TRENTON, N.J. — A powerful incumbent isn’t supposed to wait until the 9 o’clock hour to see his race called… in a primary.
But that’s exactly what happened to Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Tuesday night as Democrat voters defected in large numbers to vote for a little-known opponent.
He barely cracked the 60% mark with 75% of precincts reporting despite boasting universal Democrat establishment support.
Preliminarily? He lost six counties to his opponent. Six! Damn near a third of our state.
Menendez’s woes, catalyzed by a federal indictment, mistrial, and subsequent Senate admonition, have clearly left the senior U.S. Senator vulnerable; a recent pre-primary poll found him leading his Republican opponent Bob Hugin by single digits:
AP calls it for Menendez. But, again, these are not good numbers for an incumbent against a virtually anonymous primary challenger pic.twitter.com/vRnohIZhSj
— Matt Friedman (@MattFriedmanNJ) June 6, 2018
Tens of thousands of reliable Democratic voters just went to the polls and supported someone they’ve never heard of because her name isn’t Bob Menendez.
— Ryan Hutchins (@ryanhutchins) June 6, 2018
For those of you outside NJ following the #NJSen D primary – Know this: Lisa McCormack was a paper candidate, with no money, no organization, no media, and no campaign appearances. And she's getting 43% of the vote against @SenatorMenendez. Huge protest vote.
— Patrick Murray (@PollsterPatrick) June 6, 2018