Republicans could be looking at gaining seats in the Assembly tonight, depending upon the outcome of some hotly contested races. Best case scenario: +6. Best case scenario: +6; worst case scenario is -7.
The GOP could pick up two seats in District 1, and one seat each in Districts 2, 8, 12 and 14, and not lose Republicans seats in Districts 2, 8, 11, 12, 14, and 39. Democrats would keep the majority, 44-36.
So as history judges the mid-term electoral performance of Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts and Minority Leader Alex DeCrcoe, what is the fair starting point: is it 49-31, where the lower house was after the 2005 general election, or is it 50-30, as it is today following the party switch of Assemblyman Francis Bodine last winter? As the political community looks at the GOP performance in mid-term elections, tomorrow and in the future, will Roberts be held accountable for the seat that came to him because Burlington County Republicans decided to withdraw party support for Bodine’s re-election campaign?
This same scenario has occurred in the last two general elections: in 2005, Arline Friscia of Middlesex County switched from Democrat to Republican (she lost her re-election bid. In 2003, Democrats actually lost two seats they had won in the ’01 election: Rafael Fraguella of Hudson County switched to the GOP after the Democrats dumped him (he ran for the State Senate and lost), and Democrat Matthew Ahearn of Bergen County became a member of the Green Party, and lost his re-election bid.