Home>Campaigns>In GOP stronghold of Morris County, Democrats had a much bigger primary turnout

Joe Biden campaigns in Montclair, New Jersey for congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill in 2018. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

In GOP stronghold of Morris County, Democrats had a much bigger primary turnout

49% turnout for Democrats, 33% for Republicans

By David Wildstein, July 26 2020 8:21 pm

Morris County has 24,903 more Republicans than Democrats, but in a primary election held primarily through vote-by-mail ballots, Democrats turned out in much greater numbers.

Turnout in a primary that was relatively non-competitive produced a 49% turnout for Democrats and a 33% turnout for Republicans.

Joe Biden outpolled Donald Trump in Morris County, 41,609 to 39,161.  An additional 8,904 votes went to Bernie Sanders; 3,415 Republicans who voted in the July 7 primary did not vote for Trump.

In th 2016 primary, three Republican presidential candidates – Trump (38,308), John Kasich (9,308) and Ted Cruz  (3,139) – outpolled the Democratic presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton (24,285) and Bernie Sanders (17,353) – by 9,115 votes.

Trump carried Morris County by 10,822 votes in the general election.

The 16-point turnout edge for Democrats in Morris County impacted results for other candidates in close and potentially competitive races.

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) collected 3,738 more votes in Morris County than his Republican opponent, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield).  Malinowski received 681 more votes than all votes cast for GOP House candidate in the Morris County portion of the 7th district.

Two years ago, Republican congressional candidates in the 7th district received 665 more votes than the Democratic candidates did.

That trend continued across the county in the recent primary.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s 44,396 votes was 6,465 more than the combined votes of the five Republican U.S. Senate candidates.  That doesn’t include another 6,791 votes that Booker’s primary rival, Lawrence Hamm, received in Morris County.

In the 11th district House race, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) received 38,373 votes in Morris County – 10,889 more than Republican challenger Rosemary Becchi got.

State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham) were both outpolled by their Democratic challengers in the 25th district, where the two are defending legislative seats in a November special election.

Bucco trailed Democrat Rupande Mehta by 3,814, while Dunn ran 4,710 votes behind her Democratic challenger, Chester Democratic Municipal Chair Darcy Draeger.

Republicans haven’t lost a Morris County freeholder race since the 1973 Watergate wave, but 8,538 more votes were cast in the Democratic primary this month.

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