Hi, CBS – how are ya? Have you been firing copy editors? People, CBS News is out with a list of the ‘most interesting’ House races to watch. That’s cool. But then it’s not.
While New Jersey is considered a blue state on the national level, the middle and western parts of the state are far more conservative than the cities on the border of New York. Many Democrats see the path to taking a majority in the House as running through blue states such as New Jersey, New York and California.
So far so good. They’re watching NJ-07 – Lance v. Malinowski. We like that. And they get some of it right. Like, unless you live here, you probably haven’t heard of Rep. Leonard Lance; that’s polite talk for back bencher. But then they go off the rails. Their site blocks a corrective email, so I’ll fix it here. I’m just that nerdy.
- How many counties? CBS says Hillary won Lance’s GOP district by narrow margin (correct: 1.1%). But then they say Trump won 3 of our 5 counties. We have 6 counties. Methinks they forgot Essex and its one NJ07 town – forgive them, Millburn. Actual 2016 county split is 3-3 (Hillary took Essex, Union, Somerset – Trump took Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, the only county all in-district). K, next:
- Context matters: CBS says Lance won by large margins in the past, including 2016 by 11 points. True, but context: Peter Jacob, 2016 Dem nominee, did lose by 11 points. But that’s a lot closer than Lance won recent elections – 21 points over Janice Kovach (2014), 17 points over Upendra Chivukula (2012), 19 points over Ed Potosnak (2010). You have to go back 10 years to get to get that close against Lance. Lance won his House seat in 2008, beating Linda Stender by 9 points. But the cycle before, 2006, when Stender was running against Rep. Mike Ferguson, a Republican less skilled at self-preservation than Lance, she only lost by only 1.5 points. We believe she’d have won if our repeated calls to the national party been heard earlier. Summing up: Peter Jacob’s 11-point loss, without even a state seat launchpad like Assemblywoman Stender had, is evidence both of his own strength plus NJ-07’s ongoing demographic shift and the fact that this well-educated district is tiring of Trump-era shenanigans.
- Rep. Albio Sires, forgive them: CBS says Malinowski’s win might hinge on turning out “voters in the Elizabeth exurbs”. Huh? Elizabeth, NJ is in the 8th congressional district.
- Our neighbors North & South: Oy, CBS. You say fewer people notice NJ-07 because Tom MacArthur’s race is gobbling up all the attention? Maybe. But you say MacArthur’s opponent is Mikie Sherrill. No, no. No. On behalf of NJ-07, we wish victory for Mikie Sherrill in NJ-11 for Frelinghuysen’s soon-vacant seat against the (also-vacant) Republican nominee Jay Webber. And we wish NJ-03’s Andy Kim victory in his race against Trump-apologist Rep. Tom MacArthur. Myself, I live in here, and I’ll be voting against Leonard Lance and for Tom Malinowski in NJ-07.
CBS News, do we need to talk?