Rating Change: New Jersey 5 Moves Off Competitive List

Now just nine vulnerable Democrats to GOP’s 70

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., walks up the House steps with his daughter Ellie for a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican optimism about defeating Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer in New Jersey’s 5th District was fueled by President Donald Trump’s narrow victory in 2016, the congressman’s initial victory over a lackluster incumbent and Republican Steve Lonegan’s deep pockets and past electoral performance in the area.

But that scenario took a turn for the worse when Lonegan lost the June 5 primary and Garden State Republicans nominated former Cresskill Borough Councilman John McCann. He had just $46,000 in his campaign account on May 16 compared to $3.9 million for Gottheimer.

This is the type of district in North Jersey that could swing back to Republicans with a Democrat sitting in the White House. But this is a different type of cycle with Republicans at risk of a midterm backlash against the President’s party.

We’re changing the Inside Elections rating of the race in New Jersey’s 5th District from Lean Democratic to Solid Democratic. That means there are just nine vulnerable Democratic seats on our list of competitive races, compared to nearly 70 vulnerable seats currently held by Republicans.

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