With Democratic Jeff Van Drew the favorite to win a congressional seat this year, Republicans have a poll showing them well-positioned to win Van Drew’s 1st district State Senate seat in a 2019 special election.
The poll, paid for by the Senate Republican Leadership PAC, shows a dead-heat generic ballot and President Donald Trump more popular than Gov. Phil Murphy.
The poll has Republicans leading on the generic ballot by a 46%-45% margin. Trump has a 52%-44% approval rating, while Murphy is at 46%-42%. The best number for the GOP is that voters, by a 51%-43% margin, prefer to see Republican legislators as a check on the Democratic governor.
Republicans began running digital ads in the Cape May and Cumberland-based legislative district last month. Van Drew, a right-of-center Democrat who has won the district since 2001, faces former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman in the November race for the House seat Republican Frank LoBiondo is giving up after 24 years.
The 1st has 4,512 more Republicans than Democrats and gave Donald Trump an 8,616-vote margin in 2016, 55%-45%.
The leading Democratic candidate is Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, an Iraq War veteran who was handpicked by Van Drew after Matthew Milam resigned in 2013, although his succession to the Senate is not at all automatic. Republicans have also not settled on a candidate, although Cumberland County Republican Chairman Michael Testa, a Vineland attorney, is considered a likely candidate for the post.
Van Drew defeated an Republican Assemblyman in 2001 and a Republican State Senator in 2007.
The poll, conducted by Cygnal, has a sample size of 308 likely voters and a +/- 5.6% margin of error.42242 NJSC-NJLD1-Memo