The Poll Numbers: Hoboken Likely Voters

January 2017

GA thought it would be helpful for the good folks of Reform to see January 2017 citywide random poll results  of "Likely Voters."

The pollster is the same that the Reform candidates: mayor, at-large council, and ward council, have relied on in 2015, 2013, 2011 and 2009.   The methodology is the same.

This January 2017 poll was a snapshot in time. I don't see Anthony Romano there, although he may have fallen off the page.  You do see Tony Soares who (according to Al Sullivan) was considered a DeFusco running mate at that time.

Holy cow- Soares got only 4% "very favorable"!  One can only imagine the sheer massacre on the DeFusco campaign's poll results that his campaign never released!  I mean, did the White Star Line advertise the Titanic after it sank?

So, GA has digitized Dark Side numbers here because, why give them any intel?  GA will just say that Russo's numbers were impressive! Wow!  (How come he wasn't the Dark Side candidate instead of DeFusco?)

So... what do these poll results tell us?

They show that the biggest hurdle for all 2017 candidates is the "never heard" number- remember these are likely voters.

What I want folks to understand is that that is where campaigns are focused. That is the essence of the campaign- getting name recognition and favorability outside of one's base.

As for Reform's hauntingly debonair Ravi Bhalla and 6th Ward vixen Jen Giattino, they are  equal on favorability and name recognition.  

Can we elect Bhallattino?  Giaravi?  Ravittino? Giabhalla?

Unfortunately not.

So, our peeps are going to have to listen hard, think hard, and remember that all of our council people deserve RESPECT.

"Electability" sounds like code to me.  For either candidate.  Most of our electorate is unfamiliar with either person.

I think they are both terrific.

At the end of whatever is to play out, remember that we cannot hand this City back to the Dark Side. GA has witnessed the ascendance of Reform since 2009. We may not all agree on the next leader.  I hope this 'heat' tempers us- like steel- makes us stronger. The only way for that to happen is to maintain civility in this process, and at the end of the day we will protect Hoboken from corrupt hands.

BLOG NOTE: People of good will who want to participate in  discussion on this topic here,it is time to register a name.  There is too much Dark Side troll-ery- folks with bad intent, ripping at Jen or Ravi to divide us.  If you need guidance in registering a name, contact me at   All you need is a gmail account. Your "display name" will be the name that appears here.


  1. First off, WOW! Mayor Zimmer would have been a choo-in this year!

    Secondly...I never imagined a Republican would run for mayor of Hoboken, never mind win. But reform needs to keep our eye on the ball, maybe times are a-changin'. While I can't see many old-timers supporting a GOP candidate, I also wouldn't be surprised if a fair percentage of "new Hoboken" folks are Repubs or independents who are open to a Republican candidate. I'm thinking of the hundreds of people who have moved into all the waterfront buildings, they come from all over the country (including more conservative areas), perhaps work on Wall Street, are progressive on social issues but lean GOP on economic issues (i.e., Mike Bloomberg without the billions).

    I'm firmly in the reform corner, and hope we put forth the best candidate. Would be terrible if we lost ground.

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  2. Does anyone remember when two reform council people ran for mayor and neither would back down? It got ugly. Fast. Then they came in second and third. Then we got Mayor Cammarano in the runoff. This time we have no runoff. Just one vote. Top vote-getter wins. Jen will hurt Ravi. Ravi will hurt Jen. We will all lose. If we can't unite behind one candidate fast, we're screwed.

    1. That's what they said when Zimmer announced she would join in the fray and not support Mason. And that ended up being the right thing.
      Why all the attacks on Jen overnight?
      This blog was wishing a house divided on the old guard and now look!
      It's like laughing at your neighbor who finds his wife cheating on him, then going home and your spouse is cheating on you.

      Don't piss in the wind

    2. @House, how are these "attacks" on Jen? We're discussing options and debating pluses and minuses of each candidate, how on earth is that considered an "attack"? Sounds like you're just desperately trying to spin it.

    3. House O'Borgia, No one has "attacked Jen" here. Because you say it doesn't make it so. Sounds like you came here to disrupt and divide. Let grownups have a conversation for a change.

      Should we call you House O'Tony?

    4. House O'Bullshit, you forgot to say that pointing out Defusco's flaws is homophobic.

  3. Thank you Philip and numberscruncher for registering!!!! We need intelligent discourse now more than ever; trolls- not so much.

  4. Now that I have had a day to absorb this data (and register an account), I have a few thoughts now, that I think are fully formed. I will break this down carefully, because I think the decision to divide us and run two slates is a big one for which there will be irreparable consequences for all involved, now and during subsequent elections. We need to be fact driven and sober in our analysis.

    1) Yes, I agree, with the first comment above. The Mayor was a shoo-in to win in November. Her approval rating was at 71% in January. Ridiculous. Since then she earned the endorsements of Stack and Murphy. Stack would not give her the time of day initially, look at her now. I find it amazing that she's moving on in when she is clearly at the top. I still don't get it, but then again Dawn has never been a conventional politician. I still view her as a regular person who cares enough about issues that motivates her to put herself out there. Apparently now, the issue for her is the earth and the environment. Good luck Mayor. You did amazing work cleaning up Hoboken over the last 8 years. Those of us who have been around know what I'm talking about.

    2) This data blows away the idea that Jen is more or as popular than the Mayor, and more well know and regarded than Ravi. This misleading idea or perhaps hopeful speculation, pushed perhaps out of zeal or anger or an agenda (I don't know which, or maybe it's a combination) has been at the center of the idea that we should divide. Here are some examples of what’s been pushed as the core rationale to run two reform slates instead of one publicly (and privately by some in power, I’ve heard):

    “Jen Giattino is the only elected official on par with Mayor Zimmer in popularity citywide with Reform and the community…” – Roman on his blog.

    "There's another major question on who holds the biggest crossover appeal for both new and Old Hoboken voters. The advantage there would appear to go to Jen Giattino." --- Roman on Wednesday

    In fact, 46% of likely voters HAVE NOT EVEN HEARD of Jen, and slightly lower, 42% have not heard of Ravi. A whopping 1% of voters have not heard of Mayor Zimmer. Mayor Zimmer, as mentioned above has a 71% of voters who view her strongly favorable or somewhat favorable. Jen’s numbers in that regard are 24% and Ravi’s are 29%.
    What this data makes clear, is that Ravi and Jen, are roughly equal in terms of appeal amongst voters, with a slight advantage to Ravi. What differentiates them though is the Mayor’s support. She is popular. She is committed to campaigning with Ravi and already has done so.


    1. 3) Beyond Mayor’s full-throated support and his roughly equal polling numbers with Jen, I think no one can disagree that Ravi has diligently been preparing for this opportunity since he was elected in 2009. He’s always raised funds. He always quietly done the hard work of being a City Councilman. He’s earned the Mayor’s support above all others that she has had a chance to evaluate and work with. It’s no surprise that he’s hit the ground running. He has built the network, contacts, and organization to hit go and has done so. In other words, we tell our kids that hard work pays off in the end and that merit and hard work is all that should matter. He checks those boxes.

      ***4) I feel most passionately about this point. I am a lifelong Democrat. Most people in this town are lifelong Democrats. I would be my life that Trump’s approval ratings are lower here than few other places in America. I know it’s a non-partisan election but a Republican as Mayor is absolutely not acceptable. How many people in Hoboken are about to lose Obamacare? I know three people on it. I have not talked to them, but I am assuming they are worried. Does Jen care? How about the wall he wants to build? Does she care?
      Perhaps most disturbingly, many of us worked to win back the Democratic Committee and are enthusiastic Democrats. We will not stand for a Democratic Party Chair who is considering supporting a member of Trump’s party to be Mayor of Hoboken. If Tiffanie wants to be Party Chair and support a member of Trump’s party to be Mayor, she should do one or the other, not both. It’s an insult to our party.

      Last but not least, Peter and Tiffanie have both said they want the best candidate. I will hold them to it. The data does not support the Jen is more appeal argument. Ravi is clearly more prepared. He aligns with their views. What else do they want? There is a face-saving exit strategy for them though, it’s merit, their own argument. Hopefully they and others stick to it and Jen gets to retain her positive status as she should because she’s good people. I just think the shock of the last week has hit everyone in the wrong way. We can improve and should but first we need to come together based on the merits, not conjecture or speculation.

    2. Reform is not a Democrat or Republican thing. In fact, Reform came into being--I'm sure you know this--to combat the corrupt Hudson County Democratic machine.

      Reform is an umbrella that covers people who care about good, honest and accountable government. If we start kicking everyone who isn't exactly like us out of the Reform tent, who will be left? More to the point, why wouldn't you value the contributions made by Republicans? We don't judge all Democrats by the Old Guard, do we? So let's not judge all Republicans by President Trump.

      Finally, I'd hope that you can come up with some better reasons to vote for Ravi than a 5 point poll difference (which is very likely to be noting but error) and Jen's political alignment. I'm happy supporting either one for Mayor, but if I am going to chose between them I'd like some better reason to choose one over the other.

    3. Thank you for registering, Cat! (I can't help but like your moniker)

  5. If Cunningham, Fisher and Giattino aren't with Bhalla, I'd be questioning why Bhalla too. They are 3 pillars of Reform that lifted Zimmer to victory. Neither have great name recognition. Bhalla Nevermind nitpicking on Jen, why are they having reservations with Zimmer's choice. Honestly don't care what a bunch of recently registered young committee kids think. 42% of the people never heard of Bhalla, really? He's City-wide, Jen just 1 ward. So after 8 years and 10's of thousands in ads, letters, emails and commercials Bhalla polls only 4% over Jen and 3% over your favorite punching bag and that one hasn't been around in 13 years.

    1. House O'Tony- Thank you for your effort to divide Reform. No one is nitpicking Jen. Or Ravi- except for you. And your job is to elect DeFusco. What job were you promised? Go away.

    2. House O'Borgia, I think the lesson here, and it's a tough, but data driven fact to swallow for Ravi, Jen, Peter, Tiffanie, Dave, etc., is that people do not know them. People know the Mayor. That's a tough pill to swallow. As much as folks think they are important, most voters are asking themselves whether they are happy with the direction of the city and who is most responsible. That's the Mayor whoever the occupant of the office may be.

      At the end of the day, if you had to distill it, Reform's raison d'ĂȘtre was always merit. We have fought against nepotism and a lack of merit in making decisions that affect all of us. If this is about merit, the best chance to win, then Peter and Tiffanie and others, who have articulated this their purpose, have a clear choice. It's Ravi. He is equal if not better in polling with Jen, has earned, through 8 years of hard work, a rightfully popular (we should all be proud) Mayor's trust, and has prepared diligently for this opportunity and of course he's hit the ground running. What else do you want? What else is going on? It's about merit.

      Lastly, I'll keep hammering this home, on the merits: There will be --- and it's already brewing --- a revolt in Reform if a Republican who sat silent as Trump called for wall, who sat silent as Trump called for a ban on Muslims, who sat silent as Trump talked about grabbing women's private parts, who sat silent as Trump made fun of the disabled, who sits silent as health care is being taken away from our residents --- is the choice of our Democratic Party chair and Peter who says he is now a Democrat. We are not having it. If we need to challenge Peter and Tiffanie in 2019, at least it's based on principal and ideas, not process as this fight seems to be about.

      When reform split 2009, it was about ideas. This potential split is about process, not ideas. On the pure merits, which is the deep heart of reform, it's Ravi, not even close. He has the best chance to win, is qualified, organized, and ideologically aligned with Reform.

    3. I just read this and have determined that all partisans have become crazed.

  6. Hopefully Jen wouldn't make important choices based on that kind of thoughtful objective analysis. Whoever the next mayor is will need to be able to understand and objectively process data. Not deny it or twist it when it doesn't say what you'd like it to say.

  7. Thank you, new registrant "All Hoboken", and the return of registrant "me"!

  8. After speaking to people who know a lot more than I do about the strengths of the candidates, I have to say that hands down it's gotta be Ravi. He's the most organized of the group, and Zimmer didn't pick him lightly.

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  10. After another night, I have a few more thoughts that I'd like to share here.

    1. Not sure if folks saw Roman's reaction to the polling data, but it struck a nerve. The best argument he could come up with in response to data was "well I say is Jen is more popular than Ravi among reformers" because... I say so. Along the way he made distasteful references to the Mayor and denied science and climate change. I'll be honest, I have a soft spot for Roman. He's been through a great deal personally, more than we can imagine, to make this town better, but something happened along the way. He's been pushing ideas like the DNC was responsible for a staffer's murder for leaking DNC emails and that the Russians have nothing to do with hacking emails despite what all our brave men and women in counterintelligence have concluded. Not even FOX will stand behind the murder story, but Roman does. Still I think he's a good guy at heart but Roman being Jen's mouthpiece again speaks to her liabilities as a candidate.

    2. There is a narrative that Roman and others have been pushing that Ravi and Dawn are isolated and reform is not with them. That's off the table now too with so many reformers coming out publicly to promote unity and support Ravi's candidacy over the past few days (assuming more are making waves behind the scenes but are publicly fence sitting for now).

    3. Our opponents are splitting. Stick is supposed to announce tomorrow. We stay unified, it's another 4 years of a reform Mayor. So what's our smart strategy for Dawn, Jen, Ravi, Tiffanie, Peter to save some face while unifying? At the end the day, I think everyone hopes that they will all stress unity and the greater good, so that rest of us can celebrate with them, not be forced to choose sides when they are essentially the same candidate on policy, and let us focus on keeping our reform majority going rather than infighting. It's a leadership challenge for them. I hope they are up for it.

    4. While some may not be as persuaded by the concern that Jen is a Republican and want to separate national from local, that's not realistic or in Hoboken's interests. I raised friends in Hoboken losing healthcare yesterday, but what about investment in public school education as well (our best infrastructure plan is education IMHO)? The Devos/Trump budget calls for deep cuts in public investments in public education. Would Jen oppose her party and discuss the impact the cuts would have on Hoboken schools? What about Tiffanie and Peter? I guess my point is that separating national and local is impossible. What the federal government does --- hello Rebuild by Design --- matter to Hoboken. Jen's party is a problem for us in Hoboken. It's not just ideological, its meat and potatoes practical (btw, Tiffanie! What is the matter with you? Do you not get any of this? So goofy, why are you supporting a Republican running? Just do the right thing and step down. You can't have it all) Why have to deal with this noise if Jen is the candidate?

    I'm hoping we come together and I think we will because the personalities involved have better angels in them. We have a qualified candidate in every way. Let's support him and beat a fractured opposition not fight him. The process was lacking. Let's not punish our town and movement for it.


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