A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
The new small-sample Monmouth University poll (9/12-16; 325 NJ Democratic registered voters) was publicized yesterday and a close race is developing here, too. Though home state Sen. Cory Booker is improving, up to 9% support in this survey, the top three are still dominating the decided preferences.
Former VP Joe Biden tops the field with 26% followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at 20% and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 18 percent. Falling well behind are Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg who both post 6% support figures. The New Jersey primary is one of the latest contests in the nomination cycle, scheduled for June 2, 2020. The state has 107 first ballot delegates.
Freshman New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim (D-Bordentown), who claimed one of the closest victories in the 2018 election cycle (50.0 – 48.7%) may be drawing his first major re-election opponent. Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs (R), largely with the support of the Burlington County Republican apparatus, has filed a 2020 congressional exploratory committee to test her ability to unseat Mr. Kim. This seat will also be a top GOP conversion target.
Change Research conducted one of the few Democratic presidential polls of the New Jersey electorate (8/16-20; 635 NJ likely Democratic primary voters) and finds a tight three-way race for the top spot. Former Vice President Joe Biden places first with 28%, followed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at 23% and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 21%. In fourth position, posting 12%, is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Home state Sen. Cory Booker could only manage 5% support for his presidential effort. New Jersey has 126 first ballot delegates. The state primary is one of the latest on the schedule, June 2, 2020.
With almost 30 viable primary challenges to Democratic House members already underway, two-term New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wycoff) has now attracted an opponent. Glen Rock City Councilwoman and neuroscientist Arati Kreibich announced her candidacy yesterday, saying that “incremental change isn’t cutting it.”
Ms. Kreibich will find that denying Rep. Gottheimer re-nomination is a difficult task. The Congressman is one of the better prepared incumbents, thus making her undertaking even more difficult. Mr. Gottheimer has already raised $1.74 million for his 2020 campaign and has more than $5.6 million in his campaign account.
Montvale Mayor Mike Ghassali (R) declared yesterday that he will enter the Republican primary in hopes of challenging two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). Though the GOP field is becoming crowded, Mr. Gottheimer is one of the better prepared Democratic incumbents and a prolific fundraiser. Regardless of the district’s partisan nature (Trump ’16: 49-48%), Rep. Gottheimer will be favored for re-election.
Late last week, 2018 congressional candidate Hirsh Singh announced his intention to oppose Sen. Cory Booker (D) next year, as we reported yesterday. Now, healthcare business consultant Tricia Flanagan has also declared her intention to seek the Republican nomination.
Largely, the Republican nomination here is not a particular prize. Sen. Booker, though he probably won’t become the Democratic presidential nominee, will be a lock in his Senate re-election bid from one of the nation’s more Democratic and expensive states (in which to campaign). Sen. Booker will be safe for re-election regardless of who the Republicans ultimately nominate.
2018 candidate Hirsh Singh, who originally was in the 2nd Congressional District but lost the Republican primary, on Friday announced his intention to oppose Sen. Cory Booker (D) next year.
The Senate campaign will be a political suicide run for Singh, since Sen. Booker will be re-elected regardless of how his presidential campaign unfolds. But, in a way, his move to the Senate likely helps the Republicans clear the way in order to recruit a more credible consensus opponent to freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May).
As promised, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), the son of former Governor Tom Kean, Sr. and a former US House and Senate candidate, formerly announced his campaign for the 7th Congressional District. Looking like a consensus Republican candidate, Sen. Kean will very likely face freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) in the general election.
Mr. Kean in the Republicans top choice to run here, and the nature of this CD suggests we will again see a highly competitive battle next year.
New Jersey’s coastal 2nd District, anchored in the Atlantic City region, had been in Republican hands for 24 years in the person of Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor) until last year. The Congressman’s retirement led to Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew having a relatively easy run to replace Mr. LoBiondo, though his victory margin against weak Republican nominee Seth Grossman was lower than expected: 53-45%.
This year, the competition already appears stronger. Venture capitalist David Richter (R) announced his congressional candidacy yesterday in a seat that President Trump carried, 51-46%. With Mr. Trump again on the 2020 ballot, this race could become much more competitive than last year.
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