New Jersey now has 921,531 more Democrats than Republicans, according to new voter registration numbers released by the New Jersey Department of State this week.
To put that number into some perspective: in 2006, the first time Bob Menendez ran for U.S. Senate, New Jersey had 258,406 more Democrats than Republicans.
Democrats appear on a trajectory to outnumber unaffiliated voters (sometimes referred to as Independents) for the first time. As of September 30, unaffiliateds outnumber Democrats by just 151,724 voters.
That number in 2006 was 1,682,871.
Democrats have also gained voters in four of the five hotly contested congressional districts since the lines were drawn six years ago.
* In the 11th district, where GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen is retiring, Republicans have a slight registration edge of 7,290. That’s down from 24,176 since the June 2012 primary. Democrats added 569 new voters in September, while Republicans lost 27. Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber faces Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor.
* The 7th district has 7,448 more Republicans than Democrats; the GOP edge in 2012 was 29,997. New voter registration: Democrats 430, Republicans 75. Five-term Republican Rep. Leonard Lance faces a tough race against Democrat Tom Malinowski. Two recent independent polls show the race in a statistical dead heat.
* In the 3rd district, Democrats have a registration edge of 12,058, up from 8,863 in 2012. But Democratic registration went down 342 in the month of September, while the Republicans picked up 359. Two-term Rep. Tom MacArthur faces Democrat Andy Kim, a former Obama administration White House staffer. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll had Kim ahead.
* In the 2nd district, where Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo is not seeking re-election, there are 16,761 more Democrats than Republicans. Six years ago, when the district was drawn, the Democratic edge was 8,669. In September: Democrats +102, Republicans +208. Republican Seth Grossman, a former Atlantic County freeholder, faces Democratic State Sen. Jeff Van Drew.
* The 4th district is the only House seat in New Jersey that has actually become more Republican since it was drawn six years ago. Republicans had a voter registration advantage of 12,193 in 2002; the GOP lead has now grown to 18,339. Republicans added 148 votes in September, while Democrats gained 46. Republican Christopher Smith is seeking re-election to a 20th term. He faces Democrat Josh Welle, a former U.S. Navy officer who has raised $1.3 million in the most Republican district in the state.