June primary leaves N.J.’s GOP voters out of selecting nominee

Analysts do not expect that New Jersey will have much influence in determining the Republican nominee for President.

Some people hoped legislation enacted last year moving New Jersey’s presidential primary from February to June would give the state more clout if the race dragged on without a clear frontrunner.

While it’s a close contest now, Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin expects that will change well before Garden State voters go to the polls.

“People will attempt to rally around one person, the front runner, and by June I don’t expect it to be a closely contested race at that point,” said Dworkin. “Probably by June this will be decided. I think it may well be decided by Super Tuesday which is in March.”

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley agrees.

“By then almost all the delegates for the national convention have been selected, and almost all of them are committed to a candidate,” said Woolley. “The Republican Party by June is going to want to be focusing on President Obama, not on who is the nominee.”

Officials estimate having the presidential primary at the same time as the primary for state offices will save between $8 million and $12 million.

Four years ago, New Jersey’s presidential primary was moved up to February from June in the hopes that candidates would campaign in the state instead of just holding fundraisers there.  That did not exactly pan out. Given the extra costs of holding a presidential primary one month and a primary for congressional races later, the legislature moved the election back to its traditional date. 

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