The National Republican Congressional Committee has a poll that shows freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) in a statistical dead heat with an unnamed Republican challenger, presumably Tom Kean, Jr.
The Republican leads Malinowski 44%-42%. The two candidates are tied 38%-38% among independents.
While the NRCC only released a polling memo publicly, the New Jersey Globe reviewed the full survey.
New Jersey’s 7th district is viewed by both parties as a battleground next year as Republicans seek to regain some of the 41 seats they lost last year in a bid to take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Malinowski remains largely unknown to most voters after ousting five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) by 16,200 votes in the 2018 mid-term elections. The new congressman has favorables of 29%-16%, with 54% of voters saying they haven’t heard of him, or still don’t know enough about him to form an opinion.
Nearly six out of ten voters (59%) oppose impeaching President Donald Tru An NRCC polling memo suggests that this puts Malinowski “in a tough spot,” since 57% of Democrats support impeachment.
Malinowski has said that he is prepared to start the impeachment inquiry as a beginning of a process but has not yet reached a conclusion about how he would vote.
The poll tested voter views on socialism, something Kean targeted in his campaign announcement in April.
Nearly six out of ten voters (59%) view socialism unfavorably, including 59% of independents and 55% of independent women.
“The bottom line is that the further Democrats run into the arms of socialism, the harder it becomes for Tom Malinowski to keep this seat. Malinowski is already fundamentally weak and will be forced to carry Democratic baggage while fighting a formidable challenger,” said NRCC polling director Caitlin Reed.
The 7th district has 4,572 more Republicans than Democrats in the 7th, which supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election by a 48%-47% margin – a 4,139-vote plurality.
Malinowski raised more than $560,000 during his first three months as a Congressman, the top fundraising haul of New Jersey’s four freshmen House members.
Malinowski outraised Lance in 2018 by more than 2-1, an impressive fundraising performance by a first-time candidate against an incumbent who had held public office for 25 years.
According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Malinowski raised $6,265,579. Lance raised $2,598,607.
Those totals do not include independent expenditures made for or against either candidate, nor do they include spending made by candidates’ political action committees.
Kean, the Senate Minority Leader and a legislator since 2001, is viewed as the front-runner for the Republican nomination.
Rosemary Becchi, a former tax counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, has formed an exploratory committee.
Political newcomer Tom Phillips, a human resources executive from Scotch Plains, has also announced his candidacy.
The NRCC poll surveyed 400 likely 2020 general election voters between June 24-26, 2019.NJ CD 7 Baseline Survey Memo