After the primary: races to watch

Yes, we know that in the competitive primary districts there were no surprises, and given the dynamics of these districts the balance between R’s and D’s is unlikely to change. However, there were a few omens in other races. The votes in the primary are not predictive of outcome in the general, but they may provide hints, favorable or unfavorable, about specific races.

Races that bear watching and would benefit from additional support:

LD 38: This was the only district where both D incumbents received less primary votes than the R challengers. In 2013 this was an incredibly close race.

LD 1: A split district where the R incumbent polled well, but the R challenger outpolled both the D incumbent and D challenger. This is a district which previously had two D incumbents and was closely contested in 2013.

LD 2: Another split district where the D incumbent got the most votes, and the D challenger slightly outpolled the R incumbent and R challenger. This was another close race in 2013.

To read the still unofficial results for all primary races go to the Division of Elections website.

Go below the fold to see the candidates and polling results for the above three races.  

Source : NJ Division of Elections Unofficial List published (06/03/2015)

An * denotes an incumbent

LD 1 ATLANTIC (part) – CAPE MAY – CUMBERLAND (part) Counties


R BRUCE LAND (D) 1,765

SAM FIOCCHI * (R) 3,880

JIM SAURO (R) 3,575

Total 2015 primary votes: 11,174

(Total 2013 general vote: 110,011)

LD 2  ATLANTIC (part) County


COLIN BELL (D) 3,110

CHRIS BROWN * (R) 2,987

WILL PAULS (R) 2,698

Total 2015 primary votes: 12,122

(Total 2013 general votes: 110,836)

LD 38  BERGEN (part) – PASSAIC (part) Counties

TIM EUSTACE * (D) 1,950




Total 2015 primary votes: 8,588

(Total 2013 general votes: 104,101)

Two other districts had somewhat interesting votes: LD 27 where the R’s put up respectable totals (mirroring the 2013 general) in this D-leaning district with D incumbents –  with Essex voting D and Morris voting R; and LD 11 where with abysmally low turnout the D’s got almost as many votes as the incumbent R’s, but the district is solidly R.

When you look at the total 2015 primary votes per district bear in mind that if every registered R and D voter cast two ballots there would be on average 140,392 votes per district. Yes, the turnout was poor, but more on that matter in the next post.

Comments (6)

  1. marshwren

    in NJ and the country is the two party system itself, which is dominated by the 19th C. boss system (Norcross; DiVincenzo), bankrolled by special interests, and perpetuated by gerrymandering.  The lack of competitiveness at the district level insures that primary elections (which are little more than public subsidies to, and free advertising for, the two parties) are, functionally speaking, the general elections, which themselves are (at the legislative and Congressional levels) mere formalities that reconfirm the primary results.

    The other problem is that special interests (in NJ mostly R/E developers and major contractors) limit the candidate pool within the two Parties to sock puppets beholden to the systems of crony contracting (in addition to the usual patronage and nepotism), which subordinates the needs of not only the middle class* but especially the working class, the working poor and the poor to the greed of the campaign financiers.  Quite simply, in the vast majority of districts, candidates do not offer any policies of value to 85% of those they (allegedly) represent, who reciprocate by refusing to vote.  Which accounts for general elections with 35% or less turnouts, primaries with less than 10% turnout, and local elections (particularly school boards) with less than 3% turnout.  This is what money does to democracy.

    *My pet peeve is still Democrats who still pander on all fours to “the middle class” as if all others–especially those of us who aren’t white, affluent and/or live in suburbs simply don’t exist.  At least the GOP has learned to pander to the more generic (and superficially inclusive) “taxpayers”…but not citizens, a term that seems to have been outlawed in political rhetoric.

  2. CreedPogue

    LD 27 and likely LD 11 aren’t going to be a contest.

    1, 2, and 38 are the three big contests that can probably go either way in an extremely low turnout election.  But, LD 1 is the only one where there are more Republicans than Democrats.  All three could be swept if we “merely” concentrated our efforts on bringing out the base Democratic vote.

  3. Chris Hillmann

    Hasbrouck Heights had a Republican mayoral primary contest driving up turnout. Only reason for a higher R result


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