Eighty state assembly seats are up this November, and neither side is leaving anything to chance. Democrats raised $10.9 million, and the Republicans, $3.8 million. New Jersey is on a two-year cycle, and this year assembly candidates are running without their senate counterparts on the ticket. Major changes in the assembly are usually indicative of future changes in the next senate election cycle.
This election will be interesting because the shift to the political right is slowly taking hold in New Jersey. It is having a noticeable effect on both the people and the economy. That is to say the need for lower taxes and smaller government. Eagleton Institute of Politics reports that most residents oppose the gas tax. And New Jersey-ans are not to excited about the recent indictment of US Senator Bob Menendez for ethics violations. The charges sent his favorable poll numbers to the below thirty percent. The number of registered Democrats in Hudson county decreased by 15,000 in from 2013 – 2015.
Jeff Bindle, commission chair, said that outside groups may focus on a handful of targeted districts, two of which are in the South Jersey region. That is deep within the power base of the current senate president, Democrat Stephen M. Sweeney, LD3.
If a likely upset were to occur, the Democrats in the senate would be hard pressed in 2017 to hold on to its eight-seat majority, most of which is concentrated in the tail ends of the state.
With only the lower house running, total spending is estimated to be significantly less than the high water mark of $10.5 million set back in 2013. And while the price tag for a governor’s race could be in the low tens of millions, the new focus is set on building momentum for the 2016 presidential race.
The movement of cash to the media outlets will be substantial from now until that point, putting message against the merits of the public good attained while in office and lambasting others for ineptitude structuring the regulatory process. If ELEC provided a breakdown of the services on which the money was spent (Internet advertising, staff, office space), we could see the money flow clearly.
When the filing data is broken out, it shows that incumbents and Democrats have outraised challengers and Republicans in some cases by as little as two to one [Democrats to Republicans], in others by as much as 10 to 1, as in the case of incumbents to challengers. The districts with the most cash on hand occupy the northern half of the state.
Those are areas where population density mirrors California’s, in a land mass that has significantly less acreage. Assembly speaker Democrat Vincent Prieto LD32, from Hudson County, has over half a million cash on hand. Democrat Gerry Green, LD22, has over $200,000 to spend.
Republican Jay Webber LD26 has reported $141,000.