New Jersey 11th District
Morris County in New Jersey, west of the Watchung Mountains, was one of the first parts of the United States west of the seaboard to be settled. It has long been a place of comparative wealth, the home of skilled craftsmen during the Revolutionary War and plenty of water mills and iron forges by the 19th century. But only in the late 20th century did it come into its own, as one of the most affluent parts of the United States. And it is not just a collection of country estates, but a well-rounded community with all the appurtenances of urbanity except high crime and poverty rates. The very rich have lived here for some time, connected to Manhattan by commuter rail lines. But starting in the 1970s, new residents rushed out the newly completed interstates. Prompted by court-required zoning changes, old farms and woods have been cleared to make way for new subdivisions. This is not just a bedroom community. New Jersey’s economic energy, entrepreneurial creativity, and research expertise is found in new office complexes and corporate headquarters. Large forested areas of state parkland remain, including the Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area. The preservation of the state’s Highlands region, a 1,000-square-mile forest- and lake-filled stretch from Ringwood southwest to Warren County, has been a priority.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 11th Congressional District of New Jersey includes all of Morris County plus small slices of Sussex, Passaic, Essex, and Somerset counties. It ranks second in the nation in median household income. It is family territory, with relatively few singles, not a strongly cultural-conservative area, but not aggressively liberal either. It is predominantly white. There is a small community of Hispanics, many of whom arrived as day laborers and some of whom have settled comfortably. One of its biggest immigrant populations is of Indians, whose household incomes are double the national average. Politically, it is the most Republican district in New Jersey, and one of the most Republican in the Northeast. President George W. Bush won 58% of the district’s vote in 2004, and Republican presidential nominee John McCain won 54% of the vote in 2008.