MacArthur Narrowly Ahead in New Jersey’s 3rd District, Poll Shows

After easily winning re-election in 2016, two-term incumbent faces close contest

GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur was ahead by 4 points in his campaign’s polling of New Jersey’s 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur narrowly led his Democratic opponent in the Republican campaign’s polling of the 3rd District.

MacArthur led Andy Kim 44 to 40 percent in the survey from National Research Inc. Kim was a National Security Council staffer under former President Barack Obama

More voters approved of MacArthur’s job performance than disapproved, with 47 percent approving and 38 percent disapproving. The study surveyed 400 likely voters from Oct. 2-4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The polling memo points to MacArthur’s lead as evidence that the two-term incumbent, who’s being outspent on the airwaves, is overcoming the attacks against him. Democrats are hitting the GOP incumbent on health care since he was one of the architects of the GOP health care plan that failed to pass the House last year. He was the only Republican member of the New Jersey delegation to vote for the GOP tax overhaul.

MacArthur is running for a third term in a district that swung to President Donald Trump in 2016. Obama carried the district twice, but Trump won the 3rd District by 6 points. MacArthur easily won re-election by 20 points in 2016.

But polling shows a much closer race this year. A New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll gave Kim a 10-point lead. He led 49 to 39 percent with 12 percent undecided in the survey conducted Sept. 22-26. Polling conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee earlier in September showed Kim ahead 47 to 45 percent.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilts Democratic

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.