Election watchers of all political stripes were stunned Tuesday night as long-shot Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson decisively carried New Jersey, winning 100 percent of the 73 votes cast throughout the state.
“I kind of just assumed that Barack Obama would win,” said Plainsboro resident and lifelong Democrat Keith Henderson, who decided to stay home and catch up on Modern Family rather than wait in line at the polls.
“We live in New Jersey, not Ohio,” said Glenn Fisher, 43, a local businessman and Mitt Romney supporter who spent the day at work instead of “wasting [his] time voting for a Republican” in the deep blue Garden State.
The historically low Democratic and Republican turnout of zero left Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico, with New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes.
“Look, I’m a busy guy. I had things to do,” said John Winsiewski, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. “I thought that every single one of the other two million Democrats in Jersey would vote for Obama. Well, this is embarrassing,” he added.
A statewide poll of registered voters found that 35 percent planned on making it to the polls until something came up, 27 percent wanted to exercise their civic duty but couldn’t find a babysitter, they swear, and 26 percent are working through a lot of personal shit right now—okay?—so just cut them a break.
12 percent of voters erroneously believed that Governor Chris Christie had postponed Election Day until next Monday.
In Whig Hall, where the Princeton community gathered to watch live election returns, partisans on both sides fell silent in bewilderment. “Who the fuck is Gary Johnson?” finally said Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
Shortly after 10 PM, with 97 percent of precincts reporting, Johnson delivered his victory speech, hastily scribbled on the back of a Denny’s napkin. “First and foremost, I want to thank the voting-age population of the great state of New Jersey for not inconveniencing themselves in the slightest to stand up for what they believe in,” he said. “My victory would not have been possible without their help.”
At press time, nationwide election returns showed Barack Obama with the lead in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa; Mitt Romney with a slight edge in Florida and Virginia; and Gary Johnson with decisive victories in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
– JMC ‘16