2000 United States Senate election in New Jersey
Corzine: 40-50% 50–60% 60–70% 70–80%
Franks: 40-50% 50–60% 60–70%
|Elections in New Jersey|
The 2000 United States Senate election in New Jersey was held on November 7, 2000. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg decided to retire, rather than seeking a fourth term. The Democratic nominee, former CEO of Goldman Sachs Jon Corzine, defeated the Republican nominee, U.S. Representative Bob Franks, in a close election.
|Quinnipiac||February 16–21, 2000||374 RV||± 5.1%||57%||22%||21%|
|Quinnipiac||March 21–27, 2000||400 RV||± 4.9%||50%||26%||24%|
|Quinnipiac||May 1–8, 2000||347 RV||± 5.3%||33%||48%||19%|
|Quinnipiac||May 17–23, 2000||371 LV||± 5.1%||30%||56%||14%|
Senator Frank R. Lautenberg first elected to the Senate in 1982 in an upset victory over Rep. Millicent Fenwick (R-Bergen), had always been an underdog in all three bids for Senate, He beat Pete Dawkins in 1988 by a 54%-46% margin and held back a challenge from Chuck Haytaian by a smaller margin of 50%-47% However, Popular Governor Christine Todd Whitman was expected to challenge Lautenberg and opinion polls showed Lautenberg losing by a large margin, He retired but later regretted his decision because Gov. Whitman and Former Governor Tom Kean both declined to run for the Senate. Lautenberg would be elected to the state's other Senate Seat in 2002. Corzine spent $35 million of his fortunes into this primary election alone. when running against Jim Florio, who served as the 49th Governor of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994. Governor Florio was unpopular during his tenure in office, most notably he signed a $2.8 Billion tax increase in 1990, It costed his party control of state government for a decade and cost the Governor his re-election bid in 1993, Corzine running as an outsider, Mr. Corzine was endorsed by State Senator Raymond Zane (D-Gloucester), State Senator Wayne Bryant (D-Camden), State Senator John Adler (D-Camden), U.S Representative Bob Menendez (D-Hudson) and U.S Senator Bob Torricelli (D-NJ) Florio was endorsed by the State Party, Assemblyman Joe Doria (D-Hudson) and Senator John Lynch (D-Middlesex) Corzine defeated Florio in the primary and then defeated Bob Franks in the general election.
- William Gormley, State Senator
- Bob Franks, U.S. Representative
- Murray Sabrin, Libertarian nominee for Governor in 1997
- James Treffinger, Essex County Executive and former Mayor of Verona
|Quinnipiac||February 16–21, 2000||307 RV||± 5.6%||33%||4%||8%||5%||10%||-||40%|
|Quinnipiac||March 21–27, 2000||348 RV||± 5.3%||-||5%||14%||7%||9%||6%||59%|
|Quinnipiac||May 1–8, 2000||311 RV||± 5.6%||-||5%||18%||8%||14%||-||55%|
|Republican||James W. Treffinger||48,674||17.7|
- Bruce Afran (Green)
- Dennis A. Breen (Independent)
- J.M. Carter (Trust In God)
- Pat DiNizio (Reform)
- Emerson Ellett (Libertarian)
- George Gostigian (God Bless NJ)
- Lorraine LaNeve (Conservative)
- Gregory Pason (Socialist)
- Nancy Rosenstock (Socialist Workers)
Franks, a moderate Republican, attacked Corzine for "trying to buy the election and of advocating big-government spending programs that the nation can ill afford." Corzine accused Franks of wanting to "dismantle" the Social Security system because he supported Governor George W. Bush's partial privatization plan.
During the campaign, Corzine refused to release his income tax return records. He claimed an interest in doing so, but he cited a confidentiality agreement with Goldman Sachs. Skeptics argued that he should have followed the example of his predecessor Robert Rubin, who converted his equity stake into debt upon leaving Goldman.
Corzine campaigned for state government programs including universal health care, universal gun registration, mandatory public preschool, and more taxpayer funding for college education. He pushed affirmative action and same-sex marriage. David Brooks considered Corzine so liberal that although his predecessor was also a Democrat, his election helped shift the Senate to the left.
During Corzine's campaign for the United States Senate, he made some controversial off-color statements. When introduced to a man with an Italian name who said he was in the construction business, Corzine quipped: "Oh, you make cement shoes!" according to Emanuel Alfano, chairman of the Italian-American One Voice Committee. Alfano also reported that when introduced to a lawyer named David Stein, Corzine said: "He's not Italian, is he? Oh, I guess he's your Jewish lawyer who is here to get the rest of you out of jail." Corzine denied mentioning religion, but did not deny the quip about Italians, claiming that some of his own ancestors were probably Italian, or maybe French.
Some alleged that Corzine had exchanged endorsements from black ministers for donations, after a foundation controlled by him and his wife donated $25,000 to an influential black church. Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, the director of the Black Ministers Council, and a notable advocate against racial profiling against minority drivers in traffic stops, was criticized for endorsing Corzine after receiving a large donation from the then candidate.
Franks generally trailed Corzine in the polls until the very last week, when he pulled even in a few polls. Corzine spent $63 million, while Franks spent only $6 million. Despite being heavily outspent, Franks lost by only three percentage points, doing better that year than Republican Governor George W. Bush in the presidential election, who obtained just 40% of the vote in the state.
- Complete video of debate, October 8, 2000
|Quinnipiac||June 20–26, 2000||1,004 RV||± 3.1%||46%||26%||28%|
|Quinnipiac||July 19–24, 2000||910 RV||± 3.3%||50%||30%||20%|
|Quinnipiac||August 18–22, 2000||802 RV||± 3.5%||43%||35%||22%|
|Quinnipiac||September 26 – October 1, 2000||820 LV||± 3.4%||48%||34%||18%|
|The New York Times||October 12–15, 2000||LV||± 3%||45%||33%||22%|
|Quinnipiac||October 18–23, 2000||909 LV||± 3.3%||46%||41%||13%|
|Quinnipiac||October 24–30, 2000||793 LV||± 3.5%||47%||39%||14%|
|Quinnipiac||November 1–5, 2000||770 LV||± 3.4%||43%||45%||12%|
|Independent||Dennis A. Breen||6,061||0.20%||N/A|
|Trust in God||J.M. Carter||5,657||0.19%||N/A|
|Socialist Workers||Nancy Rosenstock||3,309||0.11%||-.07%|
|God Bless Jersey||George Gostigian||2,536||0.08%||N/A|
- Halbfinger, David M. (October 13, 2000). "Franks Accuses Corzine of Trying To Buy His Way Into Senate Seat". The New York Times.
- "Franks and Corzine Debate Race, Education and Disclosure". The New York Times. October 13, 2000.
- "Franks Accuses Corzine of Trying To Buy His Way Into Senate Seat". The New York Times. October 13, 2000.
- "The High Price Of Chutzpah: Cheney And Corzine May Be Pushing The Ethical Envelope On Conflict-Of-Interest Rules. That's More Than Daring—It's -Just Plain Galling". Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. August 28, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
- Derer, Mike (June 7, 2000). "Who Wants to Vote for a Multimillionaire?". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Morse, Jodie; Nadya Labi; Michel Orecklin (November 20, 2000). "New Faces In The Senate". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- Hosenball, Mark (June 12, 2000). "The New Jersey Purchase: Jon Corzine's $36 Million Campaign For The Senate". Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved July 19, 2008.
- Brooks, David (December 25, 2000). "Surviving The Coming Clash: With The Left Feeling Frisky, Conservatives Need To Watch Their Step If They Want To Have Their Way. It's Time To Be Patient". Newsweek. Newsweek, Inc. Retrieved July 20, 2008.
- Halbfinger, David M. (March 30, 2000). "Corzine Assailed for Joke About Italian-Americans". New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Adubato, Steve. "Good Faith Politics". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved July 20, 2008.
- Peterson, Iver (April 9, 2000). "Around Jon Corzine's Roots, a Casual Indifference to Ethnicity". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 20, 2008.
- Ingle pp. 62–63.
- Jacob, Andrew (September 20, 2000). "Black Minister Criticized for Taking Corzine's Money". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
- Cardwell, Diane (April 10, 2010). "Robert Franks, Former New Jersey Congressman, Dies". The New York Times.
- Newman, Maria (November 10, 2000). "After His Defeat, Franks Looks to the Future". The New York Times.