President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. Troops from Syria in advance of Turkish military action into Kurdish territory could impact key races for the New Jersey Legislature next month, the ranking Democrat on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.
“While most politics is local and largely removed from everything-Trump, voters are definitely paying attention to the President’s continued controversies, foreign policy calamities and alleged abuse of power, which I think will only further energize Democrats and independent voters to turn out on Election Day,” U.S. Senator Bob Menendez told the New Jersey Globe on Monday.
Foreign policy has not become an issue in any of the Assembly races, and there is no indication that it will become one.
But as one pundit noted, people are more transfixed by national politics than ever before.
“’Send Washington a message’ has not been uniformly effective in past state election cycles. But what’s different now is that our political behavior is increasingly nationalized,” said Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University. “In part, it’s a reflection of the decline of local media and coverage of local races.”
Rasmussen said that Democrats were able to pick up four Republican House seats in New Jersey as a result of national politics.
He noted that Trump supporters might also be motivated to vote based on their support of recent international events.
“It it can cut both ways— it can be used to motivate voters from both parties,” Rasmussen said. “Of course, in New Jersey we have nearly one million more Democrats that can be mobilized, so even a weapon that’s equally potent for both parties accrues to the advantage of Democrats.”
Menendez things Trump only helps Democrats in New Jersey.
“If I’m a New Jersey Republican in lock-step with this President, I’d be worried,” Menendez said.