2023 Election Will Result in Big Changes
In the 2023 General Election, all 120 legislative seats will be in contention and on the ballot. With only Senate seats atop the ticket, there’s likely to be a low turnout. The last time the Senate led the ballot in 2011, just 27% of all those registered to vote cast ballots.
One thing for certain, there will be a lot of new faces once all the votes are counted in November, as several legislators have already announced their retirements. They include roughly 25% of the current sitting members. Political observers believe the GOP may be able to flip two senate districts, but Democrats would still continue single-party control in Trenton, albeit with smaller margins.
The party would need to unseat five Democrats while holding on to the 16 seats they currently control. “To see that level of broad turnover across all regions of the state, you’d expect something seriously lopsided in the current political environment.
On the other hand, Republicans picked up a net seven seats in the 2021 election, including the unforeseen upset of then-Senate President Steve Sweeney and his running mates in the 3rd District in the southwestern part of the state. Pundits attributed those and other losses in South Jersey at least in part to the national shift of working-class Democrats to the Republican Party. The 4th District, which will include parts of Atlantic, Camden, and Gloucester counties, is likely to be a key battleground Democrats will try to defend this fall.
In a low-turnout election, like we expect 2023 to be, small groups can have an outsized influence. Some issues can motivate a small group about a specific topic, and it can make the difference in a local race.
Gas Stoves on Front Burner
One possible issue is a push to stop or transition away from the use of fossil fuels in NJ. Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho believes the Murphy Administration wants families to spend tens of thousands of dollars, and businesses millions of dollars, to replace their clean, efficient, and affordable gas appliances with electric versions that cost four times more to operate.
“The governor’s energy plan calls for massive wind farms to be built within sight of many beaches along the Jersey Shore. That will put New Jersey’s $45 billion tourism economy at risk, including half-a-million jobs that support families in our Shore communities and beyond,” he added.
Also, the Governor announced his support for ending the corporate-business tax surcharge that has generated $600 million for the state budget. That’s a move that has already drawn displeasure from left-leaning groups but could help Democrats win some support from pro-business interests.