New Jersey's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012

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New Jersey's 5th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Scott Garrett Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Scott Garrett Republican Party
Scott Garrett.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 5th Congressional District of New Jersey held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Scott Garrett won the election.[1]
This was the congressional map approved by the 2011 redistricting committee. The 5th District was the blue district covering the northern 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 Scott Garrett (R), who was first elected to the House in 2002.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Jersey's 5th Congressional District was located in the northern portion of the state and included much of the northern portions of Warren, Sussex, Passaic, and Bergen counties.[3]

Race background

Incumbent Scott Garrett had held the seat for the past ten years, but redistricting could have given challenger Adam Gussen a shot. Some of the more rural conservative parts of the district had been replaced by urban neighborhoods. Democrats had the registration advantage in the newly added portions but were still down 28 to 25 percent. The race was not yet on national radar, but a Bergen County Republican Organization poll showed incumbent Garrett only leading Gussen by two percentage points.[4]


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 Adam Gussen
Republican Party Scott Garrett Green check mark transparent.png
Green Party Patricia Alessandrini

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Green PartyGreen Party

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, New Jersey District 5 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Adam Gussen 42.7% 130,100
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Garrett Incumbent 55% 167,501
     Green Patricia Alessandrini 2.2% 6,770
Total Votes 304,371
Source: New Jersey Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Democratic Primary

New Jersey's 5th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Gussen 54.9% 10,208
Jason Castle 34.7% 6,448
Diane Sare 10.4% 1,925
Total Votes 18,581

Republican Primary

New Jersey's 5th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngScott Garrett Incumbent 87.2% 24,709
Michael Cino 7.4% 2,107
Bonnie Somer 5.3% 1,511
Total Votes 28,327

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. Under the new map, the 5th District would now encompass much of the territory of 9th District incumbent Steve Rothman. Rothman chose to face fellow Democratic incumbent Bill Pascrell in the newly drawn 9th instead of take on Garrett, in the Republican-leaning new 5th.[9]

The 5th 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]

Registration statistics

As of October 25, 2012, District 5 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

New Jersey Congressional District 5[12]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 5 465,460 115,746 128,831 220,883 Republican 11.30% -25.08%
"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 5th District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[13]

  • 2012: 45D / 55R
  • 2010: 42D / 58R

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 5th Congressional District had a PVI of R+4, which was the 197th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 51-49 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 54-46 percent over John Kerry (D).[14]

Campaign donors

Scott Garrett

Scott Garrett Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[15]April 15$1,712,258.37$285,280.09$(130,241.86)$1,867,296.60
Pre-primary[16]May 24$1,867,296.60$168,762.90$(46,769.87)$1,989,289.63
July Quarterly[17]July 15$1,989,289.63$250,006.91$(108,962.03)$2,130,334.51
Running totals

District history


On November 2, 2010, Scott Garrett was re-elected to the United States House for a fifth term. He defeated Tod Theise (D), Ed Fanning (Green), Mark D. Quick (For Americans), and James Douglas Radigan (Be Determined).[18]

United States House, New Jersey General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngScott Garrett Incumbent 64.9% 124,030
     Democratic Tod Theise 32.8% 62,634
     Green Ed Fanning 1.2% 2,347
     For Americans Mark D. Quick 0.9% 1,646
     Be Determined James Douglas Radigan 0.2% 336
Total Votes 190,993

See also