Republican Leonard Lance’s 7th district seat was moved from Leans Republican to Toss-Up this morning by the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Sabato’s Crystal Ball. This is one of the top non-partisan congressional race rankings.
“Lance represents a very affluent and highly educated district — NJ-7 is fifth among all 435 districts in median income and is one of the relatively few districts nationally where a majority of residents 25 and older hold at least a four-year college degree,” said Kyle Kondik, the Crystal Ball managing editor. “Given Donald Trump’s poor performance in similar districts across the country, it is probably no surprise that NJ-7 voted for Hillary Clinton by a point after Mitt Romney won it by six in 2012. In the context of generally strong GOP House results across the country in 2016, Lance’s 11-point win over an unheralded challenger was somewhat weak, and Malinowski will be well-funded.”
Kondik says that New Jersey is a key to the national Democratic hopes of winning control of the House. Sabato’s Crystal Ball has already put the 11th district seat of retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen in the Toss-Up column and has retiring Rep. Frank LoBiondo’s 2nd district seat as Leans Democratic.