TRENTON, N.J. – The demographics of New Jersey continue to change at a rapid pace, a trend which carries profound implications for state politics and grim news for GOP candidates.
New census data released this week underscores the point.
In 1990, New Jersey was 74.0% non-hispanic white.
By 2000, that percentage had fallen to 66.0%.
In 2010, New Jersey was just 59.4% white.
The latest estimate for 2019 is 54.6%.
The numbers are seismic even in the short-term. Between 2010 to 2019, New Jersey’s Hispanic and Asian populations grew by approximately 20%, an increase of nearly 425,000 non-white state residents. Over the same period, the state shed 380,000 white residents.
Continued Democrat advantages with non-white voters serve as a major obstacle to state-wide success for Republican candidates particularly as public attitudes shift in favor of the “Black Lives Matter” movement. For example, in the April 2020 Monmouth University Poll, Donald Trump trailed Joe Biden, 54% to 38%, despite winning white voters by a 50% to 43% margin; the poll’s sample was 60% white.
In 2018, Republican Bob Hugin won 62% of the white vote but lost his challenge to incumbent Bob Menendez by a double-digit margin.
This year, the two leading candidates to take on Cory Booker are Rik Mehta and Hirsh Singh, both Indian American Republicans.
Both leading candidate for the 2021 GOP gubernatorial nomination (Doug Steinhardt and Jack Ciattarelli) are white.