COVID-19 is slowing the growth of voter registration in New Jersey.
The state’s voter rolls increased by just 2,815 in May, a number that reflects a 522% decrease over May voter registration in 2019 and a 1480% decrease from New Jersey voter registration in May 2016.
Republican voter registration actually outpaced Democrats in May 2020 for the first time since before Chris Christie became governor in 2009. New Jersey added five additional Republicans and lost 141 Democrats.
The number of unaffiliated voters in the state grew by 3,013 over the last month. Both parties anticipate a substantial drop in the number of unaffiliated voters after the July 7 primary election, when 2,407,570 unaffiliateds will receive applications to vote by mail.
New Jersey remains on pace to have 1 million more Democrats than Republicans. The current voter registration edge is 995,669.
With the 2020 primary election moved to July 7, the voter registration deadline is now June 16.
While the numbers are statistically insignificant, GOP registration outpaced Democrats in seven of the state’s twelve congressional districts, including the 3rd district where freshman Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) faces a tough re-election challenge. Kim’s district added 109 Republicans and 7 Democrats.
Republicans outperformed Democrats in the 1st, 8th and 10th districts – the most heavily Democratic areas of New Jersey.
The 7th was designed to send a Republican to Congress as part of a map that was widely viewed as a GOP redistricting victory at the time.
When it was drawn in 2012, the 7th had 29,997 more Republicans than Democrats. Now there are 1,358 more Democrats than Republicans.
Malinowski unseated five-term Republican Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in 2018 by 16,200 votes (52%-47%).
He is the first Democrat to represent the district since incumbent Harrison Williams, Jr. (D-Plainfield) lost the seat to Assemblywoman Florence Dwyer (R-Elizabeth) in 1956.
The likely Republican candidate is Thomas H. Kean, Jr., the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate.