New Jersery Mid-Terms

A Close Look at Recent, Local Political Races


Patrick Moore, Staff Writer

Last Tuesday, November 8th, the 2022 Mid-term Electionss were held across the United States, and New Jersey had its fair share of Mid-term drama. While there was neither a New Jersey Gubernatorial or Senatorial Election in 2022, there were plenty of congressional seats that were competitive this year. 

New Jersey – 1st Congressional District 

Incumbent Democrat George Norcross defeated Republican challenger Claire Gustafson by a margin of 62% to 35% in a rahter one-sided race. Norcross performed strongly throughout the district, but his 50,000 vote lead in Camden County made the difference in his reelection.

New Jersey – 2nd Congressional District 

Incumbent Republican Jeff Van Drew defeated Democrat Tim Alexander by a margin of 59% to 40% in this Southeastern NJ district. Van Drew, initially a Democrat when first elected to congress in 2019, proved to be very popular with voters despite the party switch and carried every district in the county.  

New Jersey – 3rd Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Andy Kim defeated Republican Bob Healey by 11% points, 55% to 44%; Kim racked up a large margin in Burlington County to defeat Healey. This district was regarded as one of the more competitive districts in New Jersey so Democrati Kim’s large margin of victory (11%) came as a surprise to many. 

New Jersey – 4th Congressional District

Longtime Incumbent Republican Chris Smith defeated Democrat Matt Jenkins by a 67% to 31% lop-sided margin, as Chris Smith racked up very large majorities in the politically conservative Jersey Shore region. Chris Smith has held the congressional district around Ocean and Monmouth counties for nearly forty years, so his large margin of victory is no surprise to many.

New Jersey – 5th Congressional District 

Incumbent Democrat Josh Gottheimer defeated Republican Frank Pallota by a 54% to 45% margin, as Gottheimer achieved large margins of success in suburban Bergen County to overpower Pallota’s strong support in rural Sussex County. Gottheimer has crafted a reputation for bipartisanship and moderation making him an attractive candidate to independent voters. 

New Jersey – 6th Congressional District 

Incumbent Democrat Frank Pallone defeated Republican Sue Kiley by a margin of 57% to 41% in a district that covers much of Middlesex County and Northern Monmouth County. Pallone is also a longtime incumbent and was well known to voters in this section of New Jersey.

New Jersey – 7th Congressional District 

Republican Tom Kean Jr. defeated incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski by a margin of 52% to 48% in this recently redrawn district. This race was widely considered as the most competitive and expensive race in NJ, as Kean Jr. defeated Malinowski in a district that Joe Biden won by 4% two years prior. Kean Jr. heavily focused on economic issues – such as inflation and high taxes – while Malinowski focused his ads on protecting legal abortion in New Jersey. In the end, Kean Jr.’s message was more appealing to voters in NJ 7, consisting of Morris County, Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, and parts of Sussex and Union Counties. 

New Jersey – 8th Congressional District

Democrat Robert Menendez Jr. defeated Republican Marcos Arroyo by a lopsided 73% to 24% margin in a district that contains much of Hudson County. Since this is heavily Democratic district, the outcome was never really in question. Still, the quick ascension of Menendez Jr. in Hudson County politics has again renewed attention on his father, sitting US Senator Robert Menendez Sr. and his legal issues, as Menendez Sr. had previously been indicted on eight counts of bribery and is again facing a federal investigation related to his previous indictment according to the New York Times.

 New Jersey – 9th Congressional District

Incumbent Democrat Bill Pascrell defeated Republican Billy Premeph by a margin of 54% to 44%, a surprisingly close race for Pascrell. Due to redistricting, Pascrell needed to appeal to voters in Republican leaning areas of Bergen County.  His margin of victory significantly decreased from 2020, likely due to low turnout in Democratic Passaic County. 

New Jersey 10th Congressional District  

Incumbent Democrat Donald Payne Jr. defeated Republican David Pinckney by a margin of 77% to 21% in a district that features much of Essex County. Payne Jr. represents the most Democratic district in all of New Jersey, so the lopsided result was no surprise. Even still, Payne Jr. performed 5% worse than Joe Biden in this district.    

New Jersey 11th Congressional District  

Incumbent Democrat Mikie Sherill defeated Republican Paul DeGroot by a margin of 58% to 41%. Sherill focused many of her ads on protecting abortion access in New Jersey and DeGroot could not counter Sherill’s strong margin in Essex County and narrower margin in Morris County. 

New Jersey 12th Congressional District 

Incumbent Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman defeated Republican Darius Mayfield 60% to 39%. Coleman, a longtime Democrat incumbent, relied on strong margins in Somerset and Mercer counties to defeat Mayfield. 


In conclusion, the 2022 Midterms in New Jersey did have a flipped congressional seat, with Tom Kean Jr. defeating Tom Malonsiki and had many close races, such as Bill Pascrell’s and Andy Kim’s congressional races. NJ’s congressional delegation switches from 10-2 in favor of Democrats to 9-3 in favor of Republicans. 



Screenshot of the New York Times election map