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The New Jersey State Assembly Chambers in Trenton

Maps: Party registration in key legislative districts

By Ben Kestenbaum, October 13 2019 3:10 pm

Less than a month remains until all 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly are up for grabs, and the special election for Senate in the 1st legislative district.

Statewide, unaffiliated voters (independents) remain the largest group in the state, but Democrats are close behind, and as the 2020 Primary and General Elections draw nearer, may overtake unaffiliated as the largest group in the State.

Democrats have voter registration edge in the 21st and 8th district, both of which were close in 2017, and top Democratic targets going into November. Republicans only have a lead one democratic held seat, the 1st. Democrats maintain healthy leads in the 2nd, 11th, and 16th districts, while Republicans hold a narrow lead in the 39th, and a healthy lead in the 25th. Unaffiliated voters remain the largest group in all districts.

In the 1st district, the only place in New Jersey with both a State Senate and Assembly election this year, unaffiliated remain the largest group of voters, with 40.2% of voters not being registered to a political party. Republicans slightly outnumber Democrats in the District with 30.93% of 1st district voters being registered to the party, about 2% more than 28.9% of voters who are registered Democrats.

In the neighboring 2nd district, unaffiliated voters have a narrow plurality of registered voters, with 38.8% of voters not registering to any political party. Democrats are close behind with 36% of registered voters in the district, while Republicans are in a distant third with 25.2% of voters being registered to the party.

The 8th district, which is shaping up to be one of the most competitive districts in November, currently has a plurality of unaffiliated voters, which make up approximately 39.4% of registered voters. Democrats currently have an edge over Republicans in terms of affiliation registered voters, with 32.4% of the district’s voters being registered Democrats, about 4% more than 28.1% of voters in the district who are registered Republicans. Compared to this time in 2017, the share of voters affiliated with the Democratic Party are up 0.8%, and the Republican Party up 0.6%, while unaffiliated Registration is down nearly 1.5%. Democrats currently have a 6856-voter edge over Republicans in the district, which is slightly larger than the 6334-registration gap in 2017 at the same time. Democrats only lost the 8th district in 2017 by under 700 votes, which means this shift could be enough to push them over the edge in November.

The 11th district, which has only recently been flipped by the Democrats, currently has a plurality of unaffiliated voters, who represent 43% of the voters in this Monmouth County district. 33% of registered voters in the 11th are affiliated with the Democratic Party, about a 9.5% advantage over the Republican Party which accounts for 23.7% of registered voters in the District.

Democrats have only recently made inroads in the 16th legislative district, with one assembly seat flipping in 2015, and the other in 2017, but the senate seat remaining in the Republicans Hand after a 574-vote win. Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by almost 10% and 10,000 registered voters, with 34.6% of the district’s voters being registered Democrats, compared to 24.8% of the voters being Registered Republicans. Unaffiliated Voters remain the largest group with 40.58% of voters in the district choosing not to be affiliated to a political party.

The 21st district, which was carried by Hillary Clinton, Phil Murphy, and Bob Menendez, is one of the top targets for the Democrats, as they seek to unseat Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz. To do that, they are going to have to do well among unaffiliated voters who make up 40.2% of the registered voters in the district. Among voters registered to a party, Democrats have a 3.1% advantage over Republicans, with 31.46% of voters in the district being registered Democrats, while 28.31% are registered Republicans. This edge is up from 1.01% at the same time in 2017, when Democratic Assembly candidate Lacey Rzeszowski lost by around 1550 votes. The share of unaffiliated voters from this time in 2017 is down by nearly 1.5%, while the share of Republican voters is down by about 0.3%. The current gap between registered Democrats and Republicans is about 5,200 voters, which is 1,000 more voters then it would have taken for the Democrats to flip both seats in 2017.

The 25th district race is going to be an important seat to defend for the Republicans, with the passing of Senator Bucco, his son, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, is trying to hold the seat, so when he takes his father’s place in the State Senate, the Republican Party appoints his replacement. Unaffiliated Voters have a narrow plurality in the district, with 36.52% of voters not being registered to a political party. Republicans are closely behind, with 34.2% of registered voters in the district being affiliated to the party. Democrats come in third, with 29.3% of registered voters in the 25th district registering as Democrats.

Democrats and Republicans are neck and neck in terms of voter registration in the 39th district, with Republicans accounting for 29.3% of the voters in the North Jersey seat, 1.5% ahead of Democrats who make up 27.8% of the districts registered voters. Unaffiliated Voters remain a large plurality, accounting for nearly 43% of the districts registered voters.

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