New Jersey 12th District
It was once the main East Coast arterial highway, carrying the nation’s highest volume of truck traffic. Today it is crowded with cars taking high-salaried workers and clerical help to one of the East Coast’s thickest concentrations of office buildings in one of the bigger edge cities spawned in the 1980s. U.S. 1, which once just connected the industrial cities of Trenton and New Brunswick on its way from Philadelphia to New York, is better thought of now as connecting the university towns around Princeton and Rutgers, and as a locus of telecommunications and pharmaceutical research. This had been empty bucolic country, to be enjoyed by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s undergraduates from their Gothic Princeton towers. Now it is filled with post-modern office campuses, hotels, and restaurants.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 12th Congressional District of New Jersey meanders across the breadth of central New Jersey, from the Delaware River to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends several dozen miles on either side of U.S. 1 as it slices through Mercer and Middlesex counties. It is home to both an Englishtown and a Frenchtown. To the west, it takes in some of the rolling country of Hunterdon County. On the other side of U.S. 1, the 12th includes Princeton University and some modest-income suburbs—Franklin in Somerset County, East Brunswick in Middlesex County—and some fast-growing Monmouth County areas, such as Rumson, part of Middletown, and Holmdel. Monmouth, Marlboro, and Manalapan, all in the district, have been rated among the best small towns on the East Coast. Monmouth is undergoing a transition as the Army prepares to close the 1,100-acre Fort Monmouth in 2011. The 90-year-old research facility with 5,000 employees is in a busy commercial area, and will be redeveloped. The 12th had been represented for most of the 1990s by a Republican, but redistricting earlier this decade made it more Democratic.