New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

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New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jon Runyan Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jon Runyan Republican Party
Jon Runyan.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 3rd congressional district of New Jersey held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Jon Runyan won the election.[1]
This was the congressional map approved by the 2011 redistricting committee. The 3rd district was the light green district in the 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. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 16.[2]

See also: New Jersey elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Jon Runyan (R), who was first elected to the House in 2010.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Jersey's 3rd congressional district was located in the south-central portion of the state and included most of Burlington County and portions of Ocean County.[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 Shelley Adler
Republican Party Jon Runyan Green check mark transparent.png
Independent Christopher Dennick, Jr.
Independent Robert Edward Forchion
Independent Frederick John Lavergne
Independent Robert Shapiro
Independent Robert Witterschein

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Independent Third Party

Election Results

General Election

U.S. House, New Jersey District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Shelley Adler 44.9% 145,506
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJon Runyan Incumbent 53.7% 174,253
     No Slogan Christopher Dennick, Jr. 0.1% 280
     Legalize Marijuana Robert Edward Forchion 0.6% 1,965
     No Slogan Frederick John Lavergne 0.2% 770
     Bob's for Jobs Robert Shapiro 0.3% 1,104
     None of Them Robert Witterschein 0.2% 530
Total Votes 324,408
Source: New Jersey Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

New Jersey's 3rd was considered to be Leaning Republican according to the New York Times race ratings. Republican incumbent Jon Runyan was challenged by Shelley Adler (D), the widow of the man he ousted from office in 2010. The district had become slightly more Democratic since 2010, and Adler was thought to have a fund-raising advantage.[7] When drafting the new district map, the Republicans were able to cut the town of Cherry Hill out of the 3rd district and replace it with Brick Township, where the ratio of registered Democrats to Republicans was much smaller. Analysis of the registered voters in the newly formed district suggested an advantage for Runyan; while the number of registered democrats still exceeded the number of republicans, the independent voters in the district consistently leaned to the right.[8]

New Jersey's 3rd District had been included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization had specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[9]

Incumbent Jon Runyan was a part of the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot Program, a program to help House Republicans stay on the offense and increase their majority in 2012.[10]

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 3rd district was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district was composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[11][12]

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 3 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

New Jersey Congressional District 3[13]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 3 476,678 127,799 118,936 229,943 Democratic 7.46% -6.27%
"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 3rd District became more Republican because of redistricting.[14]

  • 2012: 48D / 52R
  • 2010: 49D / 51R

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 3rd congressional district had a PVI of R+2, which was the 219th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 52-48 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 53-47 percent over John Kerry (D).[15]


Runyan vs. Adler
Poll Shelley Adler Jon RunyanOtherUndecidedSample Size
Richard Stockton College (October 4, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign donors

Jon Runyan

Jon Runyan Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15$514,924.71$295,824.19$(75,528.81)$735,220.09
Pre-primary[17]May 24$735,220.09$73,583.19$(50,642.33)$758,160.95
July Quarterly[18]July 15$758,160.95$227,046.00$(82,586.76)$902,620.19
Running totals

Shelley Adler

Shelley Adler Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15$0.00$310,927.50$(20,252.74)$290,674.76
Pre-primary[20]May 24$290,674.76$98,993.23$(85,481.09)$304,186.90
July Quarterly[21]July 15$304,186.90$223,088.18$(34,428.98)$492,846.10
Running totals

District history


On November 2, 2010, Jon Runyan was elected to the United States House. He defeated incumbent John H. Adler (D), Peter DeStefano (New Jersey Tea Party), Russ Conger (Libertarian), and Lawrence J. Donahue (Your Country Again).[22]

United States House, New Jersey General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJon Runyan 50% 110,215
     Democratic John H. Adler Incumbent 47.3% 104,252
     New Jersey Tea Party Peter DeStefano 1.5% 3,284
     Libertarian Russ Conger 0.7% 1,445
     Your Country Again Lawrence J. Donahue 0.5% 1,113
Total Votes 220,309

See also


  1. Politico "2012 House Race Results"
  2. New Jersey Department of State "Voter Registration Information," Accessed June 30, 2012
  3. New Jersey Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed September 25, 2012
  4. Brick Patch "Shelley Adler, Widow of Late John Adler, To Seek 3rd District Congressional Seat," January 30, 2012
  5. "New congressional map favors Runyan," December 24, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Candidate List" accessed September 19, 2012
  7. New York Times "House Race Ratings," Accessed August 10, 2012
  8. Politicker NJ "CD3"
  9. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  10. NRCC "Patriot Program 2012"
  11. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "New Jersey's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  12. Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  13. New Jersey Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 22, 2012
  14. FairVote "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in New Jersey," September 2012
  15. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission "Runyan April Quarterly," Accessed September 26, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission "Runyan Pre-primary," Accessed September 26, 2012]
  18. Federal Election Commission "Runyan July Quarterly," Accessed September 26, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission "Adler April Quarterly," Accessed September 26, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission "Adler Pre-primary," Accessed September 26, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission "Adler July Quarterly," Accessed September 26, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"