In Battleground Congressional District 3, state Senator Troy Singleton (D-7) sees the trend lines visible elsewhere in this historic VBM election: brisk performance in the burbs and less animated productivity in Willingboro.
But there is significant context here.
Willingboro (16-1 D to R registration advantage) is experiencing an uptick this week as a consequence of stepped-up Dem GOTV, said the senator, who also expects appreciable numbers of voters in his party to submit their ballots on Election Day. Simultaneously, incidentally, more Republican voters are participating this final full week before Nov. 3rd election in the aftermath of a judge’s ruling against President Donald J. Trump’s lawsuit attempting to halt the all-VBM election in New Jersey.
Singleton occupies Burlington County, one half of the 3rd Congressional District where U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) is in a dogfight with Republican challenger David Richter. “I feel confident that in our highest profile race, Andy Kim will do extremely well in Burlington,” said the senator.
Whether it’s enough to offset the Republican-roiling Ocean County half of the district is another story, but sources in both parties have described Kim’s monetary advantages (and the GOP’s more intense efforts to peel a seat in CD7) as too significant a hurdle for Richter. Singleton noted the dynamics of the presidential contest, too, playing a substantial role in creating new opportunities for Democrats, especially in the suburbs.
“Typically we put heavy emphasis on Willingboro in Burlington County , and now [because of less than robust performance early] that takes on a greater degree of emphasis,” said Singleton. “We don’t do it the way we typically turn out voters in strong Democratic communities [in a conventional election year]. I feel confident we’re going to get there this last week; the issue is whether we banked enough early.
“Speaking broadly,” Singleton added, “I think it’s very clear the president’s coarse political discourse has effectively made the suburbs, and especially women, receptive to our message. He has turned them off, and we are seeing it in poll after poll. That’s why you see the president begging for the support of suburban women. He has frankly done a masterful job of turning them against him. That is the wind at the back for a lot of candidates.”
The BurlCo leader said he spends considerable time talking with people in his district.
“There are two really fired up classes of people in this election,” he said, referring to constituents in District 7. “You have African American women, who are very motivated, in no small part because of the presence on the Democratic ticket of [Biden running mate] Kamala Harris. And speaking in a broader sense, women, generally, and suburban women. They are taking this election personally. Suburban women as a whole want to punctuate this contest and put their fingerprints on this election. They are committed. I’m seeing it. Women outnumber men on the contact lists. Social media channels are talking incessantly. Their message is ‘wake up.'”
They are penetrating through the pockets of cynicism and those arguments maintaining an equivalency between two over the hill presidential candidates, Singleton maintained.
“The electorate does not have the luxury to equate the two sides,” the senator said. “This is an election that matters in material ways to the lives who say this isn’t our country. I would not frame it as the Trump economy, as he tries to describe it. Trump did not do anything egregious to upset the economy handed to him by [President Barack] Obama and Biden. It was this president’s dismissive nature of the COVID crisis that caused the Trump recession. He did not acknowledge what all of us have acknowledged painfully, which is that if we had a national plan and structure to fight back and to prevent the deaths, our mini-recession wouldn’t have been so precarious. Reasonable people are not jaded by the partisan prism, which is why they have come to a conclusion that forces the president to beg suburban women to stay with him. Folks are stepping back and not looking at this as a partisan exercise, but as the coarse incompetence of a president who took a booming economy handed to him by Obama and Biden and failed to confront a crisis, and they will give the victory to Biden, who is equipped to lead the country.”