By Matt Rooney
With most of the ballots (finally) counted in New Jersey, Save Jerseyans, it appears that former Vice President Joe Biden won two more counties in 2020 than Hillary Clinton managed to carry in 2016. One in South Jersey, and the other up in the heart of North Jersey.
Gloucester County – a suburban Philadelphia county home to Democrat Senate President Steve Sweeney and Rowan University – is turning into a national bellwether. It’s now voted for the winner of the presidency (nationally) in every election for four straight cycles beginning in 2008. Trump eked out a win there last time around by a razor-thin 0.5-point margin. This time, he lost Gloucester by about 2-points.
There’s actually a recount about to begin in a relatively close Gloucester freeholder race; the third Democrat to win is holding onto a sub-2,000 vote margin. Gloucester’s exurban enclaves and rural areas are in a constant tug-of-war with the bluer river towns for control of the county’s ideological orientation.
Up in North Jersey, Democrats finally managed to flip Morris County – home to Chris Christie and many of the nation’s wealthiest NYC metro suburbs – making Joe Biden the first Democrat presidential nominee to carry Morris since LBJ in 1964.
Biden’s margin there is about 4-points. That’s a major 8-point swing from Trump’s 4.2-point margin of victory in 2016, movement which epitomizes the struggles Republicans continue to have in suburbs with a high number of college and graduate-level degree holders.
State-wide, Biden carried 14 counties to Trump’s 7 (Cape May, Salem, Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex, Monmouth and Ocean).
Joe Biden’s final margin of victory is coming in at 15.9-points. Trump lost to Clinton by 14.1% in 2016.
The closest any Republican has come to carrying New Jersey since we started doing the “red state vs. blue state” thing in 2000 was 2004 when, riding a post-9/11 patriotic sentiment, George W. Bush lost to Al Gore in the Garden State by *only* 6.68-points.