Home>Articles>New Jersey is deep blue, except when it’s not

U.S. Senator Clifford P. Case, the last Republican to win a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey, and Assembly Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean on the floor of the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City

New Jersey is deep blue, except when it’s not

Unaffiliated voters down to 41%

By David Wildstein, April 18 2018 4:15 pm

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows Ted Cruz with a 3-point lead – a statistical dead heat – in his bid for re-election to a second term in the United States Senate. If recent polling is accurate, that means Democrats have a better chance of picking up a Senate seat in Texas than they do of losing one in New Jersey. A March Quinnipiac poll shows incumbent Bob Menendez with a 17-point lead over Republican Bob Hugin.

Texas and New Jersey are apples and oranges, but it drives home some interesting points about the New Jersey electorate:

* New Jersey has not sent a Republican to the United States Senate since 1972. Only Hawaii (1970) has gone longer, or in other words, 48 states have sent a Republican to the United States Senate since the last time New Jersey did it. Over the last 50 years, Democrats are 17-1 in U.S. Senate races.

* Over the last 50 years, Republicans are 7-6 in races for Governor of New Jersey. Voters have not re-elected a Democratic governor since 1977; Republicans have done it three times since then.

* Democratic candidates have carried New Jersey in the last seven presidential elections (1992 through 2016). The state voted for a Republican president in the six elections before that.

* New Jersey has 891,461 more Democrats than Republicans: 2,139,201 to 1,247,740. The state gained 186,783 new Democrats since November 2009, when Republican Chris Christie was elected governor.

* 40.9% of New Jersey voters are unaffiliated with any party – outsiders call them Independents. In November 2001, when Republicans last had a governor and majorities in both houses of the Legislature, that number was 54.9%. Democrats had a 25.3%-19.5% edge in voter registration; today it’s 38.8% Democratic, 21.5% Republican.

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