History Favors Obama in New Jersey

State has given its electoral votes to a Democrat in the last five elections.

If history is any indication, Barack Obama should have no problem winning New Jersey's 14 electoral votes in his quest for re-election on Tuesday. 

In the past four presidential elections, the Republican candidate has never been within 240,000 votes, and only once did a candidate get within 500,000 of his Democratic opponent.  

A look at statistics kept by the state shows that in the last four elections, incumbent president George W. Bush was the closest at picking up the NJ's nod, still losing to John Kerry by more than 240,000 votes.

The biggest winner among the Democratic candidates in that span was incumbent Barack Obama, who won the state by more than 600,000 votes in 2008.

The closest vote in 20 years came in 1992, when Bill Clinton won his first of two terms as president, defeating George H. Bush by only 79,341 votes.

The numbers show one of the reasons why the national media hasn't used the term "swing state" to describe the race in the Garden State for quite some time. It also shows that the winner hasn't so much coincided with the national victor, so much as who was on the Democratic ticket in the past 20 years.

The last time a Republican won the state was in 1988, when the elder Bush defeated Michael Dukakis by more than 400,000 votes in one of the more lopsided national races in history. Bush won 426 electoral votes to Dukakis' 111.

That was the last of a long line of Republican wins in New Jersey. Before 1992, the last time a Democrat won the state's electoral votes was 1964 when it went for Lyndon B. Johnson.

Once that string of six straight elections was broken, though, the state hasn't voted for a Republican since. The following breakdown of the past 20 years of New Jersey presidential voting gives a look at how residents have cast their ballots.

NJ Presidential Voting History

Year Democratic Votes Republican Votes Difference NJ Winner Same as National Winner? 2008 2,215,422 1,613,207 602,215 Yes 2004 1,911,430 1,670,003 241,427 No 2000 1,788,850 1,284,173 504,677 No 1996 1,652,329 1,103,078 549,251 Yes 1992 1,436,206 1,356,865 79,341 Yes

When it comes to the statistics on voter turnout in New Jersey, one might expect the number 70 to come up on Tuesday. 

In the past two elections, 73 percent of the state's registered voters cast ballots. In 2000, the first election listed on the state's website with such numbers, 69 percent of registered voters came out to make their voices heard. 

If you're looking for the county that may turn out the greatest percentage of its registered voters, Hunterdon and Somerset County are the favorites. Hunterdon had the greatest percentage in 2008 and tied with Somerset in 2004. Somerset held the title alone in 2000. 

When it comes to a low turnout, Hudson County has recently come in with the smallest numbers. The county's percentage of turnout was the least in 2008 and 2004. In 2000, it was Essex County who came in with a state-low 61 percent of its registered voters.

Here is a look at the last three elections when it comes to voter turnout. 

Presidential Voter Turnout

Year Total Registered Voters Total Ballots Cast Percent Cast County With Greatest Percentage County With Least Percentage 2008 5,378,792 3,910,220 73 Hunterdon (81) Hudson (61) 2004 5,009,140 3,638,153 73 Hunterdon, Somerset (82) Hudson (63) 2000 4,699,026 3,219,650 69 Somerset (81) Essex (61)

Tuesday will write a new chapter in Garden State election history. Will recent history repeat itself? New Jersey voters will decide in a matter of hours.

Project Bluebeam November 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM
"If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition.” -Barack Hussein Obama, the Today show (2/1/09)
tcawley November 06, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Not sure where you are getting those numbers, pd. The federal income tax is not 15% for wealthy Americans - its about 35%. You may be thinking of capital gains tax. Not the same.
terri November 06, 2012 at 10:06 PM
He would have been able to do more if the gop were more bipartisan
b paterson November 06, 2012 at 10:36 PM
the federal govt would would have been able to do more if obama worked with the GOP, obama was too partisan
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