Is the Garden State Really a Purple State Waiting to Happen?

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With all the talk of red states and blue states ratcheting up as the 2024 election inches closer, is it reasonable to wonder which side of the ledger New Jersey falls upon? According to award-winning columnist Mike Kelly of the Bergen Record and, the answer may be neither. Kelly recently penned a column that painted the Garden State a rich shade of purple. Kelly appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program and feels Jersey’s true color starts showing in the light of the migrant issue.

“A lot of people think New Jerey is a blue state, and it is, if you look at it from 30,000 feet,” Kelly told Berman and newsman Larry Mendte, who was sitting in for Riedel. “But, if you really drill down, this is very much a purple state. This can go either way… I think the state legislators, the Democrats, at least… they don’t want this migrant issue to be part of this debate because they’re going to lose it, and the Democrats in general… could lose the presidency next year if they don’t start to clean this up a little bit.”

Kelly also critiqued leadership on both sides of the Hudson when he examined reaction to Mayor Adams’ comment that the migrant issue would plague New York City for a long time: “(Governor) Murphy hasn’t helped at all by saying he doesn’t want any migrants here. My question is, what’s he going to do when somebody just, a bus pulls up in Trenton or Princeton or someplace like that and, you know, fifty migrants walk off the bus. This is the issue that I think our country is facing, and I don’t think our political leaders on both sides of the fence are willing to face what needs to be done here.”

Kelly also feels Democrats could win the upper hand if they are willing to understand what made Donald Trump so appealing to some New Jersey voters. “His supporters include a lot of people who voted for him because they didn’t like what the Democrats were doing… I think if the Democrat party would understand what motivated Trump voters to vote for Trump- and a lot of it is culture war issues- I think the Democrats could win some of those voters back.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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