My June 4 diary, Yesterday’s Congressional Primaries and November’s Election indicated, “So with six Democratic seats likely to remain Democratic, are there other seats where Democrats can oust a Republican? Below are three districts where Democratic challengers may be poised to launch a strong campaign:” CD 3 (“With Jon Runyan (R) resigning, this open seat probably offers the best chance for a Democratic upset. The race is probably a toss-up at this moment.”), CD 2 (“Perhaps the land is now a little more shaky with Democrat William Hughes as the challenger. This is another battleground where the fight will be difficult but possibly winnable.”), and CD5 (“Roy Cho (D) may yet offer strong competition. It is clearly a difficult, uphill battle, but victory would be so sweet.”) Fast forward to today: In these three congressional districts Democrats have indeed launched strong campaigns.
Doing battle successfully against incumbents, as in CD 2 and CD 5, is never easy nor in CD 3, which with the exception of John Adler in 2010, has long voted Republican. It will require all hands on deck. With less than a month to go, see below the fold for an update, and join the fray.
CD 3 (large parts of Burlington and Ocean counties) This district’s open race (which leans Republican) continues to offer the best chance for a Democrat to take over a Republican seat. Democrat Aimee Belgard in a Richard Stockton poll ending September 14 “was in a tie with Republican Tom MacArthur at 42.2% each, with 12.8 percent undecided.” The undecideds provide her with sufficient opportunity. She is doing best in Burlington whereas he is doing best in Ocean. Another September poll, by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “has MacArthur at 46% and Belgard at 43% – a dead heat in a poll with a 4.9% margin of error.” Both are well financed – MacArthur through a $3 million self-loan and Belgard through contributors and independent funders. She is in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Red to Blue program and EMILY’s List. Go here for the NJTV debate. Voter Registration data for this CD are 235,552 unaffiliated, 130,950 Democrats and 122,558 Republicans – slightly more Democrats than Republicans but as is normal considerably more pesky Independents.
CD 2 (all of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties, and parts of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Ocean counties) In this far-flung district Democrat Bill Hughes in his first foray into election politics received only 2,184 primary votes less than long-time incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo. In the Richard Stockton poll of likely voters ending October 1 “LoBiondo leads Hughes 44 percent to 38 percent.” There were 18 percent undecided or not expressing a choice, which provides Hughes votes to capture. LoBiondo draws the most support from men and senior citizens, while Hughes is strongest among voters younger than 30 and African-Americans. NJ State Democratic Chair Currie called LoBiondo attacks “slimy and cowardly.” Hughes has asked for eight debates, but so far Tea Party LoBiondo has accepted zero. Hughes is in the DCCC’s Red to Blue Program. Voter Registration data for the district are Unaffiliated 223,566, Democrats 127,628 and Republicans 117,985.
CD 5 (43 towns in Bergen, 19 in Sussex, 15 in Warren,and 2 in Passaic counties) Democrat Roy Cho has been gaining momentum with support from unions, a Hispanic group and women. The only public survey available was commissioned by Cho’s staff and taken back in June by Garin Hart Yang Research Group which had incumbent Republican Scott Garrett ahead at 47% against newcomer Roy Cho at 34%, with 19% undecided. Interestingly even at that early point, while Cho was just launching his campaign, Garrett, beloved by the Tea Party, was below 50% and there was a substantial block of undecided voters. Flash forward and Cho has launched an aggressive effort against New Jersey’s harshly conservative Garrett who so far has refused to debate. Cho’s campaign staff has said he has blown past all his prior quarterly fundraising totals. He has his own TV ad and has blasted Garrett as “the height of hypocrisy” in deceiving voters on his Hurricane Sandy record. Voter Registration Data for this district are Unaffiliated 230,542, Democrats 120,261 and Republicans 132,100.