%, according to the poll, with 23% in the “don’t know” category and 13% not voting… The poll has a margin of error of +/-4.8 percentage points.

“It is extremely hard in August to predict who will really vote in November,” said poll director Dr. David Redlawsk. Thus, while a simple likely voter screen suggests that Adler does better, we do not put a lot of stock in such a screen at this point. It remains too early to be sure who will be most motivated to turn out on election day.” 

The poll reports that Adler leads among all registered voters, but Runyan pulls just ahead (36 to 35%) among voters “who are paying the most attention to the campaign.”

These strike me as pretty weak numbers for an incumbent, even a first-termer.

Tags: John Adler , Jon Runyan

Wine, Mini-Golf, Hip-Hop, and Jon Runyan. Now That’s an Event!


Jon Runyan is interrupting his campaign for Congress in New Jersey for a charity benefit:

Big guy, mini-golf

Jon Runyan hosts the Score for the Cure mini-golf challenge to benefit the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Comcast Center (17th & JFK).

It costs $20 to join the former Eagles tackle, who’s running for Congress in New Jersey, for nine holes of mini-golf.

Philly hip-hop pioneer Schoolly D performs at the event, after which there will be a wine-tasting.

Tags: Jon Runyan

Another Suspicious ‘Tea Party’ Candidate in New Jersey


Elsewhere on NRO, Jesse Naiman has a nice profile of Jon Runyan, the former Philadelphia Eagle running for Congress as a Republican in New Jersey, seeking to replace Rep. John Adler.

Apparently there’s a recent odd development in this race, and those noted right-wingers on the Star Ledger editorial board — for those of you not familiar with New Jersey, I’m being sarcastic — are noticing:

Who the heck is Peter DeStefano?

Well, he claims to be an independent tea party loyalist. But the Runyan camp believes he is a fake, an Adler plant designed to siphon Runyan’s support. They might have a point: No organized tea party group had ever heard of DeStefano before he announced his candidacy.

DeStefano says “it’s ridiculous” to suggest he is working with the Adler campaign. He calls himself a former Reagan Republican. But as the evidence piles up, he sounds more like an Adler Republican. Although the Adler campaign insists it is not behind DeStefano’s candidacy, longtime Adler supporters and donors signed DeStefano’s petition to get on the ballot.

“No staff member on John Adler’s campaign has contacted Peter DeStefano or his campaign,” Adler campaign manager Geoff Mackler said. That may be true. But campaigns can use free agents to do dirty work, too.

. . . When asked about his campaign, DeStefano said he had been “going to diners and Wawa, telling people I’m running for Congress.”

So, in an election involving tens of thousands of voters, with control of the House of Representatives and a nation’s legislative agenda at stake, DeStefano wants voters to believe he’s making his march to Washington one warmed-over chili dog at a time.

Even with a 32-ounce soft drink, that’s a little hard to swallow.

Tags: John Adler , Jon Runyan

The Good News for Republicans in the Latest Fund-Raising Numbers


Looking around some more House races, there are a bunch of GOP challengers who are fundraising powerhouses similar to North Carolina’s Ilario Pantano, who’s outraising a longtime incumbent almost 2 to 1.

In Ohio’s 1st congressional district, Steve Chabot has more cash on hand than Democratic incumbent Steve Dreihaus. Republican Steve Stivers (yes, there are a lot of Steves in Ohio) has a nearly $300,000 cash-on-hand edge over the incumbent, Mary Jo Kilroy.

The self-financing of Rich Iott in Ohio’s 9th district is keeping him close to Marcy Kaptur, and Tom Ganley has self-financed his way to a big advantage in the 13th district over Betty Sue Sutton.

In an open-seat race in Pennsylvania’s 6th district, Pat Meehan is outpacing Democrat Brian Lentz. Between his $300,000 or so in self-financing and his $300,000 or so in donations, and his pre-existing name recognition, I have little doubt that former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan will be able to keep pace with Democratic incumbent Rep. John Adler.

When Cory Gardner has more than three-quarters of a million cash-on-hand, I figure he’ll be able to keep pace with Rep. Betsy Markey – it’s large, rural, GOP-leaning district in Colorado. Similarly, North Dakota’s a pretty inexpensive state, so Rick Berg’s $752,000 should provide a good bang for the buck up against incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy, with his $1.7 million.

Then there are bits of news like this: “North Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elaine Marshall has less than $200,000 in campaign cash. That’s $6 million less than her Republican opponent, Sen. Richard Burr.”

Tags: Cory Gardner , Jon Runyan , Pat Meehan , Rich Iott , Richard Burr , Rick Berg , Steve Chabot , Steve Stivers , Tom Ganley

Jon Runyan’s Get-Out-the-Vote Guys Must Be Other Offensive Linemen


This doesn’t count for a ton, but I like the idea that a GOP challenger’s ground game is up to speed: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, Jon Runyan, the former Philadelphia Eagled All-Pro guard had a bit more than 14,000 votes in his GOP primary; incumbent Democrat John Adler had about 10,000 in his.

Sure, Adler won by a wider margin, 75 percent to 25 percent, while Runyan won 60 percent to 40 percent. And sure, there was more interest in the somewhat competitive GOP primary. But the name of the game is to get your supporters out to vote on Election Day, and I wonder if John Adler’s get-out-the-vote operation was a little sleepy today.

Tags: John Adler , Jon Runyan

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