OPINION: The Extreme Left Loses in New Jersey

The wave of leftist Democratic Congressmen from North Jersey will have to wait at least another cycle.

One of the biggest takeaways of the still unofficial July 7 primary results is Democratic voters in New Jersey are not ready to make the jump to the liberal wing of the party that has happened in the last two election cycles across the Hudson River.

The Sen. Bernie Sanders candidate tree in North Jersey—tring to capture the New York magic of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018 and Jamaal Bowman in 2020—attempted to defeat reliable Democrats in this year’s primary, promising a more aggressive progressive agenda than incumbent elected officials.  

But the numbers show party voters rejecting those overtures in a big way.

The 9th Congressional District candidate Hector Oseguera, who promoted his work on AOC’s primary win in 2018 in his bid, was soundly defeated by a 72%-25% margin by Rep. Albio Sires.  

In the 5th Congressional District, Arati Kreibich highlighted her endorsement from Sanders as well as Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley in her attempt to unseat Rep. Josh Gottheimer. The endorsements failed to move the needle, with Gottheimer defeating the Glen Rock councilwoman by 50 percentage points.

Sanders campaign manager in New Jersey, Lawrence Hamm, fared even worse in his contest against Sen. Cory Booker. Hamm currently trails the former Newark mayor by a 89%-11% count.

And Sanders? Oh yeah, he lost the Presidential primary contest in New Jersey by 72 percentage points to the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The Republician Party message going into the 2020 elections is beginning to take shape and goes something along these lines: The Radical Left is driving the agenda of the Socialist Democrats led by Bernie Sanders and AOC.

The results of North Jersey’s primary tell a different story. Democrats want elected officials who stand up for those they serve, working to make it a more equal America for all. The reality is that leaders of the Democratic party are Biden and Pelosi, not who test groups tell GOP strategists to use in Facebook ads. 

In a data driven world, voting results are the most reliable numbers we can glean a message from. And the July 7 voting results overwhelmingly showed a rejection of the extreme left.


  1. Take away the party line in each county and these insurgent totals would
    have been greater. How candidates who stick to a strong New Deal platform,
    fair taxes, and strict environmental protections are labeled “extreme” Left is a
    sad commentary on contemporary liberalism.

  2. Who is the author of this opinion?
    My comment is that the author is ignoring the NJ democratic voter unification around Biden for the purpose of defeating Trump, regardless of their preference for Biden or Sanders. As an example, I prefer Sanders to Biden ideologically, but voted for Biden to cement Trumps loss, which is the overarching goal here.
    The Biden vote is not a rejection of liberal values, but you knew that already.

  3. IN my opinion – – – The problem was more that the progressive candidates that were run were not solid qualified candidates in parts of north jersey – – like in union county – – than democrats do not support left leaning democrats.

  4. The conclusion you draw is not supported by the data. Most of us Progressives did not bother to vote in a primary whose result was already completely fixed. Biden, and you, would be very mistaken if you think NJ Dems are not leaning much further left. We just don’t want the GOP to have any ammunition in November to split the party.

  5. oh yea, you lied to your readers by omitting the fact, that biden “won” after the democrats turned on sanders, again. this is a vote against trump, not for Biden. wanna argue that?

  6. What exactly does this writer think is “extreme”? What Arati wanted was what almost all Americans want: healthcare for all, clean air and water, elimination of corruption. We don’t want “democrats” who continue to enable corruption, de-regulation which leads to toxic air, land, and water, and enabling of “republicans” who are in court RIGHT NOW trying to dismantle the ACA and remove ALL protections. “Democrats” who continue to enable the Trumpublicans in attacking people in the streets, destroying the planet, stealing healthcare, attacking social security, and locking kids in cages will NOT get the support of the people here.

  7. The real story is NJ’s corrupt ballot process and design which favors party boss favorites and makes our primary process an undemocratic coronation rather than a fair democratic election. No other state in the union has a party line on its ballot which is why voters have more choice in any state other than NJ.

  8. This reads like a bad high school essay! The Democratic Party as a whole has moved left since 2016, partly because of Sanders’ campaigns. But it’s not the “extreme left”! That may be what Trump calls it, but why do you have to echo him? Any competent analysis would show that the party is becoming more progressive.

  9. The Left is gaining ground all over the country. Racist Confederate Flags are coming down. Statues to the Civil War Heroes are being taking down. After years of abuse of citizens by over zealous police who are finally being called to answer for their actions. The Conservative Right is over with their Racist, Homophobic, anti Immigrant policy is no longer welcome

    1. The reactionary “conservatives” are not “over”; they’ve just taken a few punches. We count them out at our peril. Push forward, yes, but remain ever vigilant.

  10. This editorial’s conclusion that “In a data-driven world…the July voting results…showed a rejection of the extreme left,” displays a weak understanding of statistics. It’s like the classic correlation between the length of women’s skirts and phases of the moon. Congressional incumbents win an inordinate percentage of elections, given the high level of voter disapproval of Congress. A few incumbent advantages: Name recognition; press coverage; campaign fundraising (incumbents have fundraising leverage that challengers don’t); tit-for-tat support from other incumbents; inadequate local news reporting; biased NJ election ballots (the party line biases results); poor primary-election turnout where a disproportionate percent of those who turn out have direct ties to incumbents, e.g., their paychecks are directly or indirectly signed by the incument.

  11. This is a moderate to conservative area. We reject emphatically the progressive left. If Dems continue shifting left we will vote moderate Republican.

  12. I am old enough to remember when the whole country sat further to the left before being dragged insanely rightward starting with Reagan. The not-at-all-radical Democrats on the left you cite are in many cases where mainstream Democrats were in the ’60s and ’70s. However, these New Jersey candidates are not well known to the general public and that may be a contributing factor to losing their campaigns.

    But if not in the primaries, than soon: a change is coming. It will come to some districts faster than others (as it has in New York’s more progressive districts) by the nature of their social and political makeup, but I see it and welcome it. Many lumped into the “boomer” generation fought for a far more righteous society 50-60 years ago and almost had it. Perhaps the next generation will marshal power to carry through.

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