In 2012, 33 senate races will be contested. Many, perhaps most, will be landslides, but quite a few will probably be close. One that might possibly be close is the New Jersey senate race, where Republican Joe Kyrillos is running against the Democratic incumbent, Bob Menendez.
New Jersey’s politics
In elections for President, New Jersey has been strongly Democratic. Obama beat McCain 57-42, Kerry beat Bush 53-46 and Gore beat Bush 56-40. Obama is expected to win easily in November. One interesting thing that has been noted about New Jersey is that it tends to poll less Democratic than it votes. It’s not clear why, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that a huge proportion of New Jerseyites commute to another state, mostly New York (from northern NJ) or Pennsylvania (from southern NJ)
Statewide, both of New Jersey’s senators are Democrats: Bob Menendez (who is running for reelection) and Frank Lautenberg. Seven of its 19 representatives in the House of Representatives are Democrats
The Senate race in New Jersey
Bob Menendez is running for re-election. Joe Kyrillos, who won the Republican primary over four other candidates, is a state senator.
Bob Menendez: The Democratic candidate
Bob Menendez supports a woman’s right to choose. He supported Obama’s stimulus package and has voted to protect consumers from abuses by credit card companies. He does not support same-sex marriage, but also does not support an amendment to the constitution; he has an 88 of 100 rating from Human Rights Campaign, indicating support of GLBT issues. Bob Menendez supports the death penalty. He is a strong supporter of public education, with a 100 rating from the National Education Alliance. Menendez is also a strong supporter of the environment and favors signing the Kyoto accords. He has supported some but not all free trade agreements. Menendez also favors reform of the immigration laws. On the Issues rates him as a solid liberal on both social and economic issues.
Joe Kyrillos: The Republican candidate:
Because Joe Kyrillos does not hold federal office, On the Issues has relatively few positions for him. He opposes same sex marriage and opposes laws banning discrimination, favors increased domestic production of oil and gas and opposes Obama’s health care plan. His website says he favors a balanced budget amendment.
All polls show Menendez winning reelection, most by about 10 points
- July 18 – a Quinnipiac poll has Menendez up by 13
- Aug 3 – A Fairleigh Dickinson poll has Menendez up by 12
- Sep 7 – A Quinnipiac poll has Menendez up by 10; one from Magellan has him up by 4, Rutgers has him up by 12
- Sep 21 Fairleigh Dickinson has Menendez by 14 among likely voters and 16 among registered voters
- Sep 22 YouGov has Menendez by 14, but with many undecided
- Oct 13 Philadelphia Enquirer has Menendez up by 14
- Oct 22 Stockton has Menendez by 22; SurveyUSA has Menendez by 20
- Oct 30 GSG has Menendez by 18
- Nov 5: YouGov has Menendez by 15
Menendez has raised a little over $14 million and Kyrillos about $2.3 million.
- July 13 – for the quarter, Kyrilos raised $1.3 million and has $2 million cash on hand. Menendez raised $1.7 million and has $10.3 million cash on hand.
Election results: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/
Fundraising and other stuff http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/PA-Senate_Class_I_Seat
New Jersey congreesmembers: http://www.house.gov/representatives/
On the issues: Kyrillos: http://www.issues2000.org/Senate/Joe_Kyrillos.htm