Thank you to all who participated in the design of this poll.
For good reason, political pros consider a challenge to an incumbent congressman an unwinnable race. Given Frank Pallone’s war chest and the gerrymandering of the district, the conventional wisdom certainly applies in NJCD-6.
All too often the candidates who take on this challenge, “taking one for the team” feel bitter after the experience. They get no support, no money. They are on their own. When its over, they are rarely celebrated. They feel used, because they were.
A smart candidate taking on such a race would measure their success not on the ballot result, but on what they built. A candidate could take this on to lay the ground work for a future race, for this office or another. To get a message out and alter the agenda. To hold the incumbent’s feet to the fire or force them to spend time and money that they otherwise wouldn’t spend.
As we saw in 2010, a Republican challenger in CD-6 could win the Monmouth County portion of the district and still lose the election. That helps the ticket elsewhere on the ballot. Monmouth Demorcrats will attest to the fact that they lost on the municipal level in Bayshore towns in 2010 because of Anna Little beating Frank Pallone in those towns. In 2012, without a credible alternative to Pallone on the ballot, the GOP will give many voters a built in reason to ticket split. That would be detrimental to county and municipal candidates.
In selecting the 20 candidates for this poll, I omitted John Curley and Toni Marie Angelini from the list because they are running for reelection in their current offices. I added candidates mentioned in the comments. I added Charles Measley because 1) he included me in his poll, 2) Charles would drive Pallone crazy, and 3) Charles running would be fun. I added David Corsi for the same reasons.