NEWS

Can Republicans flip New Jersey’s state legislature from blue to red?

New Jersey Republicans face an uphill battle gaining control of the state legislature Nov. 7 with Democrats controlling both chambers and the governor’s office. 

In the state Assembly, Democrats hold 46 seats to Republicans’ 34. In the state Senate, Republicans hold 15 seats, while Democrats have 25. 

All 80 seats in the Assembly and 20 seats in the Senate are up for grabs this election. 

If Republicans gain any seats, it could help the GOP in the 2024 General Election and create concern for President Biden and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

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A ballot drop box

A voter drops his ballot in a drop box at Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center on Election Day Nov. 8, 2022, in Burtonsville, Md. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

While Republicans have remained in the minority since 2002, Democrats lost six seats in 2021, reducing their majority from 52-28 to 46-24.

Republicans may have a small advantage when it comes to turning out more monthly new voter registrations compared to Democrats. According to a recent poll by Stockton University, voters have a low approval rating for Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who is facing a federal indictment for alleged bribery and allegedly acting as a foreign agent.

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Capitol Dome

The U.S. Capitol (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc)

A majority of residents, about 80%, were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with the charges, while one in five had little to no knowledge of the case. 

Seventy-one percent of voters want Menendez to resign, and only 8% support his continuation in office. Both Democrats and Republicans, at 78% and 79%, respectively, believe he should step down, the poll found.

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The poll, conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy from Oct. 9-18, involved 630 New Jersey adults and utilized a combination of text invitations and phone calls, with 92% of interviews conducted on cellphones and 8% on landlines.

It also revealed concerning numbers for Democrats. Biden’s approval stands at only 38%, with a majority, 54%, expressing disapproval. The partisan divide is stark, with 76% of Democrats approving compared to just 5% of Republicans. 

An Arizona election worker checks a ballot

An election worker checks a ballot at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center Nov. 10, 2022, in Phoenix, Ariz.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Notably, only 30% of independent voters in the Garden State approve of the president’s performance, while 59% disapprove.

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According to Ballotpedia, there are 28 legislative seats without incumbents seeking re-election. This represents 23% of the state’s legislative body, the highest open seat rate in the last decade.

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