Few actual contests in N.J. primary on Tuesday

    Voters in most of the legislative districts in New Jersey don’t have much of a choice in Tuesday’s primary election.


    Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray says out of the 120 potential primary contests, only 10 for the Senate and 10 for the Assembly involve more than one candidate.

    “This is how it works in New Jersey,” Murray said. “Once the powers that be decide who their nominees are going to be, very few others are willing to step up to the plate and say, ‘I’m going to take them on’ because of the amount of money, the amount of organization, that it takes to win these types of elections.”

    The way the political maps are drawn makes it difficult to unseat incumbents in the November general election, according to Montclair State political science professor Brigid Harrison. So that increases the importance of the primary for making a change in who holds those seats.

    On Tuesday, New Jersey voters will also make the gubernatorial candidates official — incumbent Chris Christie for the Republicans and, it’s widely assumed, state Sen. Barbara Buono for the Democrats.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal