North-JerseyNews.com

North-JerseyNews.com’s Weekly Campaign Notebook Oct. 10

As we get closer to the Nov. 3 general election, North-JerseyNews.com will post a weekly notebook of actions of the candidates.

Presidential

President Donald Trump is headed for a decisive defeat in New Jersey, and those who support his opponent are motivated more by animus for the president than they are by support for former vice-president Joe Biden. This and other findings from the most recent statewide survey by the Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll of New Jersey adults provides a preview of what can be expected on Election Day.

New Jersey is staying true to its solidly blue hue. Joe Biden is favored over the president by double digits. Among likely voters, the divide is 15 percentage points (53% to 38%), with similar numbers among registered voters (52% to 35%). Support for Biden exceeds that for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. In early October of 2016, Clinton enjoyed an eleven point edge over Trump (51% to 40%). She would go on to win the state with a bigger margin (56% to 41%).

Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris are also doing better among women and younger voters relative to the Democratic ticket in 2016. Four years ago, Clinton attracted the support of 54% of female likely voters, while the Biden/Harris ticket is favored by 62% of women who intend to vote, more than twice those supporting Trump (30%). In 2016, female voters favored Clinton over Trump by a narrower but still sizable margin (54% to 35%). Younger voters (18-34) are also showing a greater preference for the current democratic ticket compared to 2016. Six-in-ten (61%) support Biden/Harris while less than half favored Clinton four years ago. Men, on the other hand, have changed little in their party preference since 2016 and are basically split down the middle, with 46 percent supporting Trump and 44 percent in favor of Biden.  Fairleigh Dickinson University

Monmouth University Poll shows Joe Biden holds a small lead over Donald Trump in New Jersey 2nd Congressional district—48% to 45% among all registered voters, 50% to 45% among likely voters in a high turnout election, and 49% to 45% in a low turnout election. Trump won this district by 5 points in 2016 after Barack Obama prevailed by 8 points four years earlier.

The incumbent president gets an upside down job rating – 45% approve and 51% disapprove – in the district. Just 41% have a favorable view of Trump personally and 52% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Biden gets a split 45% favorable and 48% unfavorable rating.

Similar numbers of Democrats (69%) and Republicans (68%) in NJ02 say they are more enthusiastic this year compared to past elections. However, Republicans (51%) are much more likely to feel very optimistic about how the presidential race will turn out than Democrats (18%) are.

The Democratic challenger has an edge against the previously Democratic incumbent in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District. The Monmouth University Poll finds that Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s party switch is more of an issue for district voters than Amy Kennedy’s famous in-laws. The two candidates are on basically equal footing when it comes to understanding the needs of South Jersey. In the presidential election, this district flipped from Democrat in 2012 to Republican in 2016, and it looks like it might flip back again next month.

Among all registered voters, Kennedy is supported by 49% and Van Drew is supported by 44%. Another 1% say they will support a third party candidate and 5% are undecided. Among likely voters in a high turnout scenario, Kennedy holds a 50% to 44% edge. She maintains that lead in a lower turnout model with 51% supporting her to 44% for Van Drew. It should be noted that these leads are all within the survey’s margin of error.

In New Jersey’s U.S. Senate contest, incumbent Democrat Sen. Cory Booker leads Republican challenger Rik Mehta by 47% to 39% among registered voters in the 2nd district. Booker’s lead stands at 48% to 40% among likely voters in a high turnout scenario and 47% to 41% in a low turnout model. Monmouth University Poll

Joe Biden maintains a steady lead over President Trump in Nevada and the two are virtually tied in Ohio, as voters continue to express dissatisfaction with the President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new polls by The New York Times and Siena College released on Oct. 7.

Biden leads 48% to 42% among likely voters in Nevada and 45 to 44 % in Ohio, the polls found. Six percent of Nevada voters and 7% of Ohioans said they remain undecided. The polls were taken after President Trump announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, and most of the survey took place before President Trump returned to the White House from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Voters in Nevada said, by a 10-point margin, that they trusted Biden more than the president to handle the pandemic. In Ohio, Biden’s advantage on the question was seven points.

About one-third of voters in each state said President Trump did take adequate precautions to protect himself, while 62 % in Nevada and 58 % in Ohio said he did not. The New York Times

President Trump is drawing his weakest voter support of the year in his re-election race following the contentious debate with former Vice President Joe Biden, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

Biden leads the president, 53% to 39%, among registered voters in the new poll, which was conducted in the two days following the debate but before news emerged that President Trump had tested positive for Covid-19. Biden’s 14-point lead compares with an 8-point advantage last month and 11 points in July, which was his largest of the campaign at that time.

For now, though, the poll represents a number of flashing caution signs for the president. His support has never before fallen below 40% on the ballot against Biden. Women, who outnumber men in the electorate, favor Biden in the survey by 27 percentage points, 60% to 33%, compared with 20 points last month. At the same time, support for President Trump has softened among some of his most loyal groups, such as white, working-class men.

Negative views of the president dominate positive ones by 16 percentage points in the new survey, up from 11 points last month, and the share of voters with “very negative” views has hit 50% for the first time since President Trump took office. Meanwhile, views of Biden turned net positive for the first time since 2018, though narrowly so. The Wall Street Journal

Joe Biden holds a significant lead in Arizona after the first presidential debate, as Arizona Republicans face dissent in their ranks and an influx of Democratic-leaning voters in one of the nation’s fastest-growing states.

In the New York Times/Siena College survey, Biden leads President Donald Trump by eight percentage points in Arizona, 49% to 41%.

The poll began before President Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus. Biden fared significantly better in interviews conducted on Friday and Saturday, after controlling for the demographic characteristics of the respondents. Two nights of interviews in one survey, however, are not enough to make any confident claims about the effect of the president’s diagnosis on public opinion.

The result is better for Mr. Biden than his average lead of four points from other recent Arizona surveys, but it is essentially unchanged from the last Times/Siena poll of the state in September, which showed him leading by nine points, 49 % to 40 %. Right or wrong, Times/Siena surveys of Arizona have tended to show bigger Biden leads than other surveys of Arizona this cycle.

In the race for U.S. Senate next month, the Democrat Mark Kelly leads Sen. Martha McSally—appointed to the Senate seat once held by John McCain—by 11 %age points, 50-39.

A shift among Republican voters in the state toward Democrats appears to represent about one-half of the Republican challenge in the state, while the changing electorate makes up the other half. The New York Times

Congress 

Rosemary Becchi, Republican candidate for New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, has been endorsed by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

“Rosemary Becchi is a fighter for the people of New Jersey.” Haley said. “She’s taken on out of control government spending and fought for lower taxes for the small businesses and families in her state. When the left called to defund the police, she let law enforcement know she had their backs. I’m endorsing her because she’ll get things done in DC.”

Becchi is humbled by the endorsement, stating “Ambassador Haley and I both understand the impact that good policy can make in the lives of Americans. The people of New Jersey need a congresswoman who will develop policy that will support our small businesses, encourage job growth, and help families recover from the effects of COVID-19. In Congress, I will continue to put people ahead of politics unlike my opponent who votes with Nancy Pelosi 99% of the time.”

Haley served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2017–18). She was elected as the first woman to serve as governor of South Carolina (2011–17). In 2019, Haley founded a policy group called Stand for America with the goal of promoting public policies that strengthen the economy, culture, and national security of the United States.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) for re-election, giving the two-term congressman from New Jersey’s 5th district the support of the nation’s largest pro-business group.

“He has a proven track record of legislating responsibly and standing up for good policies,” said Thomas J. Donohue, the U.S. Chamber CEO.

Gottheimer also has the endorsement of top labor groups, including the New Jersey AFL-CIO, the New Jersey Education Association,  and the New Jersey and Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council.

The organization supported Gottheimer for re-election in 2018. The group had traditionally leaned Republican, but has supported dozens of Democratic House members seeking re-election in 2020, including Rep. Andy Kim (D-3). New Jersey Globe

Rosemary Becchi released a video attacking Rep. Mikie Sherrill‘s veterans’ advocacy record since taking office.

“Mikie turned away New Jersey veteran service organizations when they traveled down to meet her in Washington, DC.” said Nick De Gregorio, a Marine Corps. veteran who previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Being a veteran in Congress should not be about wearing flight suits in TV commercials. It should be about paying it forward to the veterans you served with.”

In the video, Vietnam Army veterans Gene Dittamo, John Reilly, and Bill Menzel, along with Iraq and Afghanistan Marine Corps. De Gregorio speaks directly to the audience, explaining why they have given up on Mike Sherrill while expounding on their support for Rosemary Becchi.

“Mikie Sherrill should be ashamed of herself,” said Rosemary Becchi. “Mikie Sherrill has failed to protect our veterans. We need to honor our commitments to those who served our country. In Congress, I promise that I will always support the men and women who serve and have served our country and their families.”

Commander William D. Squires, USN (Ret) released the following statement on behalf of Veterans for Mikie, calling on Rosemary Becchi to disavow a mailer recently sent out on her behalf to New Jersey voters with an image of a burning American flag with Congresswoman Sherrill’s name next to it:

“To use an image of a burning American flag to attack a sitting U.S. Congresswoman and former Lieutenant in the United States Navy is shameful and despicable. It is an insult to every single person who has put on the uniform.

“Service members risk their lives every day to protect and defend this country so that all of our citizens can enjoy the blessings of liberty that this great country affords. We wear the American flag on our uniform with pride. It is a symbol of our commitment to this country, our values, and our Constitution. Regardless of party, we should all be able to agree that using a burning flag to score cheap political points is wrong.

“Rosemary Becchi must immediately and publicly disavow this hateful mailer. Ms. Becchi has continuously lied about Congresswoman Sherrill’s record of service to our veterans, but to see this type of campaigning is beneath the dignity of the office she seeks.”

Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) raised $109,772 for his re-election campaign in the 3rd quarter of 2020 and has $136,428 cash-on-hand for a general election taking place in one of the nation’s most heavily-Democratic congressional districts.

The Hudson County Democrat has raised $485,741 so far this cycle.

A former Assembly Speaker and West New York Mayor, Sires faces Republican attorney Jason Todd Mushnick in the general election.

The 8th district, which includes parts of Hudson, Essex, Union and Bergen counties, has 234,982 Democrats and 41,830 Republicans.  Sires won re-election in 2017 by a 78%-19% margin in a district that Hillary Clinton carried by 54 points over Donald Trump four years ago. New Jersey Globe

New Jersey Citizen Action announced their endorsements for federal elections as the candidates best able to address the most pressing issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and longstanding racial and socio-economic inequities in New Jersey and our nation. These candidates have consistently supported or championed policies that prioritize low- and moderate-income families and communities of color.

 These policies include, but are not limited to, lowering costs and increasing accessibility for quality healthcare and lifesaving medicines, expanding paid family leave, strengthening worker protections and benefits, protecting communities from housing discrimination and tackling the student loan debt crisis.

The candidates being endorsed include Joe Biden for President as well as incumbent Democrats Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Donald Payne Jr. and Rep. Mikie Sherrill.  Insider NJ

Congressman Josh Gottheimer was endorsed for reelection by Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, the only national LGBTQ political organization focused exclusively on gun violence prevention.  

“We support Josh Gottheimer because of his demonstrated commitment to support equality and safety for all, and for his commitment to acting on common sense gun reforms. We need elected officials who will stand up for the safety of our communities, fight back against the NRA’s dangerous agenda, and pass meaningful gun safety legislation. Josh Gottheimer will do just that,” said Jason Lindsay, founder and Executive Director of Pride Fund, who is an Iraq War veteran.  

“I am honored to be endorsed by Pride Fund to End Gun Violence. Like every parent, I’m sick of hearing about another tragedy, another school shooting, another senseless death — all due to gun violence. I support people’s right to hunt and protect themselves. But I simply do not understand why we cannot institute background checks for every commercial sale — down to the gun shows — to ensure those who shouldn’t have a gun cannot get one. In Congress, I’m proud to have supported critical bipartisan legislation to support the LGBTQ community, including the landmark Equality Act and my Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act to protect from sexual and gender identity financial discrimination. As a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I will continue fighting to ensure all Americans get the equal rights to which they are entitled — including the right to live free from gun violence,” said Josh Gottheimer.     

Dr. Cecilia Feeley announced the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Disability Caucus’s endorsement of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill’s bid for re-election. 

“The NJDSC Disability Caucus endorses Rep. Sherrill for her fierce dedication to residents in NJ-11, supporting people with disabilities, their families, advocates, and organizations that are dedicated to empowering and ensuring equal opportunities to all,” said Dr. Cecilia Feeley. “As soon as Mikie Sherrill started her first term she was an early supporter and co-sponsor of the Autism CARES Act of 2019, which reauthorized federal research, education, and support efforts for those on the autism spectrum and their families. We would like to recognize her contributions and her being honored as Congressional Champion of Employment Opportunities for people with disabilities.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the NJDSC Disability Caucus. Throughout my time in office, I have worked closely with our disability community in NJ-11 so that I can advocate in Washington for the policies that most effectively support the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. These conversations have been critical in my work to provide research funding, ensure the right of people with disabilities to live in their own homes, and increase employment opportunities. The pandemic has unfortunately created additional barriers for people with disabilities, but I will continue to fight to ensure equal opportunity for all,” said Congresswoman Sherrill.

Frank Pallotta says Rep. Josh Gottheimer and Gov. Phil Murphy despise law & order in response to Murphy’s reported plan to sign a bill releasing thousands of criminals from jail on Nov. 4, the day after Election Day. 

Pallotta, businessman and Republican candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th District, in a press statement, said “Our Congressman, Josh Gottheimer is clearly taking a hard stance against Law & Order and against the people of my district. Let’s take a look at the facts: 

1. Josh Gottheimer voted to allow cashless bail for dangerous criminals.

2. Josh Gottheimer voted against $600 million in funding for law enforcement. 

3. Josh Gottheimer co-sponsored HR7120, which removes legal protections from police officers, exposing them to criminal charges for simply doing their jobs. 

4. Josh Gottheimer remains silent while his buddy, Phil Murphy, plans to release criminals from our jails, and let them back into our cities the day after the election.”

Pallotta continued, “By remaining silent on this reckless, dangerous plan by Gov. Murphy, Josh Gottheimer is enabling crime to flood our streets and making it known that he is 100% anti-police and pro-crime, with no backbone. Knocking almost a year off these criminals’ sentences sends a clear message to criminals that they will not be held accountable for their actions.”

Essex County Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura and Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik announced their endorsement of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill in her bid for re-election.

“I’ve known Congresswoman Sherrill for many years and I know from experience her strength as a leader. As a former federal prosecutor, she understands justice and what it means to serve our communities,” said Essex County Sheriff Fontoura. “She believes we need to properly fund our law enforcement so that we can carry out the many responsibilities asked of us.”

“When Mikie was an Assistant U.S. Attorney here in New Jersey, she worked closely with me and other officers in Passaic County to get illegal guns and drugs out of our communities. In Washington, she has worked hard on Covid-19 related efforts, that has helped our first responders and healthcare professionals as they continue to treat patients through this serious public health crisis,” said Passaic County Sheriff Berdnik.

“I am honored to receive Sheriff Fontoura and Sheriff Berdnik’s endorsements. Both Sheriffs have dedicated their lives to public service, protecting their counties and upholding the law. As a federal prosecutor, I’ve admired the leadership of both Sheriffs Fontoura and Berdnik throughout Essex and Passaic counties and I am thankful for their support,” said Congresswoman Sherrill.  

Congresswoman Sherrill previously served at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark as a federal prosecutor and an outreach and reentry coordinator. She worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to improve community relations with the police, keep illegal guns off the streets, and address the opioid epidemic. This announcement follows Sherrill’s endorsement from the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police.

Local 

The New Jersey Young Democrats (NJYD) is proud to endorse 44 Democratic candidates through the age of 40.

“Now, more than ever, we must advocate for the priorities important to our generation and to elect young people to office,” said NJYD President Fatima Heyward. “As we approach November 3rd, NJYD will continue to advocate, organize, and support young democrats running for office across our state. My executive board and I look forward to continuing our work towards progressive change.”

NJYD endorsements were open to all Democratic candidates through the age of 40 that completed the endorsement application and submitted it by the deadline.

“The New Jersey Young Democrats is proud to release the candidates who have received our endorsement for 2020. With this crucial year, we are incredibly excited about the long list of young dems running in New Jersey. We have such a great group of young people ready to bring the state to even greater heights. We know this class of people will do just that,” expressed NJYD Executive Vice President Brian Boyell.

Among the candidates The New Jersey Young Democrats are endorsing are Rupande Mehta for State Senate, Legislative District 25, Kate Barry for Harding Township Committee, Chris Hillmann for Hasbrouck Heights Council, Jarrett Milligan for Borough of Carlstadt Council, Anthony Paradiso Jr. for Waldwick Town Council, Cara Parmigiani for Morris Plains Borough Council, Jarret Schumacher for Montvale Town Council, Chris Camp for Hillsdale Town Council, Christopher Bauknight for Washington Borough Town Council, Anthony Riccardi for Stanhope Borough Council and Amanda Richardson for Harding Township Committee. NJ Insider

The New Jersey Globe will host a debate in the special election for New Jersey State Senate in the 25th legislative district on Sunday, October 18 at 9 PM. 

The winner of the election will fill the remaining fourteen months of the term of the late Anthony R. Bucco, who died in September 2019.

The Democratic nominee for Senate, Rupande Mehta, has accepted a debate invitation that was sent to both candidates last month. Republican State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco, who took the Senate seat after the death of his father, has not yet indicated that he would participate.  The NJ Globe has been in contact with both campaigns.

In the interest of fairness to the voters and the candidates, the New Jersey Globe has set a hard deadline of Tuesday October 13 for Mr. Bucco to accept or reject the invitation to debate. New Jersey Globe

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