A poll conducted by a super PAC connected to House Republican leaders shows a statistical tie in the race for Congress in New Jersey’s 3rd district and in the presidential race.
Freshman Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) leads Republican David Richter by a 45%-42% margin, according to a Congressional Leadership Fund poll obtained and reviewed by the New Jersey Globe.
“We’re just getting started but it’s already a tight race,” Richter said in a tweet.
The poll shows President Donald Trump with a 49%-46% lead against Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
In 2016, Trump carried the 3rd district by a 51%-45% margin against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The Republican poll has Kim’s favorables at 37%-31%. The largely unknown Richter has favorables of 18%-10%.
“The voters of Burlington and Ocean County know Andy; they trust him and they’ll support him for reelection this fall,” said Andrew Mamo, a spokesman for the Kim campaign. “They don’t know David Richter, but the more they see his failed record of putting himself before New Jersey, the more they’ll see he’s wrong for our district.”
The closeness of the race is no surprise in a district Democrats flipped two years ago after the GOP held the seat for a decade.
Republicans think they can beat Kim for a seat that hasn’t re-elected a Democratic congressman since Nathan Stratton won a second term in 1852.
A former Obama White House staffer, Kim stopped MacArthur’s bid for a third term in 2018 by 3,973 votes (50%-49%) in what was the closest House race in the state.
As a first-time candidate in the 2018 mid-term elections, Kim raised $6,230,916 – significantly more than MacArthur, who self-funded his first race. He brought in $4,778,480.
Kim has more than $3.5 million in his warchest after raising $1 million in the 2nd quarter of 2020. Richter, the former CEO of Hill International, is regrouping financially after beating back a Republican primary challenge. He reported $122,942 cash-on-hand at the end of the last quarter.
New Jersey’s 3rd district has 16,170 more Democrats than Republicans.
The poll of 400 likely was conducted by Basswood Research on July 13-15 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.
This story was updated at 10:20 AM with comment from Mamo and at 10:21 AM with comment from Richter.