As with any campaign whether it be for mayor or congressman or president, endorsements play a role in a candidate’s ability to fundraise and reach out to voters. Just as important in some cases, especially the higher up the race is in the political hierarchy, an endorsement by certain individuals could give one candidate a major boost amongst voters and likewise drive down support for a candidate who loses out on that endorsement. Newspapers, former presidents and members of Congress, and important dignitaries are fought over by candidates and with 2012 around the corner; such endorsements are starting to pile up. Endorsements are piling up nationally and locally in each state. The Garden State is one that has its share of endorsers and one being fairly high profile.
The major endorsement in the state comes from Governor Chris Christie. Less than a week after announcing his intentions to sit out the 2012 presidential race, Christie put his support behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney finished second to Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008’s Republican primary. Leading up to this president election cycle, Romney was viewed as the likely frontrunner. Yet, he has failed to garner more than 25-30 percent of the vote amongst Republican voters. With Christie in his corner, it not only increases his odds of winning the state’s primary next year, but also enough primaries and caucuses to garner the nomination come the summer of 2012.
Christie is not alone in announcing his support for a candidate running for the Republican nomination for president. Former Governor Christie Todd Whitman was asked if she echoed Christie’s support for Romney, but was not exactly sold on him yet. With Romney and the rest of the field, she needs more information on how they would lead the country and thus be able to ascertain the best choice not only for her and New Jersey; but also the country. Her choice for president could sway several middle of the road voters as well as more moderate members of the party in the state especially when primaries of late tend to energize more of the party’s base voters.
As Whitman deciphers the field and considers her choices, Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) is on the same page of support as Christie. Shortly after Christie made his announcement, Lance voiced,
“I am proud to endorse Governor Mitt Romney for President of the United States. Mitt is a solid fiscal conservative who is committed to lower taxes, less spending and lower debt and deficits. He is the one candidate with the leadership experience and a record of achievement to help fix our country’s struggling economy. Governor Romney is by far the best candidate to restore fiscal sanity to Washington and get our economy going again. I am proud to lend him my support.”
Lance stood behind Romney in 2008 and at the time was the only congressional Republican to endorse Romney. Now, he is the first this cycle from that same delegation to put his weight and support behind Romney.
While those individuals were lining up or considering lining up their support for Romney; Steve Forbes, a New Jersey native and former presidential candidate in his own right, put his support behind Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry’s flat tax plan is crafted with the assistance of a similar outline written by Forbes. Forbes fell short in 1996 as well as 2000 getting the GOP nod for president.
It was not just Romney and Perry getting some support in the state. Before his untimely exit, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain was getting the attention and support of the Bayshore Tea Party. The Bayshore Tea Party earlier in 2011 lost their legal battle to reshape the redistricting battle for the state’s legislative map. They were joined in their support by the Jersey Shore Tea Party. However, they now in recent weeks have been fairly quiet since losing their preferred candidate. At the time of their endorsement, the group implored,
“Mr. Cain’s 999 plan will reform the current tax code which has been used by politicians to pick winners and losers, to dole out favors, and divide our country along socio-economic class warfare. Our current economic crisis requires bold action to truly stimulate the economy and American prosperity. The 999 plan is fair, simple, transparent and efficient. Mr. Cain’s more than 40 years experience in the private sector as a no-nonsense business leader who has turned around struggling companies is exactly what America needs to correct the many problems facing our country. Mr. Cain has balanced budgets, created jobs and rescued failing companies, and his policies will do the same for the United States of America. Mr. Cain has the experience necessary to correct the problems facing our country of a faltering economy, high unemployment, and regressive tax system.”
When Cain began to pile up one personal issue after another in a short time span, which led to his exit; the group was standing behind their man. Even bluntly stating,
“We’re not jumping onto Newt’s bandwagon.”
Now as the calendar prepares to officially flip to 2012, candidates will likely to start to look beyond Iowa and New Hampshire and target GOP officials in other primary and caucus states. Romney having Christie will likely hold a strong hold over the Garden State, but a lot can change between now and June.