NJ Politics Digest: In Age of Trump, Dems Target Seats Once Thought Long Shots

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith. Alex Wong/Getty Images

It’s early in an election year, but national Democrats are already trying to build a drumbeat of inevitability in their effort to capture Republican-held seats in the House of Representatives race.

On Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was adding Rep. Chris Smith to its list of targets in the upcoming election. Smith is the longest-serving member of the New Jersey delegation and routinely wins re-election with large margins.

But Democrats, who have now added all of the state’s GOP-held seats to their target list, think President Donald Trump’s low-approval ratings in New Jersey have given them an opening.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report, however, lists Smith seat as being safe. On Thursday, however, Cook shifted the rating for the state’s 2nd District from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.” The seat is currently held by Frank LoBiondo, one of a wave of congressional Republican lawmakers not seeking re-election this year.

Quote of the Day: “If he wants something from us, he should just call us rather than call us out publicly.” — Senate President Steve Sweeney, on Gov. Phil Murphy’s call for state legislation to circumvent the federal limit on state and local tax deductions.

In the Year of #MeToo, Rutgers to Honor Anita Hill, Queen Latifah
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Here’s Why Decertifying This Rogue NJ Agency Is Good News for Animals
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Trump is So Unpopular in N.J. That Democrats Are Now Targeting This Unbeatable Republican
Rep. Chris Smith, who hasn’t received less than 60 percent of the vote in his last 17 elections, has just been added to the House Democrats’ list of 2018 targets.
NJ.com Read more

Targeted: Democrats Look for Election Pickups in Lance and Frelinghuysen Districts
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Trump Midterms: An Ocean County Seat shifts More Democratic
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Voting Record—or Lack of One—Could Tip Scales in Race for Frelinghuysen Seat
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Top Democrat Fires First Public Shot at Phil Murphy
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NJ Politics Digest: In Age of Trump, Dems Target Seats Once Thought Long Shots