Politics

Tom MacArthur’s Democratic Challenger Trails by 4 Points in Internal Poll

Democrat Andy Kim is challenging the two-term New Jersey Republican

GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur will face Democrat Andy Kim in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll for New Jersey Democrat Andy Kim showed him trailing Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur by 4 points in the 3rd District general election. 

Kim, a former National Security Council official, and MacArthur both ran unopposed in last week’s primaries.

The two-term incumbent led Kim, 48 percent to 44 percent, in the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research survey, obtained first by Roll Call. Eight percent of respondents were undecided.

The poll surveyed 550 likely general election voters in the 3rd District from May 29 to June 3.  It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. 

Kim’s campaign is optimistic that he pulled into the lead after voters heard positive messages about both candidates, but the campaign did not reveal the language involved in that message testing.

The Democrat is making MacArthur’s vote to repeal the 2010 health care law a central part of his campaign. MacArthur was one of the architects of the amendment that was credited with resurrecting the Republicans’ health care bill last spring.

“I’m running for Congress because last year during the lead up to my son’s birth, our doctor told my wife and I that our son may not survive or have a serious health condition for the rest of his life,” Kim said in a Wednesday statement.

“From health care to taxes, MacArthur spent this year proving he isn’t voting in the interests of the Garden State. It’s no surprise New Jerseyans are looking for new leadership with a track record of public service,” Kim campaign manager Zack Carroll added.

A Public Policy Polling survey conducted for the Democratic group Patriot Majority in April showed MacArthur at 42 percent and Kim at 41 percent. The poll surveyed 669 voters in the district via automated phones from April 16-17, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Kim to its Red to Blue program for strong recruits in February. He’s raised significant money, ending the pre-primary reporting period in mid-May with $972,000 to MacArthur’s $1 million, although the latter has personal resources he could kick into his coffers. He’s the 19th wealthiest member of Congress, according to Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress Index.

President Donald Trump carried the 3rd District by 6 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Likely Republican.

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