New Jersey's 9th Congressional District elections, 2012

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 09:57, 13 February 2014 by Geoff Pallay (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search


New Jersey's 9th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Bill Pascrell Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Steve Rothman Democratic Party
Steve Rothman.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 9th Congressional District of New Jersey held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Democratic candidate Bill Pascrell won the election.[1]
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 Steve Rothman (D), who was first elected to the House in 1996.

Politico rated the 9th District race between incumbents Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell the top of the five ugliest member vs. member battles,[3] and the North Jersey Record labeled it one of the most competitive primaries of 2012.[4]

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. New Jersey's 9th Congressional District was located in the northeastern portion of the state and included parts of Bergen, Pasaic, and Hudson counties.[5]


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 Bill Pascrell Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Shmuley Boteach
Independent E. David Smith
Independent Jeanette Woolsey

June 5, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic primary

Republican Party Republican primary

Independent Independent candidate

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, New Jersey District 9 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBill Pascrell Incumbent 74% 162,822
     Republican Shmuley Boteach 25% 55,091
     Independent E. David Smith 0.5% 1,138
     Independent Jeanette Woolsey 0.5% 1,082
Total Votes 220,133
Source: New Jersey Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Democratic Primary

New Jersey's 9th Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBill Pascrell Incumbent 61.2% 31,435
Steve Rothman Incumbent 38.8% 19,947
Total Votes 51,382

Republican Primary

New Jersey's 9th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngShmuley Boteach 57.9% 5,364
Blase Billack 13.8% 1,278
Hector Castillo 28.3% 2,623
Total Votes 9,265

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, Steve Rothman's old 9th District had been split between Republican Scott Garrett's 5th District and Democrat Bill Pascrell's 8th District. Rothman chose to run against his fellow Democrat in a largely Democratic 9th District rather than face Garrett in the Republican-favored 5th.[10]

The 9th 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 9 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

New Jersey Congressional District 9[13]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 9 382,038 136,426 51,595 194,017 Democratic 164.42% -6.36%
"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 9th District became more democratic because of redistricting.[14]

  • 2012: 61D / 39R
  • 2010: 60D / 40R

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 9th Congressional District had a PVI of D+11, which was the 93rd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 65-35 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 60-40 percent over George W. Bush (R).[15]

Campaign issues

Ideological similarities

According to Roll Call, there was little policy or ideological difference between Democrats Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, so voters were left to decide the primary largely based on personality and location. The newly drawn 9th District encompassed a variety of demographics, and, the Roll Call article states, Pascrell was strong in the working class Passaic County, while Rothman was more at home in the white-collar Bergen County. The 9th also includes Hudson County, which may go either way.[16]

Although the representatives' voting records matched 98 percent of the time, the two candidates sought to differentiate themselves. Rothman cast himself as the more progressive candidate, while Pascrell stood as the pragmatic Democrat.[17]

TV ads

Steve Rothman came under criticism for a TV ad his campaign ran against Bill Pascrell. The New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial board wrote that Rothman made "cheap shots" against Pascrell, and said a fact-check showed the ad's claims were false.[18]


Former president Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell.[19] President Barack Obama met with Rothman, which was viewed as implicit support, although he did not officially endorse either candidate in the race.[20] The Clinton-Pascrell endorsement and Obama-Rothman support reflected 2008, when Pascrell endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination and Rothman was among Obama's early supporters.[20]


February 23, 2012

On February 23, 2012, Democratic opponents Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, both incumbents pitted against each other as a result of redistricting, met for their first debate.[21]


In early 2012, a group of New Jersey synagogues encouraged their members to vote for Rothman in the primary, citing his pro-Israel stance. This prompted American Arab Forum President Aref Assaf to write an Op-Ed against what he described as putting another country above the U.S. in voting decisions. Rothman responded that he does put America first, and Pascrell distanced himself from Assaf's comments.[22]

This was the congressional map approved by the 2011 redistricting committee. The 9th District was the orange district in the northeastern part of the state.

Campaign donors

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are the candidates' reports.[23][24]

Bill Pascrell

Bill Pascrell Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[25]April 15, 2012$1,496,016.62$517,170.74$(441,510.90)$1,571,676.46
Pre-primary[26]May 24, 2012$1,571,676.46$269,262.22$(1,134,529.74)$706,408.94
July Quarterly[27]July 15, 2012$706,408.94$417,051.15$(868,716.65)$254,743.44
Running totals

Shmuley Boteach

Shmuley Boteach Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[28]April 15$0.00$90,470.33$(16,279.77)$74,190.56
Pre-primary[29]May 24, 2012$74,190.56$45,593.00$(25,478.96)$94,304.60
July Quarterly[30]July 15$94,304.60$47,778.00$(84,479.87)$57,602.73
Running totals

Race background

Politico rated the 9th District race between incumbents Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell the top of the five ugliest member vs. member battles,[3] and the North Jersey Record labeled it one of the most competitive primaries of 2012.[31]

Former friends Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell were pitted against each other in a primary battle for the Democratic spot in the general election.[3] In December 2011, a bipartisan redistricting panel finalized a map that put Rothman in Republican-friendly district along with Scott Garrett (R). Rather than face off against Garrett, Rothman decided to run in the same district as Democratic incumbent Pascrell, reasoning that he previously represented more of the new district than Pascrell.[3] Pascrell accused Rothman of "running from fights with the radical right."[3]

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, Steve Rothman was re-elected to the United States House for an eighth term. He defeated Michael A. Agosta (R) and Patricia Alessandrini (Green).[32]

United States House, New Jersey General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Rothman Incumbent 60.7% 83,564
     Republican Michael A. Agosta 37.8% 52,082
     Green Patricia Alessandrini 1.4% 1,980
Total Votes 137,626

See also


  1. Politico "2012 House Race Results"
  2. New Jersey Department of State "Voter Registration Information," Accessed June 30, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Politico "Congress 2012: The 5 ugliest member vs. member battles" Accessed April 18, 2012
  4. North "Harrison: New Jersey's competitive primaries," April 22, 2012
  5. New Jersey Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed September 25, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 Examiner "Another Democratic primary matchup to watch," January 13, 2012
  7. "Celebrity rabbi from Englewood mulling Republican run for Congress," February 3, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 "U.S. Senate Primary Candidates," accessed April 2, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Candidate List" accessed on September 19, 2012
  10. "Rep. Steve Rothman to challenge Rep. Bill Pascrell in June Democratic primary," Accessed December 30, 2011
  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 28, 2012
  16. Roll Call "N.J. 9th District race pits county vs. county," May 7, 2012
  17. Philadelphia Inquirer "New Jersey Ninth District Democratic primary quickly 'headed into the toilet,'" May 31, 2012
  18. New Jersey Star-Ledger "With cheap shots at Pascrell, Rothman tarnishes his own integrity," May 14, 2012
  19. The Hill "Clinton backs Rep. Pascrell over Rep. Rothman in NJ's Dem primary," May 4, 2012
  20. 20.0 20.1 Huffington Post "Steve Rothman Meets With Obama, But POTUS Doesn't Endorse Him," June 1, 2012
  21. [Two New Jersey incumbents thrown together by redistricting hold debate]
  22. PolitickerNJ "Politics in Pascrell v. Rothman spills into religion," February 24, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission "Bill Pascrell Summary Report," Accessed October 11, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission "Shmuley Boteach Summary Report," Accessed October 11, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission "Bill Pascrell April Quarterly" Accessed October 11, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission "Bill Pascrell Pre-primary" Accessed October 11, 2012
  27. Federal Election Commission "Bill Pascrell July Quarterly" Accessed October 11, 2012
  28. Federal Election Commission "Shmuley Boteach April Quarterly" Accessed October 11, 2012
  29. Federal Election Commission "Shmuley Boteach Pre-primary" Accessed October 11, 2012
  30. Federal Election Commission "Shmuley Boteach July Quarterly" Accessed October 11, 2012
  31. North "Harrison: New Jersey's competitive primaries," April 22, 2012
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"