The Pindell Report, a new Politicker.com product released today, shows New Jersey as being one of the most electorally competitive states in the country.
Two of the state's 13 congressional races are competitive, the report shows. Of the 435 U.S. House races across the country just 59 are considered competitive. New Jersey's 7th Congressional District race ranks as the 29th most competitive, while the 3rd Congressional District is listed as the 53rd most-competitive U.S. House race.
The Pindell Report, named after Politicker.com Managing Editor James Pindell, aims to provide the country's most dynamic and richly reported ranking and analysis of U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races, plus presidential swing states.
In terms of context, 31 states have at least one competitive House race, but only six states have more than New Jersey's two, according to the report.
"While New Jersey does have these two competitive races it is important to remember that this is still a deeply Democratic state where Republican candidates are financially challenged," Pindell said. "In the 7th, you have a Republican nominee in Leonard Lance who had to spend all of his money on a primary and in the 3rd, the story continues with state Sen. John Adler sitting on a huge financial advantage."
The report also suggests that Frank Lautenberg is also on the verge of becoming New Jersey's first fifth-term U.S. senator. His re-election is listed as "Likely Democrat" and is the county's 9th most-competitive U.S. Senate race.
"New Jersey hasn't elected a Republican to the Senate for 36 years and it is likely the status quo will continue," Pindell said. "The Republican has been unable to raise much money, and remains virtually unknown."
A new Quinnipiac University poll released early Tuesday morning shows Lautenberg with a seven-point lead, 48%-41%, over Republican Dick Zimmer, a former three-term U.S. Rep.
Interestingly, the Pindell Report did not include the Garden State in its list of 19 presidential swing states.
"Every four years this state has moments where New Jersey looks competitive, but it is important to remember that a Republican hasn't won statewide since 1997, in the meantime all 49 other states have," Pindell said.
The non-partisan report ranks races in order of their competitiveness. Therefore the No. 1 race in the country is the most likely to be decided by one vote. The race ranked last is believed to have a larger margin of victory — no matter if it is a Republican win or Democratic win. In determining competitiveness the reports takes into account polling, fundraising, past election data, demographic changes and interviews with the nation's top political strategists. The report also heavily uses Politicker.com's reporters out in the field covering these elections for the network's state-based websites. The rankings are evaluated daily ensuring rankings are current.