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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy sees another Trump bump in early VBM returns

Mail-in ballots appear to favor Dems in most competitive races

By Nikita Biryukov, October 29 2019 1:20 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy said he sees another Trump bump in early vote by mail returns Tuesday.

“Someone wrote this recently: You probably have a heavy dose of President Trump in there. That would be my guess. You saw a significant amount of that in the elections last fall,” Murphy said. “Admittedly, those were congressional and a U.S. Senate race, but my guess is that that’s also a factor.”

President Donald Trump is largely regarded as having been the driving force behind a surge in Democratic turnout that saw the party win four of the state’s five Republican-held House seats last year.

Early mail-in ballot figures suggest Democratic voters have a lead in some of the state’s most competitive districts.

In the 21st, Democrats hold a 14-point mail-in ballot lead based on party registration. They lead by about six points in the 25th, three points in the eighth and four points in the 39th.

Roughly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans have returned vote-by-mail ballots in the first district.

It’s important to note that not all ballots are cast along party lines.

Still, the trend appears to favor Democrats, despite some tightening over the weekend.

“It’s not intended to benefit only Democrats,” Murphy said. “The fact of the matter is that if Democrats are participating at a higher rate, that probably tells you something about a number of things … I hope that it says something about how they feel about the general party’s health and what we stand for in this state and the stronger and fairer New Jersey we talk about.”

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