DCCC Names NJ-02 as a Targeted Congressional District for 2020
In a significant development, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, (DCCC) has officially named New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District as a "Targeted District for 2020."
This is the seat currently held by the new Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew.
When the DCCC targets a district, it means that an aggressive effort will be made in terms of financial support and other valuable material resources. The target designation is only set in districts that they believe they can win.
When all of the primary election dust settles, either Brigid Harrison or Amy Kennedy will be the Democrat Nominee for Congress in District 2.
Van Drew still has work to do on his end to try and dispatch aggressive Republican challengers, David Richter, Bob Patterson and Brian Fitzherbert. They refuse to be moved-out by Van Drew's political conversion, and, all have consistently told me that they are in the race to stay through the June, 2020 Primary Election ballot.
I strongly believe that from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to the DCCC and various New Jersey Democrats; they all eagerly want the opportunity to exact their political revenge against Van Drew.
The DCCC has publicly released the following statement/data:
Republicans face a significant challenge holding onto New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District, and Congressman Jeff Van Drew's party switch does not improve their chances in November. Beyond the vulnerabilities highlighted in his own internal polling, Van Drew's party switch further weakened him as a candidate. Van Drew's ability to win a primary as a questionable Republican, but an unquestionable "traitor," remains uncertain.
* NJ-02 is majority suburban (56.9%), with minority populations comprising over 25% of the district's eligible voters. President Obama won this district twice, and in 2017, Governor Phil Murphy won with 51.7% of the two-way vote.
* In Van Drew's own internal polling, voters wanted a new representative by a 17% margin. Now, considering Van Drew's shape-shifting, it is unclear if he would win a Republican primary.
Harrison has gotten off to a fast start, earning the endorsements of 6 of the 8 County Chairman who comprise the 2nd Congressional District. Earning the Regular Democrat or Republican Ballot placement is critical. This is a big boost for Harrison on the Democrat side.
Harrison is also aggressively going after Van Drew to "return every penny that he has taken from Democrats."
Harrison also has the enthusiastic support of New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney. That's a huge get for any serious Democrat challenger.
Another very significant wild card in the Primary and General Elections is "The Craig Callaway Sweepstakes." Who will earn Callaway's support? Those candidates who have it, typically win. Those who don't, almost always lose. Go ask John Risley and Phil Guenther. Had they received Callaway's support (this past November), both would members of The New Jersey General Assembly right now.
Instead, Vince Mazzeo and John Armato had Callaway's support and that vaulted them from 3rd and 4th to 1st and 2nd in the recent past November 5, 2019 General Election.
Callaway has mastered the political art of the "Vote by Mail" ballot process. His impact has increased with each passing election.
A very reliable source (not Callaway himself) has advised me that Van Drew will not be receiving Callaway's support.
I have learned and confirmed that Callaway has met with Kennedy, although no decision has been made regarding who Callaway will be working with this June and November. Van Drew had Callaway's support when he won his Congressional seat as a Democrat in November, 2018 vs. Republican Seth Grossman.
The next 4 to 9 months will feature some of the most fascinating political events of our lifetime. Anyone who says that they know exactly how all of this will turnout at the local, county, state and federal levels; has no idea what they're talking about.