New Jersey’s 5th district has added 18,219 new Democrats since Election Day 2016 when Donald Trump carried the district by 4,089 votes (48%-47%) and Democrat Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) by 14,897 votes (51%-47%).
In November 2016, the 5th had 144,999 Republicans and 142,629 Democrats – a GOP edge of 2,370. As of the end of July, the district has 5,095 more Democrats than Republicans — 160,848 Democrats and 155,753 Republicans.
The numbers could be good or bad from Gottheimer, who is facing a challenge from the left in the 2020 Democratic primary. The goods news is his district is trending more Democratic; the bad is that nobody knows which wing of New Jersey’s multi-faceted Democratic Party the 15,849 new Democrats affiliate with.
Hillary Clinton carried the 5th in the 2016 New Jersey Democratic presidential primary by a margin of 20.38% over Bernie Sanders.
When the 5th was originally drawn in 2012, there were 13,085 more Republicans than Democrats. That led Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) to opt out of a challenge to Garrett and instead run against Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) in the Democratic primary.
The 5th has 215,872 unaffiliated voters.
Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich announced last week that she would oppose Gottheimer in next year’s primary.
Gottheimer, the Human Fundraising machine, has $5,683,966 cash-on-hand. He is expected to be endorsed by Democratic County Chairs in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren tomorrow. He outspent Garrett, $4,782,462 to $2,411,570 and outspent him by $400,250.
He defeated former Cresskill councilman John McCann by 41,291 votes to win a second term.
Three Republicans have already entered the race to challenge him: McCann, Montvale Mayor Michael Ghassali, and Frank Pallotta, a former investment banker with the ability to self-fund.