New Jersey Republican Locked in Dead Heat for Re-Election, Poll Says

(Bloomberg) -- Representative Tom MacArthur, a New Jersey Republican, is locked in a close race with Democratic challenger Andy Kim, as a district split along partisan lines keeps the contest at a statistical dead heat, a Monmouth University poll found.

MacArthur holds a 41 percent to 40 percent lead, as low awareness of either candidate and a national environment that favors Democrats take a toll on his support, the poll’s director Patrick Murray said Tuesday in a statement. An additional 15 percent said they were undecided.

Democrats are fighting to flip at least 23 Republican-held seats in November to win a majority in the House.

MacArthur’s district supported Barack Obama in 2012 only to back President Donald Trump four years later. MacArthur was elected by 10 percentage points in 2014 and won re-election by double that amount in 2016.

The district is split between a Republican-leaning eastern portion located on the Jersey Shore and a Philadelphia-area western portion that tilts in Democrats’ favor. Murray said that split could prompt outside groups to increase spending.

“This could spark higher turnout in the western portion of the district, which would boost Kim’s chances,” Murray said. “On the other hand, MacArthur would benefit if there is a surge among Trump supporters in the eastern part of the district if they see this race as a referendum on the president.”

The survey of 401 voters in the third congressional district was conducted from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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