A new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll shows a dead heat in a competitive New Jersey House race.
In the survey, obtained first by CQ Roll Call, insurance company owner Tom MacArthur, the Republican nominee , leads the Democrat, Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, 46 percent to 43 percent. The results are within the poll's 4.9 percent margin of error.
New Jersey's 3rd District is open this cycle because GOP Rep. Jon Runyan is retiring. The district, which starts in the Philadelphia suburbs and runs east to the Garden State's coastline, picked President Barack Obama by a 5-point margin in 2012.
But the president's unpopularity has shifted the national political climate to increasingly favor the GOP in the midterms. MacArthur, a wealthy businessman , also leads Belgard in the fundraising race, reporting more than $1 million in cash on hand as of June 30. Belgard reported $616,000 in the bank at the same time. That advantage is key in this district, which is located near one of the most expensive media markets in the country, Philadelphia, to run television advertisements.
But Democrats remain bullish that Belgard can win here.
They argue Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., will drive from the top-of-the-ticket, boosting Belgard in November. Booker, who won a special election last summer and is now running for a full term, leads Jeff Bell, his Republican opponent, by a 7-point margin in this district, according to the DCCC's poll.
The GBA Strategies poll, which was paid for by the DCCC, surveyed 400 likely voters via live telephone calls from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10.
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