Politicker.com in New Jersey is predicting that Republicans will win back the governorship this year -- because they have finally picked ethnic Irish candidates.

Current Governor Jon Corzine is in the battle of his political life against Republican Chris Christie, with polls showing Christie comfortably ahead as the race enters its most important phase.

Politicker notes that Rick Shaftan, the veteran conservative political consultant, has argued for years that one of the best ways to beat a Democrat in New Jersey is for Republicans to run a Catholic candidate of Irish or Italian descent for statewide office. 

Now, says Politicker, the Republicans are running two Catholics -- the first time they have nominated a Catholic since William Cahill in 1969 -- and the polls show them well ahead. 

“GOP gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie's father is Irish and his mother was Italian; his running mate, Kimberly McFadden Guadagno, is Irish, and his married to Superior Court Judge Michael Anthony Guadagno. 

“Christie and Guadagno are the first Irish Republicans to run statewide since Cahill, and Christie is the first Italian American to win a Republican nomination for statewide office,” reports the online site.

Seems certain to be an interesting race. Corzine has a huge war chest and will be hoping that can make the difference as the contest draws near.