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Why Doug Forrester, R-NJ, LOST and LOST Badly
11.07.02 | Rick Shaftan

Posted on 11/07/2002 4:19:30 PM PST by Coleus

WHY FORRESTER LOST - AND LOST BADLY…

Rick Shaftan

Liberal “experts” attempt to alibi Doug Forrester’s humiliating defeat saying it was because he was “too” conservative even though across the nation, conservatives like Norm Coleman, Jim Talent, Saxby Chambliss, Wayne Allard and of course Scott Garrett won unexpected or larger than expected victories.

Forrester lost badly because he never connected with New Jersey’s largest group of swing voters - “Reagan Democrats” - conservative Catholics who live along Routes 3, 17, 46 and the Parkway. And Republicans will continue to lose as long as they believe that being pro-abortion is the only way to win these voters.

Instead, judging by the campaigns and candidates Republicans have nominated over the past decade, one would think that the “swing” voter in New Jersey is a liberal woman whose can trace her ancestry to the Mayflower. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

No Republican has won a vote majority in this state since George Bush got 55 percent against Michael Dukakis in 1988. And in that time, conservative Catholic towns like Secaucus, Bloomfield, Lyndhurst and Clifton have gone from producing 3-2 Republican majorities in statewide elections to 3-2 Democratic majorities.

Now if you listen to the “experts” who have blown election after election in this state, you would think that the way to bring back Republican victories in these towns is for Republicans to move even farther to the left. To the contrary, for Republicans to win in politically marginal areas like New Jersey, they must move back to the conservative base, embrace conservative issues - not run from them - and energize the base. Consider this.

1. While Republicans around the country were making the case for GOP Senate control by attacking liberal judges, Doug Forrester actually said he would vote against conservative judges supported by President Bush - and never once attacked Lautenberg for supporting a host of leftist jurists, including those who took “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance.

2. Republican Party bosses and academic “experts” like David Rebovich say that conservative pro-Life voters “have no place to go” and therefore can be ignored by Republicans. But many pro-Life voters are Democrats (ditto for gun owners). Forrester, ignoring reality, got into a well-publicized spat with New Jersey Right to Life and saw his lead among pro-Life voters drop from 56-32 to 46-38 in two weeks, without any increase among pro-abortion voters. No Republican should win less than 80 percent of the pro-Life vote. If Forrester had won 80 percent of the pro-Life vote, he would be Senator-Elect today.

3. No one has yet explained how “right-wing extremist” Scott Garrett won a higher percentage than Forrester in the allegedly “socially moderate” 5th Congressional District. And don’t look for the answer in the press or from Dr. Rebovich, who always seems to be wrong - they’re still in shock.

4. Inexplicably, Forrester not once referred to Lautenberg as a liberal (neither did Haytaian in 1994 - another losing race in spite of a massive national GOP trend), even though the former and future Senator had among the highest liberal ratings in the Senate - always in the 95-100 percent range. Polling indicates that conservatives outnumber liberals in New Jersey by 2-1. But the Forrester campaign seems to have foolishly believed those numbers were reversed and that they, in fact, were really running in Greenwich Village.

5. Our polling in a variety of towns indicated a carefully targeted Democratic campaign to identify Forrester as a “right-wing conservative” among liberals. Forrester’s defensive response was to tell conservatives that he was in fact a liberal, rather than to tell conservatives that Lautenberg was one. If you’re going to be attacked as a conservative, you might as well get the upside. And that didn’t happen because Forrester was more afraid of being attacked than energizing the conservative Republican base that, outside of the 5th CD, stayed home.

6. Forrester was the only Senate candidate targeted for defeat by Sarah Brady who lost - coincidentally also the only one who never filled out an NRA questionnaire and therefore was not on the little orange postcard that the NRA sent out in other states (or the one sent promoting Scott Garrett).

7. Forrester focused his message on “integrity” (whatever that means - we are dealing with politicians here) and the “debate on debates.” By highlighting Lautenberg’s supposedly being afraid to debate they only lowered expectations. When Lautenberg held his own (all he had to do was not drool on TV) Forrester lost any remaining rationale for his candidacy.

8. The centerpiece of the post-Torricelli campaign was an endorsement by “Uncle Tom” Kean, who has not endorsed a winning candidate in a competitive race since 1985 (unless you count Bill Clinton in 1996 or Rush Holt in 1998). The Forrester campaign should have looked at Kean’s record back in 1987 at the height of his “popularity” when he endorsed 10 GOP State Senate candidates in tight races and all 10 lost (he also “un-endorsed” 3 GOP Senators, all of whom won).

Republicans continue to lose because of the leftward drift, not in spite of it. And an even bigger problem is the perception that the party is anti-Catholic. Running “Republicans” who continue to emphasize how pro-abortion they are doesn’t help. Even non-pro-Life Catholics perceive “pro-choice” Republicans as having latent anti-Catholic prejudices. The election returns back that up.

It’s been 30 years since Republicans ran a Roman Catholic in a state that is majority Catholic - that’s just dumb. And the drop in GOP percentages is not just a New Jersey problem - with “pro-choice Republicans” at the helm, Republicans have taken a major nosedive in Catholic suburbs from Boston to St. Paul in the last decade. And this will continue as long as the party is controlled by a small group of elitist rich (and of course non-Catholic) liberals who fit the stereotype of what Democrats say Republicans are.

With another great Republican election night passing New Jersey by, maybe it is time for New Jersey Republicans to follow the rest of the nation’s lead rather than defy it and move back to the right. Again and again we are told that some liberal “Republican” is the new Golden Boy, only to see them lose on Election Day. It’s time for a change and the first step should be a total housecleaning at the Republican State Committee, starting with Joe Kyrillos.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Rick Shaftan (who is not Catholic) is a political consultant for “conservatives with the guts to win.” The president of Neighborhood Research, a polling company and Mountaintop Media, which produces TV, radio and direct mail, his clients were 12-0 on Tuesday, with one race still in doubt. Among his successful clients this year were conservative Democrat Russ Pitman, who defeated 20-year liberal Republican incumbent Len Kaiser for North Arlington Mayor, conservative freshman Virginia Republican State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, and the Coalition Against the Tax Referendum which defeated a proposed Northern Virginia Sales Tax increase by a 55-45 margin.


TOPICS: Free Republic; Politics/Elections; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: abortionlist; catholiclist; editorial; election; forrester; gobretgo; mountaintopmedia; newjersey; nj; prolife; senator; shaftan; sprint
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1 posted on 11/07/2002 4:19:30 PM PST by Coleus
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To: agrace; Alberta's Child; Antoninus; Atticus; BeforeISleep; Betteboop; bioprof; Black Agnes; ...
Here's what he said about the Schundler Campaign.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/566169/posts
2 posted on 11/07/2002 4:21:58 PM PST by Coleus
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To: jern
for a later read....
3 posted on 11/07/2002 4:23:02 PM PST by jern
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To: All
6. Forrester was the only Senate candidate targeted for defeat by Sarah Brady who lost - coincidentally also the only one who never filled out an NRA questionnaire and therefore was not on the little orange postcard that the NRA sent out in other states (or the one sent promoting Scott Garrett).>>>>>>

Anti-Gun Agenda Cost Candidates for House and Senate
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/784336/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/784336/posts?page=30#30
4 posted on 11/07/2002 4:34:24 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus
The Dem in Nothern Maine is pro life. The Pub pro choice. Guess who won.

Had the pub been pro life, he would have won. They were both cookie-cutter so that made the difference.

Those who are pro life are not tied to a political party. If the Dems have a good candidate who is pro life he has a good chance of winning.
5 posted on 11/07/2002 4:45:36 PM PST by KeyWest
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To: nutmeg
bump
6 posted on 11/07/2002 4:46:12 PM PST by nutmeg
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To: Coleus
Forrester was no prize from what I saw of him, and I should know turkeys with Simon here in CA folks! LOL
7 posted on 11/07/2002 4:47:53 PM PST by A CA Guy
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To: A CA Guy
Hey, watch out, Simon is a NJ boy too. He might be a friend of Tony Soprano, LOL. Anyway, he is a poor speaker with a big heart as was his late father. His foundation gives money to my Catholic School every year.

http://www.capitalresearch.org/publications/foundation_watch/2001/0110.htm

http://www.mmhf.org/html/giving.html

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/magazines/2000-05/staffingup.html

http://www.nationalreview.com/maserati/maserati042202.asp
8 posted on 11/07/2002 4:59:51 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus
Forrester lost because THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE They BROKE THE LAW, and the poor pathetic residents felt it didn't matter & elected Lousenberg. There is NO OTHER REASON. Everything AFTER the fact means NOTHING.
9 posted on 11/07/2002 5:03:52 PM PST by Puppage
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To: Coleus
I have relatives in NJ and NY that ARE Tony Soprano and I won't have ANYTHING to do with them. All with connections to the Teamsters Union by the way.

I avoid them like the flu. FORGETABOUTIT~
10 posted on 11/07/2002 5:11:47 PM PST by A CA Guy
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To: Puppage
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE>>>

I can agree with that and what happened is criminal. But is was a Republican Chief Justice, Deborah Poritz, Whitman appointee, who heard the case and all the rupublicans on the court voted for the Lause to run.

Here is where the criminal activity began, all lead by a republican.

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/supreme/index.htm


11 posted on 11/07/2002 5:36:06 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus
Much that is true in the article, a lot of specifics arguable. The nut of Forrester's loss was that he had built a lead pointing out Torch's criminality, which was too much even for NJ. Once he had no Torch to run against, from what I saw of Forrester, he had NOTHING to run on, no platform of what he supported, and zero ability to shift gears from anti-Torch to pro-Forrester.
12 posted on 11/07/2002 5:40:15 PM PST by barkeep
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To: Coleus
In NJ, the Democraps and the RINOs (Whitless, Putzhead, DiFiasco, etc.) are all Socialists! There isn't a micron of difference between them.
13 posted on 11/07/2002 5:40:40 PM PST by leprechaun9
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To: Puppage
The Demo win because they OWN the Unions! Any other questions?
14 posted on 11/07/2002 5:43:00 PM PST by Afronaut
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To: Coleus
The NJSC is a democratic entity. Hardly, republican. Do you really think Justice Coleman is a republican? Regardless, they legislated from the bench. It was illegal & should not have been allowed.
15 posted on 11/07/2002 5:44:13 PM PST by Puppage
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To: Afronaut
The Demo win because they OWN the Unions! Any other questions?>>>>

That's an understatement.

Democrats=Unions=Organized Crime

Democrats=Unions=Most Public Employees

16 posted on 11/07/2002 5:48:39 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Puppage
It still sounds like Forrester was not a very good candidate. From down here in Texas, I assumed that Forrester would have gotten a bigger "outrage bump" from conservative Republicans and Reagan Democrats after the Democrats' switcheroo.

Based on the article, however, it appears that conservatives didn't seem to care a whole lot about Forrester after the Torch was gone. Evidently he wasn't a very inspiring candidate. He sounds kind of RINOish, actually.

(Anyone could have beaten Torch. And it really does sound like a better candidate would have beaten a liberal old crank like Lautenberg. After all, Coleman beat Mondale.

Hopefully, we Republicans have learned something here. Manifestly, the NJ Republican Party should not nominate guys like Forrester in the future. [Come to think of it, the California guys need to do a better job in the primaries, too. Simon got close, but a better candidate would have creamed Gray Davis.])

17 posted on 11/07/2002 5:50:08 PM PST by the_doc
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To: Puppage
I think Lautenberg won mostly due to simple name recognition. "The Poor Pathetic Residents" of NJ knew his name from somewhere, probably thought he was the incumbent.
Gotta love 'em - they're too busy fighting traffic and attending their union meetings to pay much attention to politics.

18 posted on 11/07/2002 5:52:10 PM PST by watchwoman
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To: barkeep
Once he had no Torch to run against, from what I saw of Forrester, he had NOTHING to run on, no platform of what he supported, and zero ability to shift gears from anti-Torch to pro-Forrester.

I'm just a dumb ole Texas boy, but Forrester sounded so scripted that he came across as a human encyclopedia, regurgitating facts but with no emotion.

I'm not surprised he wasn't able to connect with New Jersey voters. He reminds me of my nerdy cousin, who knows everything except how to talk to his kids when they come to him with a problem.

They call me or my wife, because they know we'll listen and not try to "fix" their problem.

It would have helped if Forrester had been pro-life; it would have helped even more if he had exhibited some warmth as a human being.

19 posted on 11/07/2002 5:53:27 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: the_doc
a better candidate would have beaten a liberal old crank like Lautenberg.

Maybe they should have pulled Forrester out of the ran with 4 days to go and put in Rudy Guiliani? Too, late for that....not a resident of New Jersey? What should THAT matter? After all..Lousenberg was allowed to be a candidate when THE LAW said he couldn't. What's good for the goose.....

20 posted on 11/07/2002 5:56:35 PM PST by Puppage
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To: Coleus
I thought he lost because he failed to call Howard Stern.
21 posted on 11/07/2002 5:56:48 PM PST by JonH
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To: Puppage
Hey, there's an idea! Rudy Giuliani is practically from NJ.
22 posted on 11/07/2002 6:01:30 PM PST by the_doc
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To: JonH
LOL, He should have. He missed out on a hugh block of voters, the younger ones. He opted to go on Imus in the Morning by telephone for about 10 minutes. Oh well, you can't win them all. Bob Dole appeared on Imus too, look what happened to him.

Giuliani, Pataki, Whitman and D'Amato all went on the show and won. Last week, Pataki received about 15 minutes of free advertising on one of the top-rated morning shows all because he went on in the past. Robyn and Howard talked about him at length during her news portion at the end of the show.
23 posted on 11/07/2002 6:02:31 PM PST by Coleus
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To: the_doc
Rudy's son goes to School in NJ!!
24 posted on 11/07/2002 6:03:17 PM PST by Coleus
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To: A CA Guy
See my #17.
25 posted on 11/07/2002 6:03:53 PM PST by the_doc
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To: Coleus
The above is mostly silly season stuff. Anyone who watched Forrester debate knows why he lost. He was not likable (OK, he was more likeable than the Torch, but then so is Satan), and did not clearly articulate his position on issues in a persuasive fashion, or in many case, seem like he had a handle on them. I was amazed to see the fossil actually out debate him.
26 posted on 11/07/2002 6:05:21 PM PST by Torie
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To: Coleus
From the other thread:
Opposed by Brady and not endorsed by the NRA, see what happens when you run as a moderate, nobody on either side likes you!!!!

Revelations 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.


27 posted on 11/07/2002 6:07:12 PM PST by SauronOfMordor
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To: Coleus
I heard him on Imus (the only time my TV is tuned to MSNBC) and thought he came off just fine. From the midwest, it looked like a weak and poorly defined campaign. Not as bad as Simon's but close.
28 posted on 11/07/2002 6:10:05 PM PST by JonH
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To: Coleus
Down here in Texas, we don't understand the difference between New This and New That anyway. (Do you mean to tell me that York and Jersey are two different states?)
29 posted on 11/07/2002 6:11:25 PM PST by the_doc
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To: Coleus
I used to live in Morristown, Parsippany,(along 80) Hawthorne and Wycoff (up around 208) and I can tell you this analysis is spot on. The good people of the GOP in NJ would do well to head it's advice.
30 posted on 11/07/2002 6:14:05 PM PST by ChadGore
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To: Coleus
BUMP for great freeping.
This is a very interesting article. Bookmarked.
31 posted on 11/07/2002 6:22:46 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Coleus
Forrester lost becuase he had a pathetically weak team, led by CM Bill Pascoe, who refused to run hard-hitting ads against Frank Lautenberg, including ones submitted by my team and ideas submitted by others we know of.

Our ads centered on 9/11 and the war on terror, and how Lautenberg was out of touch with America and too extreme for New Jersey on the issue of opposing the death penalty for terrorists who murder Americans, and a vote to cut $1 billion from the intelligence budget and $80 billion from the defense budget. We pointed out that if it were up to Frank Lautenberg's extreme views, the killers of Daniel Pearl and even Osama bin Laden himself would be spared the death penalty. The ads were called too "divisive".

We also raised the age issue in three major ads, the softest focusing on the sheer hypocrisy of his criticism of Millicent Fenwick being "too old" for the Senate at age 72, when he will be 79 in January. The hardest ad simply ran a video medley, not unlike the Rush Limbaugh audio medley, showing a bumbling, incoherent Lautenberg from their first debate. The ad ended with a big question mark and was punctuated with voices saying "What?" "Huh?" etc.

None of our ads were factually incorrect. They were smash-mouth politics, which is desperately needed to knock off a nasty, fear-mongering SOB like Lautenberg.

The Forrester campaign REFUSED to run a single one of our ads. Meanwhile Lautenberg was beating their brains in every day on NYC and Philly networks. We told them they would lose. They did. There was never a question.

Pascoe and his team did not even run a single ad at ALL for THREE WEEKS after Torricelli pulled out, wating precious time to define their candidate to the public and losing an opportunity to crush Lautenberg with attack ads and build his negatives while he was still not funded and while the Democrats were still in disarray.

MAke no mistake, despite what was written above, this race was totally winnable using advertising. We were heavily involved in the ads for Chambliss, Talent and Jeb Bush. Those were all highly aggressive campaigns committed to destroying their opponents. They all won. Pascoe and the Forrester team thought it was out of bounds to attack Lautenberg over 9/11 and his disgraceful record on terror, defense and intelligence. However the Chambliss team saw no problem in shredding a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran over national security issues. THIS is the difference. You either win through TOTAL WAR, or the Democrats will defeat you through lies, fear and deception.

The Forrester failure shows how fear of waging total war against the Democrats can lead only to failure.

32 posted on 11/07/2002 6:23:54 PM PST by montag813
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To: ChadGore
They made the same mistake twice.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/784734/posts?page=2#2

Rt. 208 Garrett territory, I'm glad he won!!

So, in what state do you live now?
33 posted on 11/07/2002 6:24:44 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus
"Doug Forrester actually said he would vote against conservative judges supported by President Bush"

Wow. This I did not know....
IF this is true, then I am delighted that Forrester lost.

I have maintained on many threads over the past couple of years that New Jersey is a scumbag little pissant state, hopelessly lost down the liberal toilet forever. But I now wonder if maybe New Jersey is a decent place after all and it is the New Jersey Republican Party that is the pack of scumbag little pissants.....

34 posted on 11/07/2002 6:27:46 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Coleus
...his clients were 12-0 on Tuesday, with one race still in doubt. Among his successful clients this year were conservative Democrat Russ Pitman, who defeated 20-year liberal Republican incumbent Len Kaiser for North Arlington Mayor, conservative freshman Virginia Republican State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, and the Coalition Against the Tax Referendum which defeated a proposed Northern Virginia Sales Tax increase by a 55-45 margin.

Wowza!
This guy Rick Shaftan sounds like somebody you hire if you are a conservative who wants to win.

35 posted on 11/07/2002 6:38:47 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Coleus
Forrester wasn't a good candidate. He had no center. He doesn't believe in anything and he couldn't or wouldn't give a straight answer to a straight question, specifically on abortion and guns. I would have had a hard time voting for him myself.
36 posted on 11/07/2002 6:43:47 PM PST by jwalsh07
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To: Coleus
I just read the other article (about Schundler's campaign) from the link you provided. Excellent stuff. Shaftan really knows what he is talking about.
37 posted on 11/07/2002 6:43:59 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
He was endorsed by a PAC that promotes pro-abortion judges and would not reject their endorsement.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/758810/posts?page=19#19

The republican party (the politicians and NJ GOP) in this state stinks.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/703896/posts
38 posted on 11/07/2002 6:44:39 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Coleus
I voted for Doug, but I had nowhere near the passion for this campaign that I had for Schundler. I never did get around to picking up that lawn sign or bumper stickers. Why? Because he was a wet noodle on abortion, plain and simple. Forrester got 882,292 running as a 'centrist'. Can anyone tell me how many votes Schundler got running for Governor last year? I can't find the results anywhere.
39 posted on 11/07/2002 6:58:33 PM PST by Antoninus
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To: KeyWest
If the Dems have a good candidate who is pro life he has a good chance of winning.

Honestly, if the Dems ran truly pro-life candidates, even I would vote for them if they ran against a RINO pro-abortion Republican. It's my #1 issue.
40 posted on 11/07/2002 7:01:35 PM PST by Antoninus
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To: Lancey Howard
The same can be said for Cali. Lots of conservatives but the Pubbies keep running losers. It is really hard to win Presidential elections when you start out automatically losing the biggest bloc of electoral votes.
41 posted on 11/07/2002 7:08:12 PM PST by willyone
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To: montag813
bump--I do not know about you or your group--BUT YOU ARE RIGHT ON -We SHOULD HAVE WON!!
42 posted on 11/07/2002 7:18:14 PM PST by BobFromNJ
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To: Coleus
WHY FORRESTER LOST - AND LOST BADLY…

Because there was no Torecelli memorial service?

43 posted on 11/07/2002 7:18:47 PM PST by Hugin
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To: montag813
Do you know if Forrester or the NJ Pubbies have an ongoing lawsuit in federal court still, after the denial of emergency preliminary relief?
44 posted on 11/07/2002 7:19:34 PM PST by AmericanVictory
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To: Coleus
Thanks for posting this Coleus. I found it very informative. Will put it to use right away.

~n
45 posted on 11/07/2002 7:19:34 PM PST by navigator
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To: barkeep
Once he had no Torch to run against, from what I saw of Forrester, he had NOTHING to run on, no platform of what he supported, and zero ability to shift gears from anti-Torch to pro-Forrester.

That's what your campaign team is for. Do you know who they were?

46 posted on 11/07/2002 7:22:42 PM PST by navigator
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To: Coleus
I lived in Northern Sussux for about 10 years, it was very republican /conservative ..much more so than where I live now in CT. I always wondered why the NJ repubs seemed so RINOish. If they ran some real conservative canidates I'm convinced they'd have done a lot better than they have over the last decade. Instead we got the likes of Witless Whitman and Marge Roukema so nobody thinks theres any difference between the 2 parties.
47 posted on 11/07/2002 7:28:04 PM PST by YankeeReb
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To: Antoninus
Antoninus, Bret Schundler got 914,713 votes in Nov. 2001. Source is found on www.voterzview.com/Weekly/33_111701htm.

48 posted on 11/07/2002 7:28:54 PM PST by exit82
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To: YankeeReb
They do now, Roukema retired and Conservative Scott Garrett won the 5th-Congressional race.

http://www.garrettforcongress.com
49 posted on 11/07/2002 7:31:11 PM PST by Coleus
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To: Antoninus
Remember, his main advisor was Tom Kean, RINO extraordinaire!! Tom Kean was nothing great.
50 posted on 11/07/2002 7:34:23 PM PST by Coleus
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