Presidential Politics And Election Returns
Last Updated July 10, 2003
For most of the 20th century New Jersey was a close state in close presidential elections, giving small margins to winners in 1960 and 1968 and losers in 1948 and 1976, but no more. In the 1980s the vast suburban expanses of New Jersey leaned toward the Republicans; since 1995 they have leaned to the Democrats. This is a state with relatively few strong-belief Christians and with a high number of seculars and Jews; sophisticated and cynical, it reacted strongly against the Southern-accented Republicans of Newt Gingrich's revolution. The 1996 results and polls in 1999 and 2000 showed New Jersey so heavily Democratic that neither party made it a target state--to the relief of fundraisers, who no longer had to raise money to buy New York TV. As it turned out, George W. Bush carried white Protestants and white Catholics by narrow margins, but was far behind among blacks, Jews and, by lesser margins, Hispanics; Al Gore won as easily as expected. For 2004, George W. Bush's managers may take a look to see if his New Jersey numbers are appreciably better after September 11, but they're not likely to spend on New York TV unless they think they have a chance to win or to tie the Democrats in New York itself.
For years, New Jersey's June presidential primary was overshadowed by California's on the same day. In 1996 California voted in March, and New Jersey did not get to the polls until two months after the nominations were sewn up. In 1998 the state Senate refused to move the primary to March 7, and so it stayed in June--far, far too late to affect the outcome. In early 2003 some legislators were trying again to move the primary back to March. But even that might be too late.
|2000 Presidential Vote|
|2000 Republican Primary|
|2000 Democratic Primary|
|1996 Presidential Vote|
For 1992 and 1996 presidential results in New Jersey, please see the Almanac 2000 online.
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