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Democrats have 19-point advantage in midterms in New Jersey, new poll finds

Democrats enjoy a 19-point advantage in New Jersey for the 2018 midterm elections among registered voters, according ...

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 5:12 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 5:12 AM

Democrats enjoy a 19-point advantage in New Jersey for the 2018 midterm elections among registered voters, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday.

New Jersey has 12 representatives in the House -- seven Democrats and five Republicans. The new poll found that Democrats could be competitive in the five Republican districts these midterms, with voter preference across those five districts nearly evenly split for a generic GOP candidate (46%) compared with the Democrat (44%).

In the past two House elections, these five districts were solidly red, averaging a 22-point advantage for Republicans. In 2016, 59% of voters in these areas went with the Republican candidate, compared with 38% for the Democrat.

The poll also found the voters' preferences were in line with previous election results in the seven districts with Democrats in the House. The poll found that in these seven districts combined, voters preferred the Democratic candidate to the Republican candidate 59% to 28%, in line with the average 30-point edge Democrats enjoyed in these districts in 2016 and 2014.

"This is pretty astounding," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Not only are New Jersey Democrats doing better on the generic House ballot statewide, but the shift is coming almost entirely from districts currently held by the GOP. If these results hold, we could be down to just one or two -- or maybe even zero -- Republican members in the state congressional delegation after November."

Four of the five GOP-held seats are CNN Key Races, with one listed in the leaning Democratic category, two as toss-ups and one as likely Republican.

The poll surveyed 703 New Jersey adults by telephone April 6-10, 632 of whom are registered voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for the full sample and 3.9 percentage points for registered voters.

The good news for Democrats in New Jersey comes amid several polls showing the nationwide Democratic advantage for the midterms narrowing considerably in recent months.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday showed a nationwide tightening for Democrats in a generic congressional ballot among registered voters, down to an advantage of 4 percentage points at 47%. In January, the last time that poll was taken, Democratic candidates enjoyed a 12-point edge.

An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll conducted April 8-11 -- the same time frame as the Post-ABC poll -- found a 7-point advantage in the generic congressional ballot for Democrats, down from a 10-point edge in March.

A March 29 CNN poll found the generic congressional ballot had tightened to a 6-point lead for Democrats. The same CNN poll had showed a 16-point Democratic edge in February.

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