All eyes are on New Jersey’s 2nd district, where freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) is headed toward a likely challenge in the Democratic primary over his opposition to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
While the conventional wisdom is that primary voters in South Jersey are moderate or conservative Democrats, that’s not really the case.
In the 2016 New Jersey Democratic presidential primary, Bernie Sanders won 40.6% of the vote against Hillary Clinton.
That’s not as big a margin as people might guess.
Van Drew won his 2018 primary – the first contested primary of his political career — with 57% of the vote against three primary challengers who all positioned themselves well to his left.
And turnout comparisons are admittedly not apples to apples, Sanders received 7,439 more votes in 2016 than Van Drew did in 2018.
In the 2017 primary, the six Democratic gubernatorial candidates – none of them from the party’s moderate or right-of-center wing – received 1,891 more votes than Van Drew – then a candidate for re-election to the State Senate – in Cape May and Cumberland counties.
Since the last congressional primary, 9,763 new Democrats have been added to the voter rolls in the 2nd district.