In one of New Jersey’s most closely-watched congressional races, 21,120 votes have already been cast in New Jersey’s 2nd district, where Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) is facing Democrat Amy Kennedy.
Returned ballots from registered Democrats are outpacing registered Republicans by 7 percentage points, 44%-37%, with unaffiliated voters sending in 19% of the ballots so far, according to data released by the New Jersey Division of Elections and complied by TargetSmart.
As of Wednesday morning, the ballots of 9,294 Democrats, 7,764 Republicans, 3,966 unaffiliated voters (sometimes referred to as independents), and 96 members of minor political parties had been recorded as received.
Democrats outnumber Republicans by 18,844 in NJ-2, which Donald Trump carried by 4 points, 50%-46%, in 2016. Democrats make up 32.7% of the voters, while Republican are at 29.1%.
The 2nd was represented by a Republican congressman, Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor), for 24 years before his retirement in 2018. Running as a Democrat, Van Drew flipped the seat in 2018 and then switched parties at the end of last year after refusing to support Trump’s impeachment.
A Monmouth University Poll released on Monday shows Kennedy with a 49%-44% lead over Van Drew. The poll also has Biden ahead of Trump by three points, 48%-45%.
Kennedy, a mental health advocate and former public school teacher, is a member of one of America’s most prominent political families. Her husband, former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), is the son of Ted Kennedy and the nephew of John F. Kennedy.
Van Drew and Kennedy meet for the first and likely only debate tonight at the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. The debate can be viewed across the state on NJTV. Click here for a link of where to watch.