Look at this map depicting how counties voted in the recent New Jersey gubernatorial election -- an exceptionally close race despite all the poll predictions that said the Democrats would run away with this thing.
The red counties voted Republican, the blue voted Democrat.
Let's forget about the dubious notion of "central Jersey" for a moment. We've gone and drawn a diagonal line running east to west dividing the north from the south. Nearly all of the counties below the diagonal line voted Republican. They are either reddish or red. The only deep blue county below the line is Camden which is Philadelphia's most neighboring county and which is controlled by a Democrat urban-style political machine. So, let's just toss Camden in with Philly and forget about it for a moment.
The other blueish county is Burlington and in this election it began to trend Republican, even flipping some areas from blue to red. The rest of the counties (Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester) are all in the red column. With Burlington, that's more than one-third of all the counties in the state.
This election reiterates a growing trend: South Jersey is going red. In what's considered a solid blue state, South Jersey is red.
South Jersey's outlook is different from most of the rest of the state. Its terrain is different. Its makeup is different and its values are different.
South Jersey people have more space to roam and explore and think for themselves. We're just more adventurous and we don't like to be told what to think or how to act. We've always sort of been pushed around by the rest of the state so we're naturally more suspicious of the north and certainly less trusting of government as we feel somewhat put upon by decades of edicts from "up there." And for quite some time we've been signaling that we're tired of being misunderstood, dissed and taken for granted.
But now it's reaching a critical mass.
Now, we're really beginning to speak with a roar. And we mean to be heard not just in Trenton and all the way to Piscataway but up in Newark and Jersey City as well.
And if they still don't start listening? Well, there's always bifurcation!