Monday, 23 April, 2018

New Jersey Democrats in Strong Position to Flip GOP Districts

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Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2018, 04:54

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.

He's given roughly $222,000 since the 2016 election to 78 Democrats running for Congress, according to federal election data from 2017 and a preview of Klarman's first-quarter donations provided to the Globe by a person familiar with his giving.

In the five House seats now held by a Republican, voter preference is split 46 percent for the GOP candidate and 44 percent for the Democrat, according to the poll.

"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 nearly entirely from districts now held by the GOP", Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

However, in the past two elections, these districts averaged a 22-point advantage for Republicans. 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.

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If the result holds in November, it could spell trouble for the five Republican representatives in the state.

But the rise of Donald Trump shocked and dismayed Klarman, as did the timid response from the Republican-controlled House and #Senate, which have acquiesced rather than challenge the president's erratic and divisive ways. Almost half of New Jersey residents believe their taxes will go up because of the law, and only 19 percent think they will go down. Just 34 percent approve of the job Trump is doing, while 61 percent disapprove.

Klarman said he's financing his new political donations using his share of the $1.5 trillion tax cut Trump signed into law late past year.

Only 35 percent of state residents approve of the new tax reform law, while 46 percent disapprove. Even among residents in the state's five GOP-held congressional districts, Trump's approval rating is only 43 percent, compared with 53 percent who disapprove. Forty-seven percent of these residents expect their federal taxes to go up, the poll found.

The poll was conducted from April 6 to 10 among 632 voters and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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