Response by Stephen Salmore
Bob Torricelli is certainly correct when he bemoaned the fact that questions about his ethics and integrity overshadowed serious discussions about issues. However, he should not have assumed that a focus on issues would have benefited him. The issue of most concern to New Jersey voters, by a wide margin, is international terrorism and national defense. Polls have consistently shown that the public believes Republicans would do a better job than Democrats in dealing with these issues. In addition, questions had already been raised about Torricelli's positions in this area. These included his accepting contributions from an Islamic group designated as terrorist by the U.S. Government and the effects of legislation he sponsored that many have charged "tied the hands" of the CIA in dealing with terrorists.
Comment by Fairleigh Dickinson University Research Professor of Political Science, Stephen Salmore (Ph.D., Princeton University). Steve specializes in both national and New Jersey politics and presently operates Raritan Associates, Inc. He is co-author of Parties, Elections and Campaigns and New Jersey Government and Politics.
Dr. Stephen Salmore can be reached at 973-292-3633