- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Democrats and Republicans go to the polls Tuesday to pick their party’s candidates for president and in 12 U.S. House races.

The contest comes as Republican candidate Donald Trump has already sewed up the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, while Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could have the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination after results in New Jersey are announced.

She is just 71 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to win and there are 126 pledged delegates at stake in New Jersey.

The congressional contests have drawn less attention, mostly because it looks unlikely that any incumbents will lose, but there have been some flashpoints. There are no Senate contests or state-level races this year in New Jersey.

A closer look at races voters will decide at the polls, which are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday:



Unaffiliated voters can choose a party at their polling place Tuesday to vote in New Jersey’s closed primaries. There are more than 2.6 million unaffiliated voters in the state, compared to 1.8 million Democrats and about 1.1 million Republicans, according to state data released in April.

The deadline to change from Republican to Democrat or vice versa has already passed.

Voters can go online to the New Jersey department of state’s website to find their polling places.



Clinton is leading Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state, according to recent polls.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted last month showed Clinton leading Sanders by 14 points. That poll surveyed 1,989 people and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Clinton, who appeared on Wednesday in Newark with Sen. Cory Booker, has deep connections in New Jersey. She has the backing of most of the state’s Democratic congressional delegation, party chairmen in all the state’s counties and won the state against Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.



In the Burlington and Ocean County-based 3rd District, Democrats are vying to replace Republican incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur, who contributed $5 million to his campaign in 2014. Tavern owner Jim Keady, whom Republican Gov. Chris Christie told to sit down and shut up during 2014 news conference, is taking on Frederick John LaVergne, who lost two previous contests for the seat.

Keady has been endorsed by the Ocean County Democrats and the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, while LaVergne was endorsed by Burlington County’s party.

In southern New Jersey’s 1st District, Democratic incumbent Rep. Donald Norcross, the brother of insurance executive and party power broker George Norcross, faces a challenge from 25-year-old Sanders’ supporter, Alex Law. Norcross has the party’s support, including a recent endorsement from President Barack Obama, and is favored to win, but the contest has gotten personal, with both candidates using family members to attack each other.

In northern New Jersey’s 5th District, Republican incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett has a challenge from Michael Cino and Peter Vallorosi. In the 7th District, Republican incumbent Rep. Leonard Lance faces challenges from David Larsen and Craig Heard.



Clinton has outraised Sanders in New Jersey by nearly $3 million. New Jersey donors have contributed $4.4 million to her campaign compared with $1.7 million to Sanders, according to Federal Election Commission data.

In congressional races, incumbents are far outraising their opponents. By far, Garrett, who is considered vulnerable in the general election, has the biggest war chest of any candidate with $2.6 million on hand. His Republican opponents, meanwhile, have reported a combined $70, according to the FEC.


ONLINE: Polling place finder: https://bit.ly/1nGfsfD

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