One factoid that has appeared on PolitickerNJ.com numerous times in recent years is being reprinted in honor of Republican National Chairman Michael Steele’s visit to the Garden State: Republicans haven’t won a statewide election in New Jersey since 1997; since then, 49 other states have elected a Republican to statewide office.
Despite their winning streak, New Jersey Democrats went fourteen years without re-electing an incumbent to statewide office. U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) was re-elected in 2008, having last won re-election in 1994. Besides Lautenberg, the last New Jersey Democrat to win re-election was Bill Bradley in 1990.
Democrat James Florio is the only Governor in New Jersey history to lose re-election in a general; he was defeated by Republican Christine Todd Whitman in 1993. William Cahill is the only Governor to lose a primary; Republicans replaced him with U.S. Rep. Charles Sandman in June 1973.