ELECTION 2012 OPEN THREAD: New Jersey Races and Places to Watch Today

Happy Election Day, Save Jerseyans!

Click here to find your polling place; in New Jersey, they’re open from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

For those of you who are uber-excited to scrutinize tonight’s results, there are a few particular races/places to watch today as Garden State residents cast their ballots.

Did I miss a local race, news item or strategic angle which you’d like to expand upon? Interesting stories to tell from your morning polling experience? Line length? Reported problems? Other anecdotes? 

Let’s hear from you in the comments…

  • Romney vs. Obama: By How Much?
The RCP average says 11.8-points. In 2008, it was almost 16-points, but Bush managed to get it under 6-points in 2004. I’m referring, of course, to Obama’s margin of victory in New Jersey. No one doubts he’ll win here. The actual final margin will be very, very interesting and, perhaps, tell us something new about the partisan status of the state’s electorate heading into next year’s state legislative/gubernatorial election?
  • U.S. Senate Race: Kyrillos vs. Menendez
See here, then see above.
  • Republican Margins at the Jersey Shore
The Christie “Gold Coast” (Cape May-Atlantic-Ocean-Monmouth) provided his margin of victory in 2009 over Jon Corzine by offsetting the incumbent Democrat’s margin from Bergen and Passaic counties. No NJ Republican can hope to accomplish anything in 2012, 2013 or beyond without winning BIG at the Jersey Shore. Hurricane Sandy has thrown everyone for a loop; voting is consequently an absolute mess down there this year. Seeing how well the GOP county organizations cope with this unique challenge will be a true test of their collective strength.
  • Runyan v. Adler in NJ-03
New Jersey’s last allegedly “competitive” district post-2012 redistricting isn’t expected to be very competitive today. The national Democrat organizations have abandoned the hapless challenger Shelley Adler; the incumbent freshman Republican, Jon Runyan, is pounding the airwaves and up big in internal polling. If Runyan wins, and does so as strongly as we’re thinking, then New Jersey may not have another competitive House race until Frank LoBiondo eventually retires (his NJ-2 district is D+1).
  • Simon vs. Corfield in LD16
There’s a competitive special legislative race in LD16 this year (click here to read our race profile). Summary: freshman Republican legislator Donna Simon is fighting for a full term against an art teacher, Marie Corfield, who garnered some notoriety by challenging Chris Christie at a town hall meeting. Insiders give Simon the edge but this district is the ultimate swing district. For all these reasons and a few others, it’s a perfect bellwether heading into next year’s 2013 legislative contests. If Democrats somehow manage to win, count on Democrats to tout it as a referendum on Chris Christie. Get to know Marie Corfield by reading her guest Save Jersey post.
  • The Bergen Freeholder Race
Control is on the line in this battle for the freeholder board; regular Save Jersey readers don’t need a refresher on the enormously destructive GOP civil war that dominated most of the year. Can a divided party unite well enough to elect a talented but controversial incumbent Rob Hermansen along with his running mate? Or will the divisions and presidential-year turnout prove insurmountable hurdles? Obama carried the county by 9-points in 2008. The Governor’s political tacticians will be watching this one closely.
  • The Gloucester County Race
After picking up two freeholder seats for the first time in a LONG time two years ago, Gloucester Republicans are fighting to pick up two more and take a 4-to-3 majority on the board. It’s been a tough fight; for example, the GOP Chairman/Freeholder, Larry Wallace, woke up to the sound of his mailbox blowing up back in August. Victory is most definitely not a foregone conclusion in Senate President Steve Sweeney’s power base. That said, GOP operatives tell me it’s their favorite pick for a New Jersey Republican upset tonight based on a variety of factors including their large number of banked voter contacts and a fundraising visit from Governor Christie. Gloucester is very much a “purple” county (Obama carried it in ’08; Christie won in ’09) and may hinge on how well Romney does in South Jersey. And could those late Philly market ad buys have an indirect effect?
  • Ballot Question #1

Ballot Question #2 will pass (increasing judicial benefit contributions). Ballot Question #1, which I’ve renamed the “Big Labor/Big Academia Stimulus Package” is also favored to pass but could be closer. It’s a horrible bill that deserves to go down. I’ve strongly urged Save Jerseyans to vote NO and am hoping for an unexpected taxpayer revolt. Sigh…

 

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