By the end of 2017 New Jersey most likely will retain a strong Democratic hold on the legislature and gain a Democratic governor. By the end of 2018 we might increase up to three new Democratic representatives raising our total to 10 Democrats and only 2 Republicans, retain our two Democratic seats in the U. S. Senate, and possibly add another progressive Supreme Court member. That is a sea change for NJ.
Such does not mean that there will be peace in the jungle. However, the disagreements will be among more like-minded individuals as opposed to the sharp dichotomy we now face between conservative Republicans, particularly Gov. Christie, and liberal Democrats in the legislature.
There are two potential trouble spots in the NJ scenario.
- In Congressional District 5 incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer is in a tough race.
- Senator Robert Menendez faces a federal corruption trial in September, and if he is found guilty he would have to leave the Senate.
Nationally, as POLITICO points out, “Crowded House primaries are becoming a familiar sight on the Democratic side.” The Atlantic recently outlined, “How the Democrats Can Take Back Congress.” Political handicapper Charlie Cook recently said, “Analysts who have watched congressional elections for a long time are seeing signs that 2018 could be a wave election that flips control of the House to Democrats.” Locally our activists are leading the charge to flip three congressional districts.
The path toward control of the U. S. Senate would appear easier because the addition of a net two new Democrats, joined by the current two Independents who vote Democratic, would provide a Democratic voting majority. However, there are far more Democrats in play than Republicans. The trial of Senator Menendez could result in conviction and temporarily provide an additional Republican place holder in the Senate appointed by Governor Christie.
While the outcome of Democrats gaining control of the Senate and House remains in flux the likelihood at least is increased Democratic membership in both houses.
A significant portion of this sea change is being brought about by one person. Thank you President Trump. You are helping to make all this possible. Your most recent job approval ratings from Gallup has sunk to 38% and from ABC to 36% – the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in dating back 70 years,
Part II will cover the House of Representatives, both in terms of NJ and nationally, and Part III will cover the U. S. Senate in the same manner, plus, look at the ramifications of impeaching President Trump.