DemDaily: The First of 2017

May 11, 2017


The 2018 elections are an opportunity for Democrats to regain ground in the House and Senate, and equally, if not more importantly, the State Houses.

Control of governorships and state legislatures will be critical to control of 2020 Congressional redistricting -- as most state maps are drawn or approved by state legislatures.

Although the GOP holds an unprecedented 33 gubernatorial seats to the Dem's 16, and one independent (Bill Walker, AK), they will have to defend 27 of those seats in the 2018 cycle.

Of the 38 Gubernatorial seats that are up in the 2018 election cycle, just two are up in 2017: Virginia, with a June 13th primary, and New Jersey, which has a June 6th primary.

A field of six Democrats and five Republicans are running in the primaries for the Democratic and Republican nominations to succeed incumbent Chris Christie (R), who is term-limited.

New Jersey practices a semi-closed primary system, which means only registered party members may vote in primary elections. Unaffiliated voters, however, can change their party registration and vote in either party primary on the day of the election.

2016 Presidential: Clinton 55.5% to Trump 41.4%

Bill Brennan, Political Activist and former Firefighter
Jim Johnson, Former US Undersecretary of the Treasury for
Enforcement (Clinton)
Ray Lesniak, State Senator and former Chairman of the
New Jersey Democratic State Committee
Phil Murphy, Goldman Sachs executive and former US Ambassador
to Germany (Obama)
John Wisniewski, State Assemblyman
Mark Zinna, Tenafly Borough Council President


Jack Ciattarelli, Assemblyman
Kim Guadagno, Lieutenant Governor
Steve Rogers, Township Commissioner of Nutley
Joseph Rudy Rullo, Businessman & Enterpreneur
Hirsh Singh, Engineer and Businessman

If it was a race for money, former Ambassador and Goldman Sachs executive Philips Murphy would take it away, having raised with over $19 million (including $5.5 million he lent his campaign), but has spent $18 million of his war chest.

Johnson, Lesniak, Murphy & Wisniewski at May 9th Dem primary debate (NYT)

Murphy is the only candidate to decline matching funds, which kicks in after $450,000. In doing so, he is not bound to the $6.4 million primary spending cap.

Johnson, a former Clinton appointee and closest competitor, has raised $2.3 million, Wisniewski raised $1.1 million, and Lesniak $500,000, which includes over $250,000 of his own funds.

A Quinnipiac Poll (April 26-May 1) shows Murphy at 26% with the rest in single digits at Johnson 7%, Wisniewski 5%, Lesniak 4%, Brennan 3% and Zinna 1%.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno leads the money race among the Rs, with $2.2 million to main challenger Ciattarelli's $1.3 million.

Ciattarelli and Guadagno faced off May 9th Rep Debate (NYDailyNews)

The Quinnipiac Poll shows Guadagno leading with 23%, Ciattarelli 12%, Rogers 5% and Rullo 4%.

In both primary polls an astounding 50%+ were undecided, and the May 9th primary debates did not seem to move the needle.

In a general election matchup Quinnipac showed Democrat Phil Murphy trouncing Republican Kim Guadagno 50% - 25%, but with the undecided factor in the primaries, much is still unknown.

With the GOP's national negatives under Trump, however, and the unpopularity of outgoing Governor Chris Christie, the forecast favors the Democrat.
DemList will keep you informed!


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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: CNN, Politico, New York TImes, New York Daily News, Wiki

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