Home>Feature>Somebody is polling an imaginary Greenstein vs. DeAngelo Senate primary, but so far sponsor is anonymous

Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Somebody is polling an imaginary Greenstein vs. DeAngelo Senate primary, but so far sponsor is anonymous

DeAngelo and Greenstein endorse each other, both will seek Mercer line regardless of county executive politics

By David Wildstein, January 20 2023 4:04 pm

Someone paid to put a poll in the field in Mercer County that tests a hypothetical Democratic State Senate primary contest between incumbent Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), but so far nobody has claimed responsibility for it.

DeAngelo says the poll isn’t his.

“I am getting my petitions read to run for the General Assembly,” DeAngelo told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m 100% supporting Linda and she’s supporting me.”

Greenstein, who won a State Senate seat in 2010 after eleven yeas in  the Assembly, isn’t doing any polling.

“I have no idea who it is,” she said.

The poll question – “If the Democratic primary were held today, who would you vote for State Senate, Wayne DeAngelo or Linda Greenstein?”  —  was part of a survey of likely Democratic primary voters in Mercer County – and possibly only in the 14th legislative district — and tested the contest for county executive between five-term incumbent Brian Hughes and  Assemblyman Dan Benson(D-Hamilton).

The asked some of the usual questions – is Mercer on the right or wrong track, what issues should be addressed, and if Democrats prefer a candidate for local office based on “reliability and stability or new people and results” or new ideas and innovations vs. a track record of success.”

But neither of the county executive candidates say the poll comes from their campaign,

“No, it’s not my poll,” Hughes said, adding that DeAngelo has never mentioned running for the Senate to him.

The Benson campaign said it’s not their’s either.

Talk of top-to-bottom off-the-line primaries began last month when Hughes said he might recruit is own slate of candidates if he doesn’t win the Mercer County Democratic convention.  Any candidate who hits the 40% mark at the convention is eligible to run in the organization column in the June primary.

DeAngelo, a labor leader who serves as President of the Mercer/Burlington Building Trade and IBEW Local 269, is a strong supporter of Hughes’ bid for a sixth term.

“Brian has been good to the building trades and the electricians union,” he said.

But DeAngelo dismissed the idea that he would run off the line in his bid for re-election to the Assembly seat he first won in 2007.    He said he was “seeking the Democratic slogan” for the primary.

In a telephone interview, Greenstein appeared confident in her relationship with DeAngelo despite her support of Benson for county executive and said she was supporting DeAngelo’s candidacy.

“I’m working hard, as I always do,” Greenstein said.  “I hope people will decide I’m  the right candidate.”

Democrats were also surveyed as to their views of Hughes, Benson, Greenstein, DeAngelo, Gov. Phil Murphy, President Joe Biden, and labor unions;  they were asked to “provide your feelings of these people on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 being the coldest and 100 being the warmest.”

The poll was made from a call center operated by Dynata, a Dallas-based data collection firm.  The New Jersey Globe obtained the poll questions through someone who received a call.

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