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Author Topic: U.S. House Redistricting: New Jersey  (Read 16402 times)
Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2010, 09:11:47 pm »
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Can I ask your thinking behind putting that bit of East Windsor in the 3rd district? My mother lives there, so I'm curious.

Because it's more Democratic than places like Jackson or Toms River. I was going to put ALL of East Windsor in, but then Smith would be stuck with West Windsor and Plainsboro, which would take Democrats away from Holt.
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2010, 12:48:31 am »
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I just now realized that it should be interesting to see if I remain in Frelinghuysen's district.  I'm barely in it as it is and I doubt my area is where it'll move.  I don't want to be in Lance's district. Sad
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2010, 01:15:44 am »
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I just now realized that it should be interesting to see if I remain in Frelinghuysen's district.  I'm barely in it as it is and I doubt my area is where it'll move.  I don't want to be in Lance's district. Sad

It depends. If they go with the Frelinghuysen/Pascrell pairing, you're screwed. The 11th drops its Somerset County extension in exchange for South Passaic.

If they go with the Holt/Lance pairing, which I think is more likely, then everything north of the current 7th will have to expand southward. Either Frelinghuysen's district picks up more of Somerset County, and the 12th ends up looking more like it did in the 90's, or it drops the Somerset county extension and picks up the Republican parts of Union County. In the latter case, you'd be stuck with the winner of Lance vs. Holt.
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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2011, 05:06:18 pm »
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Yep, what you drew is basically a perfect 6-6 map for the GOP.

I drew almost exactly the same thing with very minor modifications. Sussex, Morris, Hunderdon/Somerset, Monmouth, and Ocean form the cores of 5 GOP districts.


The only modifications I made is that you have too much of Rodney's district in Essex county. You really want to get that West Orange/Bloomfield area in some Democratic district (Livingston, West Caldwell, North Caldwell are fine). Heavily Republican Middletown and Hazlet can go into Chis Smith's district, that southern tip of Hudson around Bayonne into Pallone's, and shove Payne's district west a bit into West Orange.

But we're talking about only shifting around 20k people or so.

I did it relatively cleanly without splitting a whole lot of townships. Under 10 I believe, not counting Jersey City, Newark, etc.

Technically the easiest path for the Democrats to form 7 strong seats is in the southern part of the state. Lobiondo's 2nd I believe has a Dem PVI, and could easily be made more Democratic by moving Democrats in from the 1st, and moving Willingboro into the 1st. The problem of course is that Lobiondo is entrenched. And as long as those VRA 10th and 13th exist (the 13th especially is completely boxed in), its hard to use the remaining 4 Democrats (Rothman, Pascrell, Holt, Pallone) to soak what is a fair number of GOP votes. Nobody really wants to touch areas like Monmouth county, or North Bergen. Rush Holt is sitting in a 54% Kerry seat.


I think an easier way for the Democrats to gain a seat in South Jersey is to shift the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd slightly counterclockwise. LoBiondo picks up much of Ocean County, and Andrews picks up Salem County and possibly even Bridgeton. Runyan gets stuck in a Burlington-Camden district, picking up Pennsauken and Voorhees, and swapping northern Ocean County with Smith in exchange for northern Burlington County. This way you don't have the trouble of a proven, entrenched incumbent.

Something like this:




I could see the GOP agreeing to do this as long as it was Holt or Pascrell that got axed up north. It's probably a better map for both parties, in fact. Runyan is a bit of a lightweight, the 5 GOP long(er)termers get really safe seats, and the Democrats get the 7-5 advantage that they probably should have.

I don't know if its on the table, though.
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2011, 06:21:41 pm »
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If you're going to do that map, why not swap out Vineland for Lakehurst in NJ-02?

Or, frankly, just go with my plan that basically did the same NJ-03 but numbered in NJ-12 and extended it just far enough north to take in Holt. That way, Runyan is still eliminated, and there is no unpleasantness with two incumbents tossed out (as the commission surely will not allow).
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2011, 06:30:15 pm »
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If you're going to do that map, why not swap out Vineland for Lakehurst in NJ-02?

Or, frankly, just go with my plan that basically did the same NJ-03 but numbered in NJ-12 and extended it just far enough north to take in Holt. That way, Runyan is still eliminated, and there is no unpleasantness with two incumbents tossed out (as the commission surely will not allow).

The reason I don't agree with that map is because you essentially cut out a South Jersey Congressman. If I recall, Steve Sweeney tossed out one of the commissioners because he was from Essex County. Rob Andrews, Sweeney, and Norcross would probably be screaming about that.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 06:51:11 pm by krazen1211 »Logged
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« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2011, 08:03:56 pm »
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It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2011, 08:24:29 pm »
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Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2011, 08:26:03 pm »

It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?

It does, but I would add some priority for incumbent protection, except for the seat that pits two incumbents against each other. That seems consistent with NJ practice, and a non-partisan map maker would likely look at precedents from the previous couple of maps.
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« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2011, 08:30:33 pm »
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Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.

That was legislative redistricting, not Congressional.

If I recall correctly, they came to an agreement on Congressional redistricting.



I am sure both sides will be offering plans with 11 safe seats, 6-5.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:39:12 pm by krazen1211 »Logged
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2011, 08:44:32 pm »
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It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?

It does, but I would add some priority for incumbent protection, except for the seat that pits two incumbents against each other. That seems consistent with NJ practice, and a non-partisan map maker would likely look at precedents from the previous couple of maps.

Yes, although the last map was a two party compromise deal, in which the independent 13th guy did not have the whip hand. So they either cut a deal, or to get a majority vote, one party or the other has to get the independent guy to go along, and if they don't, there is no map, and ultimately the court will draw it I guess. So I think as you do that it will be like last time, because neither party wants some independent to mess up all their little inside deals, and incumbent protection schemes.
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2011, 08:52:16 pm »
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It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?

It does, but I would add some priority for incumbent protection, except for the seat that pits two incumbents against each other. That seems consistent with NJ practice, and a non-partisan map maker would likely look at precedents from the previous couple of maps.

Yes, although the last map was a two party compromise deal, in which the independent 13th guy did not have the whip hand. So they either cut a deal, or to get a majority vote, one party or the other has to get the independent guy to go along, and if they don't, there is no map, and ultimately the court will draw it I guess. So I think as you do that it will be like last time, because neither party wants some independent to mess up all their little inside deals, and incumbent protection schemes.

Looks to me that the Court can only pick, not modify. It only goes to the Court though if the independent guy doesn't do his job.




If the commission is unable to certify the establishment of districts by the time required due to the inability of a plan to achieve seven votes, the two district plans receiving the greatest number of votes, but not fewer than five votes, shall be submitted to the Supreme Court, which shall select and certify whichever of the two plans so submitted conforms most closely to the requirements of the Constitution and laws of the United States.
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2011, 09:26:02 pm »
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It doesn't seem there are any rules or constraints as to how Congressional districts are drawn in NJ, so it seems that the default option is a map drawn by the nominee of one of the two parties, with the one chosen being made by the Chief Justice as to which of the two the Justice thinks is most qualified, and will represent the interests of the people.

So I suspect the default option, unless both parties nominate hacks, or the judge selects the hack over the straight shooter, is a non partisan map. So to me the game is looking at what a non partisan map looks like, and whether there is any other map that both parties would favor over that one. So only if 1) a non partisan map does not really favor one party for whatever reason, and 2) the two parties would prefer over a non partisan map that does not help either party, a map that makes everyone safe and happy, except that two incumbents would be pitted against each other in a fair fight district, will it seem reasonable that any other than a non partisan map will be adopted.

Make sense?

It does, but I would add some priority for incumbent protection, except for the seat that pits two incumbents against each other. That seems consistent with NJ practice, and a non-partisan map maker would likely look at precedents from the previous couple of maps.

Yes, although the last map was a two party compromise deal, in which the independent 13th guy did not have the whip hand. So they either cut a deal, or to get a majority vote, one party or the other has to get the independent guy to go along, and if they don't, there is no map, and ultimately the court will draw it I guess. So I think as you do that it will be like last time, because neither party wants some independent to mess up all their little inside deals, and incumbent protection schemes.

Looks to me that the Court can only pick, not modify. It only goes to the Court though if the independent guy doesn't do his job.




If the commission is unable to certify the establishment of districts by the time required due to the inability of a plan to achieve seven votes, the two district plans receiving the greatest number of votes, but not fewer than five votes, shall be submitted to the Supreme Court, which shall select and certify whichever of the two plans so submitted conforms most closely to the requirements of the Constitution and laws of the United States.

OK, Krazen1211, I didn't read that far, so both parties will have an incentive not to get too greedy. It actually is a very well thought out redistricting statute in NJ. I like it.

But what if both plans fully and equally comport with the laws of the US and NJ Constitution (and Jersey doesn't have any limitations, so if both plans comport with VRA and the equal population requirement, by just what metric does the Jersey SC decide which plan is best, since their appears to be no further text to guide it?
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« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2011, 10:01:01 pm »
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Probably the map that favors their political preference.

There's a bigger issue, of course, and that's that the Supreme Court might not have enough members at this time in 2012.

The court needs 5 members to function. Right now it has 6. Chris Christie kicked one of the Democrats out and nominated someone else, and angry Democrats refused to confirm the replacement. A second vacancy opens in September 2011, which knocks them down to 5, and a third vacancy in March 2012. So if stuff doesn't get resolved by then, well, we don't have a Supreme Court anymore.


That said, the independent guy has the power to pick a plan. I see no reason for him to punt.
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« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2011, 11:59:00 pm »
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Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.

That was legislative redistricting, not Congressional.

If I recall correctly, they came to an agreement on Congressional redistricting.

Right, they came to an agreement because they had a shared interest in an incumbent protection plan in 2001... but there is no basis for a shared agreement when one seat is being lost. So, given that they will have competing plans, do you know if the procedure will be different from the legislative procedure in 2001 other than that it's for Congress?

I would be shocked if the six partisan members on either side can't stick together, and then the independent won't want to shirk his duty and will make seven.
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« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2011, 03:11:54 am »
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For those who are not aware, in 2001, Republicans and Democrats could not agree on a state legislative plan. Larry Bartels, the "independent" vote on the redistricting committee, ultimately sided with the Democrats giving them their hand-picked map.

Once bitten, twice shy. I doubt Republicans will be interested in leaving things to chance if they can help it with regard to Congressional redistricting. Both Rs and Ds know the same thing we all do -- the only "fair" New Jersey map is going to be 6D, 5R, 1 competitive or I vs. I. Anything other than this will be a hard sell with the independent commissioner.

In the State House, Democrats will probably push for an "incumbent protection" type map, wanting to pack as many new Dems as possible into districts 2 and 14. Republicans will likely offer a more aggressive map to "undo" the damage of 2001, recreating a GOP-leaning district in North Jersey (like reverting 38 from D to R), and making Districts 2, 4, and 36 more GOP friendly than they are now -- they've already got candidates lined up in those. This is all subject to who the independent vote is, of course.
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« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2011, 09:58:17 am »
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Wouldn't it be the case that both parties play chicken, and the judge will be choosing a tiebreaker who will choose either the R or the D map, not a fair arbiter who will follow a middle path? That's what happened in legislative redistricting in 2001, when the tie-breaker chose the Dem map over the GOP map.

That was legislative redistricting, not Congressional.

If I recall correctly, they came to an agreement on Congressional redistricting.

Right, they came to an agreement because they had a shared interest in an incumbent protection plan in 2001... but there is no basis for a shared agreement when one seat is being lost. So, given that they will have competing plans, do you know if the procedure will be different from the legislative procedure in 2001 other than that it's for Congress?

I would be shocked if the six partisan members on either side can't stick together, and then the independent won't want to shirk his duty and will make seven.

It's a really odd setup.

The legislative commission is 10 partisans, then they go to the Supreme Court Chief Justice for the 11th guy. Apparently, both sides agree that Alan Rosenthal should be that guy and it will be him.


The congressional commission is 12 partisans. They'll fight over who the independent member is probably, the Supreme Court (whole thing) will tiebreak to pick an independent member, and the independent member does what he wants.

The independent member does have the power to draw his own plan (ie play mediator) but he still had to get 6 other votes for it to pass. And if he is an honest guy, he does have some incentive to try and do this.


So, its mostly similar. Population loss will probably determine the maps; Republicans have it easier because all of their districts are mostly full already.
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« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2011, 10:22:01 am »
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Well, the problem with legislative redistricting 10 years ago became one of law as well as politics.


http://cgs.rutgers.edu/resource-center/resourcecenter-1/documents/redistricting_nj_after_2010.pdf

) No county or municipality should be divided into more parts than one plus
the whole number obtained by dividing its population by 1/40 of the state’s
population.


It really comes down to this provision, which was ignored last time.


http://archive.fairvote.org/redistricting/reports/remanual/njnews.htm


So really the question is whether Jersey City/Newark are packed into 2 compact districts each (The Republican plan) or shoestringed into the suburbs (the Democratic plan).

Every indication I've seen shows that they are not going to be able to ignore the Constitution this time around.  North Jersey is probably losing a district to South Jersey too. It's a lot more difficult for the Democrats to get a good map if  Essex County is packed.
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« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2011, 03:07:50 pm »
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Mr. Moderate is right about 2, 36 and 38. 14 would have to be merged with parts of  30 (which has to shrink because its grown so much), to lean more GOP, theres simply too many public workers there now in the current district in the age of Christie. However, Christie could have a positive impact in other areas.

Currently, urban Northeastern New Jersey is probably about 150,000 short of needing all the districts that they have. My solution would be to drop the Plainfield area in with New Brunswick and Piscataway, thus reducing the preponderance of districts.

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« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2011, 03:18:56 pm »
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Currently, urban Northeastern New Jersey is probably about 150,000 short of needing all the districts that they have. My solution would be to drop the Plainfield area in with New Brunswick and Piscataway, thus reducing the preponderance of districts.

Which would give Republicans back their old District 22 seat.
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« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2011, 11:27:03 pm »
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One thing I never understood: Why does Chris Smith keep getting elected? He's basically a moderate Democrat except he's an extreme pro-life zealot, which strikes me as a terrible fit for anywhere in NJ.
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« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2011, 11:33:22 pm »
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One thing I never understood: Why does Chris Smith keep getting elected? He's basically a moderate Democrat except he's an extreme pro-life zealot, which strikes me as a terrible fit for anywhere in NJ.

I'm not really sure, but I imagine that it's a really Catholic district, which wouldn't make him such a bad fit after all.  Glancing at the counties in the district in Wikipedia, it seems Italian and Irish are the top two plurality ancestries, with a fair amount of Germans and Poles
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« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2011, 12:07:25 am »
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One thing I never understood: Why does Chris Smith keep getting elected? He's basically a moderate Democrat except he's an extreme pro-life zealot, which strikes me as a terrible fit for anywhere in NJ.

Most Republicans here are (unfortunately, IMO) like that. Tom Kean would be a Democrat in a lot of states. Chris Smith is basically a name brand entrenched incumbent.

Even Christie is moderate on a lot of issues. The difference is he doesn't tolerate the plundering NJEA.

Our entire Congressional delegation outside of Garrett is either moderate or pretends to be.

Catholics and NJ gerrymandering have helped him of course.
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« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2011, 12:14:29 am »
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One thing I never understood: Why does Chris Smith keep getting elected? He's basically a moderate Democrat except he's an extreme pro-life zealot, which strikes me as a terrible fit for anywhere in NJ.

Most Republicans here are (unfortunately, IMO) like that. Tom Kean would be a Democrat in a lot of states. Chris Smith is basically a name brand entrenched incumbent.

Even Christie is moderate on a lot of issues. The difference is he doesn't tolerate the plundering NJEA.

Our entire Congressional delegation outside of Garrett is either moderate or pretends to be.

Catholics and NJ gerrymandering have helped him of course.

Not to mention the fact the quality of his opposition tends to be very low. The last time he failed to get 60% of the two-party vote was in 1982- the race for his second term.
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« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2011, 12:15:26 am »
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Most NJ Republicans are extreme pro-life zealots? Not quite.
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