The prevailing map was drawn up and first utilized in 2011, however it is going to be saved round a bit longer than deliberate. Final yr, voters passed a constitutional amendment backed by legislative Democrats that required the state to make use of the present legislative boundaries for the 2021 elections if New Jersey didn’t obtain census information required for redistricting by Feb. 15, which is strictly what ended up occurring. (The Virginia Home of Delegates, the place we’ve previously released 2020 election data can even maintain this yr’s elections utilizing its 2011 map.)
Now, to the numbers. Joe Biden received New Jersey by a large 57-41 margin, which allowed him to carry 29 legislative districts compared to 11 for Donald Trump. Crew Blue equally enjoys a 52-28 edge in the Assembly and a 25-15 majority in the Senate, although as we’ll focus on, Republicans maintain significantly extra crossover seats heading into this yr’s elections.
It’s arduous to consider now, however the GOP went into the twenty first century with majorities in every chamber which, together with their management of the governor’s mansion, gave them the legislative trifecta. It wasn’t for much longer earlier than issues started to bitter for Republicans, nevertheless: Democrats flipped the Meeting in addition to the governorship in 2001, whereas each events worked out a power-sharing agreement after they tied within the Senate. Crew Blue took outright management of the higher chamber simply two years later and has by no means seemed again, regardless of GOP victories in each the 2009 and 2013 gubernatorial elections.
We’ll begin with the Meeting, the place every district presently sends both two Democratic members or two Republicans to Trenton. (The final time any constituency break up its vote and elected one Democrat and one Republican was 2015.) Altogether, eight Republicans symbolize Biden turf, whereas two Democrats hail from Trump districts.
The bluest GOP-held seat is LD-21, a constituency that’s house to parts of Morris, Somerset, and Union counties within the New York Metropolis space. Mitt Romney prevailed 52-47 right here in 2012, however this is among the many suburban seats throughout the nation that dramatically swung to the left on the prime of the ticket throughout the Trump period: Hillary Clinton carried the district 53-43 in 2016, whereas Biden took it 58-40 final yr. That transformation, although, hasn’t fairly taken maintain down the poll. Minority Chief Jon Bramnick took first with 26% of the vote in his final race in 2019, whereas Minority Whip Nancy Muñoz beat out her Democratic foe 25-24 for the second seat.
The one Democratic-held Trump seats, in the meantime, are each in LD-03, a South Jersey constituency that has moved in the wrong way. Barack Obama received by a stable 55-44 margin in 2012 just for Trump to prevail 50-46 4 years later, and Trump took it once more in 2020, albeit by a smaller 50-48 margin. However as in LD-21, Democrats have held out down the poll: Assemblyman John Burzichelli won 28% in 2019 as fellow incumbent Adam Taliaferro beat his nearest GOP rival 27-23.
We’ll flip to the Senate, the place 5 Republicans hail from Biden seats whereas LD-03 is once more the one Democratic-held Trump seat. That Democrat is Steve Sweeney, the powerful longtime Senate president who has spent a lot of his profession infuriating many in his get together. In 2017, the final time Sweeney was on the poll, the New Jersey Schooling Affiliation even took the weird step of backing his Republican opponent, however that didn’t cease the incumbent from winning a very expensive campaign 59-41.
The bluest GOP-held Senate seat, conversely, is LD-16, a four-county seat that, relying on whom you ask, is entirely located in Central Jersey or North Jersey. (Central Jersey’s very existence stays a controversial matter in some circles, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy as soon as dubbing it “just a little little bit of a mystical kingdom—sort of like Camelot.” Murphy, although, later unequivocally tweeted, “As Governor of the Nice State of New Jersey, I hereby declare that CENTRAL JERSEY DOES EXIST.”)
This constituency supported Obama 53-45 in 2012, and it’s solely gotten extra Democratic since then: Clinton received 55-41 right here, whereas Biden took it in a 60-38 landslide final yr. Longtime Republican state Sen. Christopher Bateman held on 50.5-49.5 in 2017, however his retirement provides Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker an excellent alternative to flip the seat for Crew Blue. Zwicker’s GOP foe is former one-term Rep. Michael Pappas, who earned his temporary second within the political highlight in 1998 when he took to the Home flooring to deliver an ode to the particular prosecutor probing the Clinton White Home that started, “Twinkle, twinkle, Kenneth Starr / Now we see how courageous you’re.”
The GOP can also be defending one other open seat, the close by and aforementioned LD-21. This constituency is held by Minority Chief Tom Kean Jr., who misplaced a good 2020 race within the seventh Congressional District to Democratic incumbent Tom Malinowski. Kean, nevertheless, determined towards looking for reelection to be able to focus on a rematch with Malinowski. The GOP is fielding Bramnick, whereas Democrats are working Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello.
A complete of three legislative districts are also represented by a senator from one get together and a pair of assemblymembers from the opposite. LD-02, a 55-44 Biden constituency, in South Jersey’s Atlantic County, elected Republican state Sen. Chris Brown in addition to Democratic Assemblymembers Vincent Mazzeo and John Armato. Brown, although, resigned this summer to take a publish in Murphy’s administration, and Republicans appointed former Assemblyman Vince Polistina to switch him. This fall, Polistina will go up towards Mazzeo, who’s looking for a promotion. LD-16, the place Bateman is retiring, is equally located.
The one district with a Democratic senator and two GOP assemblymembers is LD-08, the place state Sen. Daybreak Addiego switched events to join the Democrats just a little greater than a yr after successful reelection as a Republican. Addiego faces GOP Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield this fall for this South Jersey seat that supported Biden 53-46.
There’s one different uncommon facet of New Jersey politics we’ll focus on. It was once pretty widespread for legislators to concurrently maintain native municipal workplace, a practice known locally as “double dipping.” The legislature handed a 2007 legislation ending this going ahead, nevertheless it allowed any affected incumbents to maintain each posts so long as voters continued to reelect them to every. 4 Democratic legislators, all of whom are working once more this yr, stay in each posts, together with state Sen. Brian Stack, who can also be the mayor of Union Metropolis and an essential powerplayer in Hudson County.
Oh, as for Asbury Park? It is situated in LD-11, which voted 55-43 for Biden. The Boss is well-known as a vocal champion of the Democratic Occasion, so if a seat opens up in the future, perhaps he was certainly born to run …
P.S. Since publishing our presidential outcomes for New Jersey’s congressional districts earlier this year, we’ve obtained info from Essex County that has allowed us to launch extra exact calculations for the eighth, tenth, and eleventh Districts. The tenth shifted from 82.8-16.4 Biden to 84.2-15.0 Biden, whereas the eighth equally moved from 73.1-25.9 Biden to 71.8-27.2 Biden. The eleventh, which is essentially the most aggressive of this trio, had the smallest change, going from 52.9-45.8 Biden to 52.7-46.0 Biden.