Governor (D) (Likely Democratic) – Governor Phil Murphy easily defeated Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno four years ago and seems on track for another reelection. Ex-Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has seen the polling average here tighten, but not enough to be in striking distance. We currently expect the Governor to win by roughly eight points, but the margin of victory could fall above or below that figure. Assuming Murphy is reelected, he will be the first Democrat to do so since Brendan “One Term” Byrne in 1977. Holding the Governor’s win margin below ten points would constitute a good night for state Republicans.
- LD2 Vacant (R) (Tossup to Leans Democratic) flip – Republican Chris Brown flipped this Atlantic County-based seat red in 2017, but resigned to join the Murphy Administration earlier this year. Former Assemblyman Vince Polistina has been appointed interim Senator, but has not yet been sworn in. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo is the Democratic hopeful in this Biden +10.7 seat. The senior Democrat led his opponent 48-41% in the latest Stockton poll. Our team considers Mazzeo the slight favorite tonight. Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Egg Harbor and Hamilton Townships
- LD8 Addiego (D) (Tossup to Leans Republican) flip – This Burlington County-based seat has been Republican for decades, but became less hostile to Democratic candidates during Trump’s presidency. Incumbent Senator Dawn Marie Addiego was reelected as a Republican in 2017, but switched to the Democrats in 2019. Standing in the way of a pathbreaking Democratic victory here is Republican Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield. After some consideration, we expect the GOP to snatch this Biden +6.8 seat back in a nail-biter. Evesham, Medford, and Hainesport Townships
- LD16 Open (R) (Leans Democratic) flip – Retiring Senator Kip Bateman is the last vestige of down ballot Republicanism in this Biden +21.8 district. The veteran legislator was reelected by just one point four years ago. Former 12th district Congressman Mike Pappas is challenging Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker for the open seat. The 16th is the most vulnerable seat being defended by Senate Republicans tonight. We predict a modest victory for Assemblyman Zwicker. Raritan Township, Somerville, Hillsborough and Montgomery Townships, Princeton, and South Brunswick Township
- LD21 Open (R) (Leans Republican) – Republicans have maintained themselves quite well in this Union County-dominated district given its Democratic lean at the federal level. Republican Senate Leader Tom Kean Jr. has represented the seat for almost two decades. He’s retiring this year to make another Congressional bid against Tom Malinowski. The 21st has gotten bluer at the legislative level in recent years, but down ballot Republicanism is still strong. Long-time Assemblyman Jon Bramnick is the favorite in tonight’s race against Roselle Park Mayor Joe Signorello. Bernards and Warren Townships, Cranford, Westfield, Roselle, Springfield, Kenilworth
Watch List: LD3 Sweeney (D) (Likely Democratic), LD11 Gopal (D) (Likely Democratic), LD25 Bucco Jr (R) (Likely Republican), LD39 Schepisi (R) (Likely Republican)
Reach Races: LD1 Testa (R) (Safe Republican), LD14 Greenstein (D) (Safe Democratic), LD38 Lagana (D) (Safe Democratic)
Districts to Watch:
- LD2 Open/Armato (D) (Tossup to Leans Democratic) – With Democrat Vince Mazzeo retiring to run for Senate, the second slot on the Democratic slate has gone to Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick. Republicans are running former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and former State Deputy Attorney General Claire Swift. We expect a very close spread between the four candidates, with Amato and Fitzpatrick winning. If a split delegation is elected today, it will probably be here. (See districts 1, 2, and 16)
- LD8 Open/Open (R) (Tossup to Leans Republican) – Both Republican incumbents are retiring in the lower chamber’s other highly-competitive district. (Stanfield to run for Senate and Peters to spend more time with his family) We consider Republicans Michael Torrissi and Brandon Umba favorites to hold both spots for the GOP tonight. Democrats are running Mark Natale and Allison Eckel.
- LD11 Downey/Houghtaling (D) (Likely Democratic) – Assemblypeople Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling are both strong favorites for reelection in this Monmouth-based, Biden +11.6 district. Republicans have not held this seat since Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande were unseated in 2015.
- LD16 Open/Freiman (D) (Likely Democratic) – The former seat of Gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli has become hostile to Republican Assembly candidates since his exit ahead of the 2017 elections. Democrat Sadaf Jaffer has replaced Assemblyman Zwicker on this year’s slate and is running with incumbent Roy Freiman against Republicans Vincent Panico and Joseph Lukac.
- LD21 Open/Munoz (R) (Leans Republican) – The 21st is currently represented by Assembly Majority Leader Jon Bramnick and Assembly Minority Whip Nancy Munoz. With Bramnick seeking election to the Senate, Michele Matsikoudis has taken up the second slot on the GOP slate. Democrats Elizabeth Graner and Anjali Mehrotra are decided underdogs tonight in a seat where their party has often fallen short.
- LD25 Bergen/Dunn (R) (Leans Republican) – Republicans Brian Bergen and Aura Dunn are favorites to hold their seats against Democrats Lauren Barnett and Patricia Veres. Like Senator Bucco, Assemblywoman Dunn used ticket-splitting to win this Biden +9 seat last year. Down ballot Republicanism is even stronger here than in the significantly-bluer 21st.
- LD39 Auth/DeFuccio (R) (Leans Republican) – Similar to the Republicans in the 25th district, incumbents Bob Auth and DeAnne DeFuccio are favorites for reelection. The Democratic slate here is made up of Melinda Iannuzzi and Karlito Almeda.