National GOP group insists 9 N.J. legislative districts are in play for Election 2023

Most New Jersey Republicans are focusing on a handful of districts in the hopes of making modest but significant gains in November 2023.

Are they not thinking big enough? The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), a national organization charged with helping GOP candidates win state legislative contests, believes there’s every reason to expand the battle map based upon data from 2,250 recent likely voter interviews.

LD2, 3, 4, 8, 16 and 11 are the usual suspects; the RSLC insists LD14, 36, and 38 are also ripe to flip with… and this is always key… sufficient resources from the national GOP donor class.

“Not only is Joe Biden unpopular in New Jersey, he is wildly unpopular in the legislative districts most likely to be competitive in 2023,” RSLC Deputy Executive Director Edith Jorge (herself a New Jersey veteran operative) explains in the memo obtained by Save Jersey.

For example, in LD4 where Democrats are grappling with a State Senate incumbent retirement, Jorge reports that “a generic Republican sits virtually tied 45-46 in this district, while Joe Biden is upside-down with a 41-52 favorable / unfavorable image, despite registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans by double digits.”

Republicans also happened to post registration gains in some of these districts including LD4 in June, a fact which is possibly suggestive of momentum.

Meanwhile, in suburban Bergen LD38 which was reliably competitive in its pre-redistricting configuration, the RSLC says “Republicans lead 46-43 on the generic ballot while Joe Biden is very unpopular with a 37-55 unfavorable image.” This year’s LD38 GOP slate includes Assembly hopeful Barry Wilkes, a well-known semi-retired deli tycoon in the Bergen region.

“Our modeling makes clear that Joe Biden’s unpopularity coupled with a clear demand to hold Democrat legislators in New Jersey accountable for their failed agenda, there is yet again a pathway to victory in key battleground districts across the Garden State,” Jorge concluded before warning that “Republicans will only be able to continue to build on our prior successes if we have the resources needed to compete with the onslaught of spending from outside liberal groups.”

At least one big money Democrat group with ties to George Norcross III waded into the Republican primary this spring.

What would it take to generate significant gains? Democrats currently enjoy a 46-34 Assembly majority and 25-15 Senate majority; Republicans might need to come close to running the table among the top tier competitive districts to win an outright majority in either chamber, but a 9 district battleground map advanced by the RSLC would certainly increase the odds of a rough “Murphy Midterm” for the ruling party and, just maybe, super slim Democrat majorities that would have more difficulty passing controversial far-Left legislation.

The full memo is viewable below the fold…

________________________________

To: Interested Parties

From: Edith Jorge-Tuñon

Deputy Executive Director, RSLC

Subject: Strong opportunities for Republican gains in New Jersey – again

Introduction: 

Heading into another pivotal election cycle in New Jersey this fall, Republicans are in a strong position to build off the previous gains made in 2021 and continue to chip away at the one-party Democrat rule in Trenton. New data shows that the radical agenda spearheaded by Governor Murphy and his liberal allies in Trenton continue to make New Jerseyans more likely to vote for a Republican alternative who can serve as a check and balance.

In partnership with the RSLC and several in-state groups, Grassroots Targeting conducted landline and cell phone interviews with 2,250 likely voters in New Jersey from May 17-25, 2023, and modeled the results across the New Jersey voter file. Three key takeaways from the project:

1.  Not only is Joe Biden unpopular in New Jersey, he is wildly unpopular in the legislative districts most likely to be competitive in 2023.

2.  Overburdensome Democrat policies continue to be incredibly effective for Republican messaging, making voters more likely to seek out a Republican candidate.

3.  The Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas is an effective messaging strategy in every major swing district.

The Current Statewide Political Environment

New Jersey Republicans remain in a strong position statewide. In every legislative district listed below, Republicans either lead on the generic ballot or find themselves virtually tied with a Democrat opponent.

Key Messages Move Voters Away from Democrats

Our survey also found that the extreme liberal positions of Trenton Democrats alienate persuadable voters.

Legislative District 2

Republicans have a substantial 50-41 lead on the generic ballot, while Joe Biden is upside-down by 20 points (36-56) on his image, even with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by party registration.

Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and Democrats spending our tax dollars to incentivize illegal immigrants to come to our state and undercut wages while using our public services.

Legislative District 3

Republicans lead again on the generic ballot here 48-42 with Joe Biden’s image at 38-55 unfavorable, despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans by a notable margin on party registration. Mantua Township is a perfect example of the advantage Republicans have with swing voters in the district, as Republicans lead in a town that has more Democrats than Republicans.

Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and Democrats spending our tax dollars to incentivize illegal immigrants to come to our state and undercut wages while using our public services.

Legislative District 4

An excellent Republican ticket in the 4th Legislative District is boosted by an advantageous political environment within the district. A generic Republican sits virtually tied 45-46 in this district, while Joe Biden is upside-down with a 41-52 favorable / unfavorable image, despite registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans by double digits.

Our ticket has the unique ability to swing Democrat votes in Washington Township while overperforming in Gloucester Township, putting them in an excellent position for victory. Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Democrats spending our tax dollars to incentivize illegal immigrants to come to our state and undercut wages while using our public services, and Democrats’ support for teachers’ unions that push divisive and age-inappropriate curriculum in school classrooms.

Legislative District 8

Republicans have a solid 51-39 lead on the generic ballot, and Joe Biden is unfavorable by 20 points (36-56). Republicans are likely to even have a hard party registration advantage in this district under a 2023 electorate, reflecting the significant uphill battle Democrats would have to win in this seat.

Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and Democrats spending our tax dollars to incentivize illegal immigrants to come to our state and undercut wages while using our public services.

Legislative District 11

Republicans lead 47-43 on the generic ballot in the 11th Legislative District, while Joe Biden has a 40-53 unfavorable image.

Ocean Township represents the best swing opportunity to win a large municipality where Democrats outnumber Republicans. Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and the need for a check and balance against Democrats who have controlled the legislature for 19 straight years while holding the governorship, two Senate seats, and 75 percent of our members of Congress.

Legislative District 14

Republicans are tied 45-45 on the generic ballot while Joe Biden suffers from a 41-52 unfavorable image. Hamilton Township, making up over 40% of the likely electorate in this district, is the key swing municipality.

Republican messaging is most effective on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and Democrats spending our tax dollars to incentivize illegal immigrants to come to our state and undercut wages while using our public services.

Legislative District 16

Republicans lead on the generic ballot 46-43 while Joe Biden has a 40-52 unfavorable image.  Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and the need for a check and balance against Democrats who have controlled the legislature for 19 straight years while holding the governorship, two Senate seats, and 75 percent of our members of Congress.

Legislative District 36

Republicans are virtually tied 43-45 on the generic ballot, with Joe Biden holding a severely unpopular 37-55 unfavorable image. Lyndhurst represents the best swing opportunity to win a large municipality with more Democrats than Republicans.

Republican messaging is most effective here on Democrats’ support for teachers’ unions that push divisive and age-inappropriate curriculum in school classrooms, the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, and Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable.

Legislative District 38

Republicans lead 46-43 on the generic ballot while Joe Biden is very unpopular with a 37-55 unfavorable image. Paramus represents the biggest swing municipality in this district where we can win a town with more Democrats than Republicans.

Republican messaging is most effective here on the Democrats’ overreach against the use of natural gas, Republicans holding the line on Democrat tax increases that make our state more unaffordable, and Democrats’ support for teachers’ unions that push divisive and age-inappropriate curriculum in school classrooms.

Conclusion

With an effective Republican messaging strategy and the egregious policies coming from Trenton Democrats, Republicans are primed to make gains in both the Assembly and the state Senate this November. Our modeling makes clear that Joe Biden’s unpopularity coupled with a clear demand to hold Democrat legislators in New Jersey accountable for their failed agenda, there is yet again a pathway to victory in key battleground districts across the Garden State. However, Republicans will only be able to continue to build on our prior successes if we have the resources needed to compete with the onslaught of spending from outside liberal groups. We have hard work ahead of us, but with supporters like you, we will be able to make sure that we inform persuadable voters about the contrast between the failed one-party Democrat rule in Trenton and the Republican candidates who can offer a better way forward.

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is SaveJersey.com's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.