The New Jersey legislature just passed a measure and sent to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that would allow each municipality to host one in-person voting center. Otherwise, the election will be conducted by mail. The legislative move is to nullify a lawsuit challenging Gov. Murphy’s individual authority to schedule an all-mail election. If the legislation is enacted, such a move would make the lawsuit moot. It is likely that the legislature’s described procedure will be the system that New Jersey employs for this general election.
After two polls were released last week that gave challenger Amy Kennedy (D) a slight lead over party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City), a new RMG Research survey (7/30-8/5; 500 NJ-2 registered voters) gives the Congressman a slight 42-39% advantage. This is another New Jersey race that will feature a close finish. The Garden State is a key indicator as to which party will assume House majority control in the next Congress.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that, just like for the postponed New Jersey primary, all voters will be mailed a live ballot for the general election. Though this will have no effect on the presidential race since Democrat Joe Biden is well ahead of President Trump here and the state is not a national target, several close US House elections are expected. Therefore, we may see ballot verification issues arise if we have one or more contests lapse into political overtime to reach a final conclusion.
Two Democratic polls post mental health advocate Amy Kennedy (D), the wife of former Rhode Island US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D), to small leads over freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis Township/Atlantic City) who was elected as a Democrat in 2018 but switched to the Republican Party in the middle of his first term.
According to the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Group (8/4-6; 400 NJ-2 likely voters), Ms. Kennedy tops Rep. Van Drew, 51-46%. The Global Strategy Group (8/1-5; 400 NJ-2 likely voters), sees a much more modest edge, however, 46-45%. This is yet another competitive New Jersey campaign in a state that is one of the most important toward determining the majority in the next Congress.
The Congressional Leadership PAC just released a new survey of New Jersey’s 3rd CD, which could become the closest of the competitive Garden State US House campaigns. According to the CLF’s Basswood Research data (7/13-15; 400 NJ-3 likely general election voters), Rep. Andy Kim (D-Bordentown) has only a 45-42% lead over new Republican nominee David Richter, a venture capitalist. This is a race to watch and will become a top national GOP conversion target. In 2018, Mr. Kim unseated then Rep. Tom MacArthur (R), 50-49%.
Sen. Cory Booker was easily re-nominated for a second term I this week’s New Jersey primary capturing over 89% of the projected vote. Who he will face in November remains a question mark, however. Former congressional candidate Hirsch Singh and pharmaceutical executive Rik Mehta are seesawing in counting that is taking days to count. Regardless of who wins the Republican primary, Sen. Booker is the prohibitive re-election favorite for the Fall campaign. As with many other states, the large number of mailed ballots means the tabulation period can be stretched for more than a week.
Last night’s Garden State primary yielded few surprises, as all incumbents were headed to easy re-nomination victories in preliminary returns. Republicans David Richter, Tom Kean Jr., and Rosemary Becchi will face Democratic freshmen Andy Kim, Tom Malinowski, and Mikie Sherrill, respectively, in what should become competitive battles.
Party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was elected in the 2nd District as a Democrat but later became a Republican, scored what looks to be an unofficial 81% of the vote in his first GOP primary. He will face Amy Kennedy, the wife of former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), in what should be another competitive general election.
Sen. Cory Booker was easily re-nominated for a second term last night in his state’s primary capturing over 89% of the projected vote. He will likely face defeated 2018 Republican congressional candidate Hirsch Singh who is leading a close battle with pharmaceutical executive Rik Mehta. Regardless of who wins the Republican primary, Sen. Booker is the prohibitive re-election favorite for the Fall campaign. As with many other states, the large number of mailed ballots means final tabulations will not be recorded for several more days.
Primaries and runoffs are still on the political horizon, but July is a light electoral month. Tomorrow, the postponed New Jersey statewide primary will be held, and a new extensive mail voting procedure will be tested as all registered voters were sent a live ballot. The Delaware stand-alone presidential primary will also be conducted. The regular statewide Delaware primary is the latest in the nation, scheduled for September 15th. Stand-alone presidential primaries will also be held this month in Louisiana (7/11) and Puerto Rico (7/12).
July 14th hosts runoff elections in Alabama and Texas. The important US Senate Republican contest between retired Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and ex-US Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions will be finally be decided that day. Runoffs in the open 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts will also send contestants to the respective general elections in what should be safe Republican seats. The original Alabama runoff election date was March 31st.
Texas holds a US Senate Democratic runoff and 15 House secondary elections postponed from May 26th. From the latter group, nine Republican contests and six Democratic electoral events will finally determine general election participants. The Texas and Alabama primaries were held all the way back on March 3rd.
Maine holds its postponed primary also on July 14th. State House Speaker Sara Gideon is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic US Senate nomination to face incumbent Susan Collins (R). Three credible Republicans are vying for the opportunity of challenging freshman Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) in what is likely to be a competitive 2nd District general election campaign.
There has been some talk that the Democratic primary challenge to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff/Bergen County) could get close but a new TargetSmart poll (released 6/25; 400 NJ-5 likely Democratic primary voters) dispels such a notion. According to the Target data, Rep. Gottheimer would destroy Glen Rock town Councilwoman Arati Kreibich by a 66-23% count. Such a margin suggests that Mr. Gottheimer will easily win re-nomination to a third term. The postponed New Jersey primary is scheduled for July 7th.
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