Presidential election results[1]
Year Democratic Republican
1900 41.1% 164,879 57.3% 221,754
1904 38.1% 164,566 56.7% 245,164
1908 39.1% 182,522 56.8% 265,298
1912 41.2% 178,289 20.5% 88,835
1916 42.7% 211,018 54.4% 268,982
1920 28.4% 256,887 67.7% 611,541
1924 27.4% 297,743 62.2% 675,162
1928 39.8% 616,517 59.8% 926,050
1932 49.5% 806,630 47.6% 775,684
1936 59.5% 1,083,850 39.6% 720,322
1940 51.6% 1,016,808 47.9% 945,475
1944 50.3% 987,874 48.95% 961,335
1948 45.93% 895,455 50.33% 981,124
1952 42.0% 1,015,902 56.8% 1,374,613
1956 34.2% 850,337 64.7% 1,606,942
1960 50.0% 1,385,415 49.2% 1,363,324
1964 65.6% 1,867,671 33.9% 963,843
1968 44.0% 1,264,206 46.1% 1,325,467
1972 36.8% 1,102,211 61.6% 1,845,502
1976 47.9% 1,444,653 50.1% 1,509,688
1980 38.6% 1,147,364 52.0% 1,546,557
1984 39.2% 1,261,323 60.1% 1,933,630
1988 42.6% 1,320,352 56.2% 1,743,192
1992 43.0% 1,436,206 40.6% 1,356,865
1996 53.7% 1,652,329 35.9% 1,103,078
2000 56.1% 1,788,850 40.3% 1,284,173
2004 52.9% 1,911,430 46.2% 1,670,003
2008 57.1% 2,215,422 41.6% 1,613,207
2012 58.3% 2,126,610 40.5% 1,478,749
2016 55.0% 2,148,278 41.0% 1,601,933
2020 57.3% 2,608,335 41.4% 1,883,274

New Jersey is one of the fifty U.S. states. The state is considered a Democratic stronghold and part of the "Blue Wall" in presidential elections, since it has consistently voted for Democrats in every election since 1992. Democrats have also controlled both chambers of the state legislature since 2002. New Jersey currently has two Democratic United States senators. New Jersey's Class I Senate seat has been Democratic since 1959 (with an 8-month exception in 1982). New Jersey's Class II Senate seat has been Democratic since 1979 (with a four-month exception in 2013). In addition, New Jersey's House congressional delegation has had a Democratic majority since 1964 with the exceptions of 1993–1997, 2006, and 2013–2017. As of July 1, 2020, there are more registered Democrats than unaffiliated voters for the first time in history.

History

Main article: History of New Jersey

American Revolution

In 1776, the first constitution of New Jersey was drafted. Written during the American Revolution, it created a basic framework for state government and allowed "all inhabitants of this Colony, of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money"[2] to vote (including blacks, spinsters, and widows); married women could not own property under common law. The constitution declared itself temporary and void if there was reconciliation with Great Britain.[3][4] Both parties in elections mocked the other party for relying on "petticoat electors", and accused each other of allowing unqualified women to vote. The state voted for Washington in 1789 and 1792, as well as Adams in 1796.

Nineteenth century

The second version of the constitution was adopted on June 29, 1844, and restricted suffrage to white males. Important components of the second state constitution included the separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The new constitution also provided a bill of rights, and granted voters (instead of the legislature) the right to elect the governor. Throughout the century, the state voted for the Federalist Party twice, the Democratic-Republican Party five times, the National Republican Party once, the Whig Party four times, the Democratic Party ten times, and the Republican Party three times.

Twentieth century

From 1894 to 1973, Republicans usually controlled both houses of the state legislature (with the exceptions of 1907, 1911, 1913–1914, 1932, 1937, 1958–1963, 1966–1967). From 1900 to 1944, New Jersey voted for Democrats five times, and voted for Republicans seven times. After World War II, New Jersey was a Republican-leaning swing state in presidential elections; from the 1948 to the 1988, Republican candidates won nine out of eleven elections. John F. Kennedy won New Jersey in 1960 by 22,000 votes, and Lyndon B. Johnson won in 1964 as a part of his landslide victory. Although New Jersey had several highly populated Democratic urban areas such as Camden, Newark, and Jersey City, the state was also becoming home to suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia. Voters in suburban New Jersey were overwhelmingly white, and more likely to vote Republican. From 1943 to 1979, New Jersey was represented in the US Senate by a Democrat and a Republican.

Since 1992, New Jersey has voted for Democrats in every presidential election. Bill Clinton won a plurality of New Jersey's popular vote that year, and a majority of New Jersey's popular vote in 1996. Among Republican New Jersey voters, those living in rural parts of the state tended to vote for conservative Republicans; suburban voters tended to prefer liberal, or moderate, Republicans. During the 1980s, a significant number of Asian-Americans immigrated to the northeastern and central parts of the state and tended to vote Democratic.

Twenty-first century

Since 2002, the New Jersey Legislature has been overwhelmingly Democratic; in April 2020, there were over 994,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.[5] Democrats tend to do well in areas near New York City, Philadelphia, and Trenton, and cities such as Jersey City, Newark, Camden, Elizabeth, Trenton, Paterson are overwhelmingly Democratic. These cities influence counties (such as Hudson, Essex, Camden, Passaic, Union and Middlesex) to vote Democratic. Predominantly suburban and rural counties, especially along the Jersey Shore and northwestern New Jersey, tend to vote Republican; this includes counties such as Ocean, Warren, Cape May and Hunterdon. Other counties, such as Atlantic, Salem, Cumberland, are considered "swing" counties; they tend to vote closely within the margins of each party, swaying in one direction or the other.

Statistics

The 2016 presidential election in New Jersey was won by Hillary Clinton in 12 counties. Trump won nine counties, with a vote percentage of 55.45 to 41.35 percent. Trump flipped two counties (Gloucester and Salem) which had voted Democratic in 2012. Every county voted identically in 2016 and the 2017 gubernatorial election with the exception of Gloucester, which flipped back to Democratic. In the 2018 Senate election, Atlantic and Gloucester Counties flipped Republican. In the 2020 presidential election, Biden flipped Atlantic, Gloucester, and Morris counties.

County votes for 2016 Presidential,[6] 2017 Gubernatorial,[7] 2018 Senate,[8] 2020 Presidential, 2020 Senate, and 2021 Gubernatorial[9]
County 2016 Presidential 2017 Gubernatorial 2018 Senate 2020 Presidential 2020 Senate 2021 Gubernatorial
Atlantic Clinton Murphy Hugin Biden Booker Ciattarelli
Bergen Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Burlington Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Camden Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Cape May Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Cumberland Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Ciattarelli
Essex Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Gloucester Trump Murphy Hugin Biden Booker Ciattarelli
Hudson Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Hunterdon Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Mercer Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Middlesex Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Monmouth Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Morris Trump Guadagno Hugin Biden Booker Ciattarelli
Ocean Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Passaic Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Salem Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Somerset Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Sussex Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli
Union Clinton Murphy Menendez Biden Booker Murphy
Warren Trump Guadagno Hugin Trump Mehta Ciattarelli

Nine counties (Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, and Union) have a majority of Democratic registrants, and four (Cape May, Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren) have a majority of Republican registrants; the remaining eight have a majority of unaffiliated voters. Of those with an unaffiliated majority, five counties have more Democrats than Republicans (Atlantic, Bergen, Cumberland, Salem, and Somerset) and three counties (Monmouth, Morris, and Ocean) have more Republicans than Democrats.

Two counties (Essex and Hudson) have an absolute majority of their registrants in one party (Democratic). The highest percentage of unaffiliated voters is in Monmouth (40 percent). The highest percentage of Democrats is in Hudson (54.8 percent); the highest percentage of Republicans is in Cape May (42.7 percent), and the highest percentage registered in other parties is in Cumberland (2.1 percent). The lowest percentage of unaffiliated is in Cape May (31.4 percent), Democrats is in Ocean (22.2 percent ), Republicans is in Essex (10.2 percent), and other parties is a tie between Essex and Hunterdon (0.9 percent each). The county with the closest Democratic-Republican percentages spread is Monmouth (0.6 percent). The county with the largest Democratic-Republican percentage spread is Hudson (44.1 percent). Bergen County has the largest number of registered voters (688,839), and Salem County has the least (47,725).

Voter registration by county on November 1, 2021[5]
County[a] Unaffiliated Una % Democratic Dem % Republican Rep % Other[b] O % Total
Atlantic 74,935 35.8% 74,478 35.85 57,246 27.3% 2,960 1.4% 209,619
Bergen 266,325 38.7% 264,830 38.5% 150,738 21.9% 6,946 1% 688,839
Burlington 119,819 33.8% 139,858 39.4% 90,916 25.6% 4,156 1.2% 354,749
Camden 139,933 35% 189,723 47.5% 64,559 16.2% 5,367 1.3% 399,582
Cape May 23,527 31.4% 18,525 24.7% 31,972 42.7% 912 1.2% 74,936
Cumberland 38,324 39.3% 34,356 35.2% 22,837 23.4% 2,005 2.1% 97,522
Essex 209,214 36.6% 299,345 52.3% 58,527 10.2% 5,297 0.9% 572,383
Gloucester 80,997 35.1% 88,840 38.5% 57,876 25.1% 2,949 1.3% 230,662
Hudson 137,914 32.8% 230,095 54.8% 44,927 10.7% 6,221 1.5% 420,157
Hunterdon 35,240 32.9% 29,236 27.3% 41,790 39% 938 0.9% 107,204
Mercer 98,934 37.2% 121,646 45.7% 41,646 15.6% 3,993 1.5% 266,219
Middlesex 229,634 39.2% 251,463 42.9% 97,154 16.6% 7,605 1.3% 585,856
Monmouth 198,226 40% 144,131 29.1% 146,933 29.7% 5,920 1.2% 495,210
Morris 141,076 35.4% 117,579 29.5% 136,216 34.2% 3,970 1% 398,841
Ocean 180,029 39.2% 101,816 22.2% 171,211 37.3% 6,079 1.3% 459,135
Passaic 125,498 37.5% 133,845 40% 69,714 20.9% 5,229 1.6% 334,286
Salem 18,047 37.8% 14,846 31.1% 14,033 29.4% 799 1.7% 47,725
Somerset 101,168 38.4% 93,081 35.3% 66,457 25.2% 2,671 1% 263,377
Sussex 39,984 34% 26,770 22.7% 49,197 41.8% 1,828 1.6% 117,779
Union 122,071 33.6% 178,320 49.1% 57,892 16% 4,674 1.3% 362,957
Warren 30,057 33.8% 22,959 25.8% 34,609 39% 1,241 1.4% 88,866
Total 2,410,952 36.7% 2,576,742 39.2% 1,506,450 22.9% 81,760 1.2% 6,575,904
  1. ^ Counties are colored based on majority party registration.
  2. ^ Consists of the Conservative Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, Socialist Party and the U.S. Constitution Party.

Six districts (1, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12) have a majority of Democratic registrants, and zero have a majority of Republican registrants; the remaining six have a majority of unaffiliated voters. Of those with an unaffiliated majority, five districts have more Democrats than Republicans (2, 3, 5, 7, and 11) and one district (4) has more Republicans than Democrats.

Two districts (8 and 10) have an absolute majority of their registrants in one party (Democratic). The highest percentage of unaffiliated voters is in District 4 (39.5 percent). The highest percentage of Democrats is in District 10 (59.2 percent); the highest percentage of Republicans is in District 4 (32.2 percent), and the highest percentage registered in other parties is a tie between District 2, District 8, and District 9 (1.5 percent each). The lowest percentage of unaffiliated is in District 10 (33.1 percent), Democrats is in District 4 (27.2 percent), Republicans is in District 10 (6.3 percent), and other parties is a tie between District 7 and District 11 (0.9 percent each). The district with the largest Democratic-Republican percentage spread is District 10 (52.9 percent). The district with the smallest Democratic-Republican percentage spread is District 11 (1.6 percent). District 11 has the largest number of registered voters (609,193), and District 8 has the least (441,556).

Voter registration by congressional district on November 1, 2021[10]
District[a] Unaffiliated Una % Democratic Dem % Republican Rep % Other[b] O % Total
1 198,070 34.7% 260,834 45.8% 103,548 18.2% 7,719 1.4% 570,171
2[c] 197,561 36.2% 176,753 32.4% 164,043 30% 8,090 1.5% 546,447
3 214,186 36.3% 190,080 32.2% 178,782 30.3% 7,581 1.3% 590,629
4 228,426 39.5% 156,982 27.2% 186,087 32.2% 6,677 1.2% 578,172
5 219,936 37.5% 189,189 32.2% 171,712 29.3% 6,154 1% 586,991
6 200,561 39.4% 208,997 41% 92,869 18.2% 7,197 1.4% 509,624
7 219,747 36.8% 191,542 32.1% 179,508 30.1% 5,624 0.9% 596,421
8 150,072 34% 239,066 54.1% 45,957 10.4% 6,461 1.5% 441,556
9 185,722 38.1% 218,068 44.7% 77,050 15.8% 7,153 1.5% 487,993
10 170,913 33.1% 305,355 59.2% 32,558 6.3% 6,708 1.3% 515,534
11 222,145 36.5% 195,928 32.1% 185,733 30.5% 5,387 0.9% 609,193
12 203,613 37.5% 243,948 44.9% 88,603 16.3% 7,009 1.3% 543,173
Total 2,410,952 36.7% 2,576,742 39.2% 1,506,450 22.9% 81,760 1.2% 6,575,904
  1. ^ Districts are colored by current political representation, not by the highest percentage of voters in each party.
  2. ^ Consists of the Conservative Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, Socialist Party and the U.S. Constitution Party.
  3. ^ Jeff Van Drew was elected as a Democrat in 2018, but switched parties on January 7, 2020 over Donald Trump's impeachment.

Issues

See also: Cannabis in New Jersey

The most contentious recent issue in New Jersey has been the conflict between the state government and public-sector unions. The unions, allied with the Democratic Party, believed that their workers were entitled to pensions and healthcare which had been promised to them in the past. Moderate Democrats and Republicans believed that the state could no longer afford to pay for benefits it had promised public workers in the past.[11][12]

Property taxes are also an issue, since the state has the nation's highest property tax.[13] New Jersey is a densely-populated, high-income, high-cost-of-living state, with more money needed for infrastructure and transportation, and it does not allow counties and municipalities to impose local income or sales taxes. Property taxes fund local government, schools and county expenses, making lowering it difficult.[14]

Legalized gambling is also an issue. In 2011, Governor Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney promised to limit gambling to Atlantic City for "at least five years" to protect the struggling tourist destination from intrastate competition. Developers are pressuring the legislature to allow gambling in other parts of the state, such as the Meadowlands. New Jersey challenged the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2014, which had grandfathered Nevada's federal statutory monopoly on legal sports betting. The Supreme Court overturned the appellate-court decision, removing the final barrier to New Jersey sports betting on May 14, 2018. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion supporting New Jersey's assertion that the PASPA infringed on the state's Tenth Amendment rights in Murphy vs. Collegiate Athletic Association.[15] The state quickly moved to capitalize on the ruling and allow sports betting at state-sanctioned sportsbooks at the Meadowlands Racetrack.[16]

In 2010, New Jersey legalized medical cannabis. The law, legalizing the drug for medical use, was passed by a Democratic government just before Christie (who was skeptical about legalized medical marijuana) took office. Christie subsequently vetoed, or requested alterations to, laws expanding the state's program. (New Jersey has two dispensaries.) The issue gained attention during the 2013 gubernatorial election, when the father of a young girl with epilepsy confronted Christie at a diner. In March 2019, a vote on recreational legalization was canceled at the last minute.[17] The state senate did not have the 21 votes needed to pass, since all of its Republicans and nine of its Democrats opposed the bill. A ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use was on the ballot on November 3, 2020.[18] Named Public Question 1, it passed overwhelmingly 67%-33%, with every county supporting legalization.

On October 21, 2019, weeks after California passed a similar bill, state Senators Joseph Lagana (D-Bergen) and Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson) introduced the New Jersey Fair Play Act. The bill would allow college athletes to be paid for the use of their names, images and likeness, and to hire an agent or lawyer. It intends to protect student athletes, since one injury can cost them their scholarship without a way to pay for school or vocational guidance.[19]

On February 4, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed a $15-minimum-wage bill into law. The law will increase the minimum wage by $1 every January 1 until it reaches $15 in 2024. When it was enacted, the state's minimum wage was $8.85. The first increase was on July 1, 2019 (to $10), and it will become $12 on January 1, 2021. The bill raises tipped-worker wages from $2.13 to $5.13 per hour; if a worker does not earn the minimum wage through tips, the employer must make up the difference. Farm-workers will only be raised to $12.50 an hour in 2024, then possibly raise it to $15 by 2027.[20]

LGBT rights

In April 2004, New Jersey enacted a domestic-partnership law which is available to same- and opposite-sex couples aged 62 and over. In 2006, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ordered the state to provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples. The following year, New Jersey became the third state in the U.S. (after Connecticut and Vermont) to offer civil unions to same-sex couples. In 2013, the state supreme court ruled that New Jersey must allow same-sex couples to marry. A 2010 last-minute attempt to legalize same-sex marriage under outgoing Democratic governor failed because of objections by Senate President Steve Sweeney (also a Democrat). From 2010 to 2013, Governor Christie vetoed attempts by the state legislature to legalize same-sex marriage. Since the 2013 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, three government-recognized relationships have been in effect in the state: domestic partnerships, civil unions, and marriage. Rhode Island and New Jersey are the two states which permit adult incestuous relationships.[21][22]

Gun control

New Jersey has some of the country's strictest gun control laws in the nation, which include bans on assault firearms, hollow-nose bullets, and magazines which can hold more than 10 rounds. A permit is required to purchase any firearm, including shotguns, rifles, and handguns. No gun offense in New Jersey is graded less than a felony. BB guns, air guns, black-powder guns, and slingshots are statutory weapons. New Jersey does not recognize out-of-state gun licenses, and enforces its own gun laws.[23]

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ Leip, David. "General Election Results – New Jersey". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "New Jersey Constitution of 1776". state.nj.us. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. ^ Klinghoffer and Elkis. "The Petticoat Electors: Women’s Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776–1807." Journal of the Early Republic, 12, no. 2 (1992): 159–193.
  4. ^ Connors, R. J. (1775). New Jersey's Revolutionary Experience [Pamphlet]. Trenton, NJ: New Jersey Historical Commission.
  5. ^ a b "NJ Department of State - Division of Elections" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. NJ Department of State.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "NJ Department of State" (PDF). NJ DOS - Division of Elections.
  7. ^ "NJ Department of State" (PDF). NJ DOS - Division of Elections.
  8. ^ "New Jersey Election Results 2018: Live Midterm Map by County & Analysis". www.politico.com. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  9. ^ "New Jersey Election Results". The New York Times. 2021-11-02. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-07.
  10. ^ "NJ Department of State - Division of Elections" (PDF). NJ DOS - Division of Elections.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard. "N.J. Legislature Moves to Cut Benefits for Public Workers". nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Looks like time's up for New Jersey's pension fund". nypost.com. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Which homeowners around the U.S. pay the highest property taxes?". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  14. ^ Livio, Susan K. (2017-02-18). "7 reasons why N.J.'s property taxes are highest in U.S. again". nj. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  15. ^ "Docket for 16-476". Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Bagli, Charles; Piccoli, Sean. "For the First Time, Gamblers Bet on Sports at Meadowlands Racetrack". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  17. ^ "New Jersey Cancels Vote On Marijuana Legalization". Point Pleasant, NJ Patch. 2019-03-25. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  18. ^ "NJ Marijuana Legalization Is Alive Again: Here's When It May Come". Newark, NJ Patch. 2019-08-09. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  19. ^ Sitrin, Carly. "New Jersey bill would allow college athletes to earn endorsement money". Politico PRO. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  20. ^ L, Katherine; ERGAN. "Murphy signs bill to boost New Jersey's minimum wage to $15". Politico PRO. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  21. ^ McDonnell, Brett. "Is Incest Next?." Cardozo Women's Law Journal 10.2 (2004).
  22. ^ Merkel, Dan (2009). Privilege Or Punish: Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties. Oxford University Press. p. 196. ISBN 9780195380064.
  23. ^ "N.J.A.C. Title 13 Chapter 54 - Firearms and Weapons" (PDF). New Jersey State Police. State of NJ Dep. of Law & Public Safety. Retrieved 7 February 2019.