Smith is the only New Jersey GOP Congressman not to suffer in a bad Republican year

The national political environment didn’t seem to affect Republican Christopher Smith, who won re-election to a fourteenth term in Congress by a 66%-33% margin over labor leader Carol Gay — about the same as his 66%-32% win over Mary Brennan in 2002. Gay outspent Brennan and won several labor endorsements, but it was hard for her to tie Smith to the national GOP leadership — they dumped him as Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee after the 2002 election because he was viewed as too politically independent. Smith was the only Republican Congressman from New Jersey whose margins didn’t suffer this year: Rodney Frelinghuysen dropped eleven points, from 73% in 2002 to 62% in 2006; Frank LoBiondo and James Saxton each took a seven point hit from their ’02 numbers. Interestingly (at least for extreme junkies), the bare-bones campaign of Joseph Sinagra against Congressman Rush Holt in the 12th district received 35% of the vote — just 2% less than former Secretary of State Buster Soaries won four years ago after spending $1 million and in a better year for Republicans.

Smith is the only New Jersey GOP Congressman not to suffer in a bad Republican year