STATE—Two of New Jersey’s 13 congressional districts are among only 34 nationally where voters split their ballots in 2008 by choosing Democrat Barack Obama for president while electing a Republican to represent them in the House of Representatives.
Rep. Leonard Lance was the state Senate minority leader before he was elected to his first term by defeating Linda Stender in the 7th Congressional District.
New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District is represented by Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, a conservative Republican who has held the seat since 1995, after Democrat William Hughes declined to run for re-election.
There are 435 seats in Congress, and just six current Republicans represent districts that voted Democratic for president in both the 2004 and 2008 elections.
Most of the districts have such well-entrenched incumbents that the 2010 congressional races there will be landslides.
Democrats are strongly favored to retain their majority in 2010 — though history points to losses among the party’s 257 members in the first midterm election of President Obama.
Some Garden State conservatives are advocating a primary challenge against each of three New Jersey Republicans who were among only eight GOP congressmen who voted in favor of sweeping energy legislation: Lance, LoBiondo and Christopher H. Smith.
“These members are just acting like liberal Democrats and thinking they can get away with it,” said Steve Lonegan, New Jersey’s leading conservative.
Democrats don’t yet have a candidate to challenge Lance in 2010 to prevent him from becoming entrenched in the district, but representatives are most vulnerable when they are new.
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