Good news for Democrats running for Congress in New Jersey
Right now, Republicans hold 5 Congressional seats in New Jersey — but a new poll finds Democrats are in a good position to take all of them in the November election.
Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said when New Jerseyans were asked what party they would vote for, 54 percent said Democratic and 35 percent said Republican.
“That’s a 19 point advantage. Just two years ago the Democrats won the statewide House vote by just 8 points, and it was an even lower 2 points in 2014,” Murray said.
He said what’s shocking about this is “that number is coming almost entirely from a swing in the five seats that are currently held by Republicans, which is a huge change there.”
New Jersey Republican Congressmen include Frank LoBiondo (2nd District), Tom MacArthur (3rd District), Chris Smith (4th District), Leonard Lance (7th District) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (11th District).
"Right now in those five seats the advantage has basically disappeared," Murray said. "46 percent say they’ll vote for the Republican candidate, 44 percent say for the Democrat."
He said that’s pretty much an even split, but “two years ago Republicans won those five seats by 22 points, so they’re down 20 points overall in the five seats.”
Murray said the change is being driven by how unpopular President Donald Trump is in New Jersey.
“We find that just 34 percent approve of the job he’s doing, and 61 percent disapprove,": Murray said.
He also points out “even in the Republican districts in the state he’s still in negative territory, at a 43 percent approve to a 53 percent disapprove.”
In the seven Democratic districts in New Jersey, Trump has a 29 percent approval rating and 66 percent disapprove of the job he’s doing.
Murray added another reason why Republicans are losing support is the new federal tax reform plan.
“Just 35 percent approve of those changes that were made by Congress just a few months ago, and 46 percent disapprove,” he said. “We find that 49 percent of New Jerseyans expect that their taxes will go up because of these changes, and I think the biggest number there is because people look and say, 'What am I getting versus what the rest of the country is getting?”
In districts with Republican Congressional representatives, 42 percent approve of the tax plan, while 46 disapprove.
Murray said New Jerseyans were also asked about the importance of the Gateway project, which calls for the construction of a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River.
While Trump has opposed using federal funding for project, 39 percent of Jersey voters indicated they consider it very important, while 36 percent said it’s somewhat important to the state economy, and 67 percent said the project is either very or somewhat important to them.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted between April 6 and April 10 by telephone, with 703 New Jersey adults, including a subset of 632 registered voters. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percent.
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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com