Picking up the Operating Engineers’ endorsement today gave a boost to former state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. as he seeks the Republican nomination to get a rematch with incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7).
Kean still has to get through a Republican Primary, of course, where his foes include – perhaps most notably – Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23), a movement conservative from the western region of the Congressional District.
But the Democratic map decided during this year’s reapportionment makes it more difficult for Malinowski to win reelection. For one, the district’s new map eliminates Millburn, which proved very advantageous to the incumbent Democrat in his first collision with Kean, which he won two years ago.
The history shows same-party allies of the president in office usually suffering midterm public backlash from perceived presidential missteps, which gives Malinowski added reason to worry.
Both parties and their associative arms of political action committees (PACs) will spend considerable resources in this district, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempts to keep Malinowski in the win column and the GOP looks to reverse its dreadful Trump era fortunes by at least picking up a 2022 win with Kean.
In response to the operating engineers today signaling their support for the Republican, the Malinowski Campaign released a polling memo they say proves the race is closer than expected. Monmouth University Pollster Patrick Murray says that while Malinowski is indeed the most vulnerable incumbent Democrat in New Jersey, the battleground races this year hinge a great deal on events outside of the candidates’ control, like the performance of the economy and the status of the country when voters go to the polls in November.
If Kean makes it through his primary – and a chopped up field of contenders plus the backing of the GOP establishment make him the favorite – who would win a general election rematch between these two men?
Please answer the question posed below.