Senator Bill Bradley didn't realize he was in trouble of winning re-election and the NJ voters' anger over taxes and economy until the week prior the election.
The senator had a major image problem. In the early part of the campaign Bradley was winning easily in the polls, so his staffers told him to play it safe. He sent out television advertisements of himself walking on the beach, shooting a perfect shot on the court, and sitting back in his office with his basketball shoes onto his desk. The advertisements back fired as voters were turned off and thought that he hadn't taken his job as U.S. Senator seriously, at a time when NJ voters were suffering.
Another major problem with Bradley was how Democratic Governor Jim Florio implemented a $2.8 billion tax increase, hurting the state's economy. In addition, Bradley refused to answer questions pertaining to Florio's tax policies.
After Bradley realized he was in trouble he released negative advertisements. They attacked Whitman's own record on taxes, accusing her of favoring tax increases when she was a Somerset County Freeholder. Bradley's image may have been further damaged by his newer advertisements.