Donald Trump continues to be overwhelmingly unpopular in New Jersey. Accordingly, Democrats believe that in this year’s elections, they can gain House of Representatives seats in all five of the New Jersey Congressional districts currently represented by Republicans.
There are two districts where the Republican incumbent Representative is not running for reelection, namely the Second and the Eleventh, where Frank LoBiondo and Rodney Frelinghuysen, respectively, will both be stepping down. Both these gentlemen have been outstanding Congressmen, and their retirements constitute a significant loss to the State of New Jersey in general and the New Jersey Republican Party in particular.
These two retirements open the door to the Democrats capturing both these seats. In the Second, Democratic State Senator Jeff Van Drew is a virtually certain winner. In the Eleventh, the Democratic challenger, Mikie Sherrill has star quality, and her likelihood of victory seems to be increasing. If she wins, she is likely to hold that district for decades – unless she becomes a candidate for statewide office.
The Third District is represented by Republican Tom MacArthur, the most pro-Trump Congressman in the state. This district, however, is better disposed towards Trump than any other in New Jersey. It includes Ocean County, the major NJGOP stronghold outside the Northwest Quadrant. MacArthur is also outstanding in providing constituent services. Tom MacArthur will win.
The Fourth District is represented by Republican Chris Smith, the dean of the state Congressional delegation. This is the only New Jersey Congressional district where in recent years, Republicans have outpaced Democrats in new registrations. Smith is extremely well-entrenched and popular in the Fourth, and he has a superb reputation for ethics, integrity, and incisive issue analysis. He will be reelected by a comfortable margin.
The contest in the Seventh District between incumbent Representative Leonard Lance and Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski will determine whether the Democrats pick up two or three New Jersey Congressional seats.
If Lance loses, it will be due to the massive unpopularity of Trump in his district. Leonard knows this, and he has most admirably placed major distance between himself and the policies and behavior of the President. There is no question regarding Lance’s impeccable ethics and courageous independence. Nevertheless, Democrats and the Malinowski campaign will attempt to make this election a referendum on Trump and tie Leonard to him simply due to their common Republican registration.
Yet in terms of ideological identification, the voters of the Seventh tend to identify with the center, be it center-right or center-left. Leonard Lance is clearly a man of the center-right.
By contrast, Tom Malinowski is a man of the Ultra-Left. This is demonstrated most clearly by his association with two far left allies: George Soros and J-Street. And Malinowski’s refusal to disavow either of these two backers will cost him dearly. Indeed, the Ultra-Left albatross of George Soros and J Street may be sufficient to cost Tom Malinowski the election.
George Soros is the ultimate financier of the Far Left of the Democratic Party. He has a much closer relationship with Tom Malinowski than any other New Jersey Democratic candidate in the 2018 election. During the last three years of Malinowski’s tenure as the Washington Director of Human Rights Watch, Soros served as a major financial backer of the organization.
Soros is most noted for his virulent opposition of to the State of Israel, an issue of major significance to New Jersey. By contrast, Lance has been a reliable and strong supporter of the American-Israel alliance. This is of the highest relevance in this campaign, in view of the endorsement that Malinowski has received from an organization of which Soros was a founder and major financier: J Street.
J Street has a well-deserved reputation for being the prime advocacy organization for Israeli appeasement of its major enemies, most notably, Iran. The contrast between Lance and Malinowski on Israel has made this race a matter of highest significance to Israel supporters and pro-Israel organizations throughout the nation.
If the center holds in the Seventh District, Leonard Lance will be reelected.
Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman.
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