Democratic Challenger Narrowly Trails Trump Ally in New Jersey House Race

(Bloomberg) -- A key New Jersey ally of President Donald Trump will have his congressional race’s outcome hinge in part on mail-in and provisional ballots in a county that swings Democratic.

Republican Tom MacArthur, author of a failed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, led by 2,315 votes over Democrat Andy Kim, according to unofficial returns. Their 3rd Congressional District includes most of Burlington County, where registered Democrats exceed Republicans by 39,000, and parts of Republican-dominated Ocean County.

Like New Jersey as a whole, unaffiliated voters in Burlington and Ocean outnumber those registered to either party.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Burlington had about 6,000 mail-in ballots and an undetermined number of provisional votes to evaluate and count, according to George Kotch, the county elections superintendent. Kotch said a final figure won’t be available until about Nov. 14.

Ocean County election officials didn’t return a phone call inquiring about their progress. They still need to review and count about 250 mail-in and 1,500 to 2,000 provisional ballots, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Tuesday’s vote put New Jersey Republicans in the House at their fewest in more than a century, as Democrats picked up at least three seats. If MacArthur’s district flips, that will leave New Jersey with just one Republican in its 12-member delegation. MacArthur has voted with Trump more than any other New Jersey member of Congress, according to the tracker FiveThirtyEight.com.

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