NJ strengthens Democratic advantage of congressional delegation

David Madden
November 07, 2018 - 1:03 pm
New Jersey Election
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TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey’s congressional delegation took a seismic shift in Tuesday’s election in favor of Democrats, even with one of the 12 seats still undecided. 

It was a 7-5 Democrat advantage. Now it’s 10-2, and an Andy Kim win over Tom MacArthur would make it 11-1. Chris Smith is the only Republican left standing at this point. 

RELATED: New Jersey's Third District Congressional race too close to call

Whether it's 10-2 or 11-1, it’s clear there was a blue wave in the Garden State. 

But what the delegation gains on the floor, it loses in clout with the retirements of Republicans Frank LoBiondo and Rodney Frelinghuysen, the New Jersey delegation loses a lot of seniority on Capitol Hill, which will play a role when Democrats assign committee leadership posts.

Ben Dworkin, who runs Rowan University’s Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship, isn’t surprised by the shift.

"There are, obviously, lots of Republicans who still live in New Jersey, though they are increasingly outnumbered by Democrats. But we're just talking about this is a very unique year," Dworkin said.

Dworkin says he sees one big winner whose name wasn’t even on the ballot: Gov. Phil Murphy.

"He can take credit for a lot of these victories, even though they were won by the individual candidates," Dworkin said. "Phil Murphy is going to claim that their victory was part of his victory ... a victory for his very progressive agenda in Trenton."

And that could come into play more with the state legislature than Congress.