NJ Congressional Battlegrounds: Where the Races Stand with Time Ticking Down


CD3: The rivals in this too-close to call contest (Monmouth Poll: Andy Kim 48%; U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur 46%) will debate tonight on NJTV. Having voted for Obamacare repeal and the Trump tax cuts, MacArthur yesterday put distance on Trump birthright


citizenship plan. But it’s his alliance with Trump that will help him in the Ocean portion of the district. Burlington County remains problem turf for MacArthur in this election, where Kim proves unrelenting in the polls. In its endorsement of Kim, The Asbury Park Press condemned what they cited as MacArthur’s extreme views. But The Burlington County Times backed the Republican incumbent, citing in particular his work on behalf of military veterans and the Joint Base.


CD7: In a battleground contest with brutal air wars, incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) scored the endorsement of the Laborers, and Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski won the backing of the Transport Workers. Monmouth University polling shows a strong challenge by the Democrat (another poll is due this morning), who has built an army of backers, including 2,000 GOTV workers for the final drive. Considerably outspent by his opponent, Lance is trying to sound a bi-partisan theme, noting in districtwide mail that he stood up to his own party when he opposed the elimination of homeowners deducting their state and local property taxes on their federal income tax returns. His allies are also trying to depict Malinowski as a left-wing carpetbagger. In response, Malinowski – running

Malinowski on Sunday with former vanquished primary foes Pringle, Mandelblatt and Salmon.

a$6 million plus campaign to date – has hit his opponent for voting 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and then reversing himself when it was politically advantageous; and for voting to defund Planned Parenthood. A diplomat by trade, Malinowski has most consistently run as a stronger opponent of a President whom Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray says is as unpopular in Somerset as he is in some parts of Hudson. “We have a problem,” Malinowski said at the NJTV debate when referring to Trump, a President whom Lance awards a “B” grade on job performance. Union goes Malinowski. Hunterdon and Warren go Lance. The race comes down to Somerset. Somerset GOP Chairman Al Gaburo trusts the unpopularity of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in the county (Menendez is down an average of 12 points in the red to blue districts) will flatten the potential for Malinowski to capitalize on Trump’s unpopularity in the chairman’s home county. But Malinowski backers trust their candidate has done enough to individuate himself from the wounded statewide incumbent, just as Lance backers think he’s put sufficient distance on the toxic Trump. One thing to note: Lance does not appear as robust as he once did, his former patrician alacrity gone now as he pounds doors in near desperation, trusting in his having delicately threaded the needle amid Trump turbulence. But it’s too close.


CD11: Having failed to raise impressive general election money on his own ($113,877 cash on hand on Oct. 17th, compared to $1.7 million by Democrat Mikie Sherill), Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) turned to the late intervention of President Donald J. Trump, who arguably helped drive long-serving incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) into retirement. Angling for a presidential run, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg promptly gave fundraising juggernaut Sherrill $2 million. It’s a close race in this classically Republican district. Monmouth University gave Sherrill a four-point lead earlier this month. Passaic County appears motivated for Webber


behind Totowa-based Republican Party Chairman Peter Murphy. Sherrill has Essex, where she’s running on the ticket with incumbent Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. The race will come down to Morris – town by town, door by door – where Webber should be stronger, in an environment potentially severely complicated by the Trump presidency. Sherrill trusts that Trump’s failure to fund the Gateway Tunnel project and a state and local property tax deduction elimination will enable her to ensnare Republicans and moderates; while the President’s persistent ability to alienate women (coupled with movement conservative Webber’s nay vote on an equal pay bill in the legislature) gives her a shot at scoring strong with that demographic.

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