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NJ’s Congressional Election Results Favor Incumbents, Minus 1

This story was updated at 1:40 p.m., 11/9/2022

As of this morning, races for all of the 12 seats New Jersey holds in the U.S. House of Representatives have been called as the curtain slowly closes on the 2022 midterm elections.  

While ballot counting will continue for another 10 days, the redrawing of district lines last year, based on 2020 U.S. census results, basically favored all incumbents except for Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski, whose rematch with Tom Kean Jr. in the 7th District has Kean leading with 52.3% of the vote vs. Malinowski’s 47.7%. Meanwhile, a voting machine glitch in Mercer County was initially thought to delay the results of the 3rd District race between Democratic incumbent Congressman Andy Kim vs. Republican Bob Healey, but the Associated Press called the race in favor Kim, 54.9% vs 44.2%, last night. 

It was an election in which all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives were up for grabs, as well as 35 of 100 U.S. Senate seats. There was talk of a Republican wave in the national election as Democratic President Joe Biden’s approval rating came in at a low 36% based on a recent Quinnipiac University poll, in addition to low readings in other polls. More importantly, during midterm elections, the party that controls the White House usually loses seats in Congress. 

Whether voters went to the polls on Election Day, participated in early in-person voting, or mailed in their ballots, the economy, inflation, reproductive rights, and crime were the top issues influencing people’s decisions when they cast their votes. Throughout the country, most Republican candidates based their campaigns on the state of the economy and inflation, while the majority of Democratic candidates focused on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the control for both chambers of Congress has yet to be determined. The Associated Press reported that 379 of 435 seats have been called in the House race, with Democrats holding onto 176, while losing two, and Republicans capturing 203. In the Senate, 31 of 35 seats were called, with Democrats holding on to a total of 46 seats and Republicans holding on to 48. Two seats are occupied by other parties. 

In New Jersey, the most competitive race to watch was between Kean and Malinowski. With last year’s redistricting, the 7th District today has 17,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. In 2020, when Malinowski narrowly beat Kean by 1.2%, there were 10,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. 

As reported in Politico, Kean, during a speech in Basking Ridge last night, commented, “We are on a great trajectory. I believe we’re going to win this thing tonight.” 

Meanwhile, in Garwood, Malinowski commented, “We’re going to go home tonight uncertain, and that’s OK. That’s better than a lot of people thought we would be tonight.” 

Malinowski conceded the election to Kean late this morning. Malinowski is a two-term incumbent who was first elected to Congress in 2018 when he beat Republican incumbent Leonard Lance.  This election represented Kean’s fourth time vying for a Congressional seat.

Here is a rundown of the U.S. House of Representative election results for New Jersey as called by the Associated Press: 

1st District: Incumbent Democrat Donald Norcross with 131,068 votes (62%) vs. Republican Claire Gustafson, 75,271 votes (35.6%) 

2nd District: Incumbent Republican Jeff Van Drew with 127,713votes (61.2%) vs. Democrat Tim Alexander, 78,628 votes (37.7%) 

3rd District: Incumbent Democrat Andy Kim with 131,490 votes (54.9%) vs. Republican Bob Healey, 105,954 (42.2%) 

4th District: Incumbent Republican Chris Smith (his 22nd term) with 167,424 votes (67.3%) vs. Democrat Matthew Jenkins, 77,165 votes (31%) 

5th District: Incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer with 139,566 votes (54.3%) vs. Republican Frank Pallotta, 115,219 votes (41.9%) 

6th District: Incumbent Democrat Frank Pallone Jr. with 98,471votes (56.6%) vs. Republican Sue Kiley, 72,763votes (41.7%) 

7th District: Incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski with 139,404 votes (47.7%) vs. Republican Tom Kean Jr. 153,082 (52.3%) 

8th District: Democrat Robert Menendez (the son of US Senator Bob Menendez) with 55,398 votes (72.7%) vs. Republican Marcos Arroyo, 18,447 votes (24.2%) 

9th District: Incumbent Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr. with 77,990 votes (54.4%) vs. Republican Billy Prempeh, 63,471 votes (44.2%) 

10th District: Incumbent Democrat Donald Payne Jr. with 89,078 votes (76.5%) vs. Republican David Pinckney, 24,645 votes (21.2%) 

11th District: Incumbent Democrat Mikie Sherrill with 146,608 votes (57.8%) vs. Republican Paul DeGroot, 104,745 votes (41.3%) 

12th District: Incumbent Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman with 95,831 votes (60.5%) vs. Republican Darius Mayfield, 61,125  votes (38.6%) 

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