New Jersey's 7th Congressional District elections, 2012

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New Jersey's 7th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Leonard Lance Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Leonard Lance Republican Party
Leonard Lance.jpg

New Jersey U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of New Jersey.png
The 7th Congressional District of New Jersey held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Leonard Lance won the election.[1]
This was the congressional map approved by the 2011 redistricting committee. The 7th District was the gray district in the northwestern-middle part of the state.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
April 2, 2012
June 5, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: New Jersey had a mostly closed primary system, in which registered Republicans and Democrats could only vote in their own party's primary, but voters who had never voted in a primary before could choose either party.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by March 11, 2012. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 16, 2012.[2]

See also: New Jersey elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election was incumbent Leonard Lance (R), who was first elected to the House in 2008.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Jersey's 7th Congressional District was located in the northwestern portion of the state and included Hunterdon County and portions of Warren, Morris, and Somerset counties.[3]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Upendra Chivukula
Republican Party Leonard Lance Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Patrick McKnight
Independent Dennis Breen

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Libertarian PartyLibertarian Party

Independent Third Party

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, New Jersey District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Upendra Chivukula 40% 123,057
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLeonard Lance Incumbent 57.2% 175,662
     Libertarian Patrick McKnight 1.3% 4,078
     Independent Dennis Breen 1.5% 4,518
Total Votes 307,315
Source: New Jersey Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Republican Primary

New Jersey's 7th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLeonard Lance Incumbent 60.6% 23,432
David Larsen 39.4% 15,253
Total Votes 38,685

Republican primary

In a rematch of the 2010 primary, David Larsen was challenging incumbent Leonard Lance. In 2010, Larsen received 31 percent of the vote, and Lance received 55 percent.[7][8]

Larsen considered his chances better this time, with the redrawn 7th District including a large number of conservative voters.[9][7] There was also less primary competition in 2012, with just Lance and Larsen running for the Republican nomination.[9]


Larsen was running as a more conservative candidate than Lance, saying Lance was one of the politicians who "call themselves conservatives, but support the Obama agenda." In response, Lance had highlighted his conservative votes, including those against Obamacare.[7]


Lance was endorsed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.[7]

Larsen was endorsed by the American Conservative Union and the Republican National Coalition for Life.[7]

Campaign funding

Lance vastly outraised Larsen, with over $651,228 raised compared to Larsen's $15,387.[7]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in New Jersey

New Jersey lost a congressional seat following the results of the 2010 Census, bringing its number of representatives down to 12. A new map was approved on December 23, 2011.

The 7th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district was composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[10][11]

After the redistricting, the district was designed to protect its Republican incumbent, with 30,000 more Republicans than Democrats.[12]

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 7 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

New Jersey Congressional District 7[13]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 7 474,502 112,669 142,666 219,167 Republican 26.62% 38.70%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. New Jersey's 7th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[14]

  • 2012: 44D / 56R
  • 2010: 48D / 52R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. New Jersey's 7th Congressional District had a PVI of R+6, which was the 171st most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 52-48 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 56-44 percent over John Kerry (D).[15]

Campaign donors

Upendra Chivukula

Upendra Chivukula Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15$41,405.88$$(62.00)$41,343.88
Pre-primary[17]May 16$41,343.88$46,062.00$(3,775.51)$83,630.37
July Quarterly[18]July 15$83,630.37$394,630.00$(43,841.82)$434,418.55
Running totals

Leonard Lance

Leonard Lance Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15$513,303.25$111,795.00$(119,372.17)$505,726.08
Pre-primary[20]July 16$505,726.08$116,225.00$(220,804.55)$401,146.53
July Quarterly[21]July 15$401,146.53$150,135.00$(166,030.92)$385,250.61
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 2, 2010, Leonard Lance was re-elected to the United States House for a second term. He defeated Ed Potosnak (D).[22]

United States House, New Jersey General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngLeonard Lance Incumbent 59.4% 105,084
     Democratic Ed Potosnak 40.6% 71,902
Total Votes 176,986

See also


  1. Politico, "2012 House Race Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  2. New Jersey Department of State, "Voter Registration Information," accessed June 30, 2012
  3. New Jersey Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed September 25, 2012
  4. "U.S. Senate Primary Candidates," accessed April 2, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 New Jersey Star-Ledger "Ed Potosnak no longer challenging Leonard Lance as congressional candidate," January 16, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Candidate List" accessed September 19, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 New Jersey Spotlight, "U.S.Congressional District: 7," May 22, 2012
  8. New Jersey Star-Ledger, "David Larsen of Tewksbury challenging Rep. Leonard Lance for seat in Congress," January 5, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Examiner, "David Larsen announces new NJ-7 Congress run," February 24, 2012
  10. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "New Jersey's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  11. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  12. NJPR "Experts on NJ Redistricting" accessed October 8
  13. New Jersey Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 22, 2012
  14. FairVote, "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in New Jersey," accessed October 28 2012
  15. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 28 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed September 27, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-primary," accessed September 27, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed September 27, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed September 27, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-primary," accessed September 27, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed September 27, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013