The 2004 United States presidential election in New Jersey took place on November 2, 2004, and was part of the 2004 United States presidential election. Voters chose 15 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
New Jersey was won by Democratic nominee John Kerry by a 6.7% margin of victory. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered it as a state Kerry would win, or a blue state. Although due to the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the resignation amidst scandal of Governor James McGreevey, the state was considered an interesting race. Polls showed Senator John F. Kerry with a slim lead throughout the campaign and the Republicans invested some campaign funds in the state. In the end, however, Kerry took New Jersey by a comfortable margin. To date this is the last time the Democratic margin of victory was less than 10%. As of the 2016 presidential election[update], this is the last election in which the Republican candidate won Somerset County.
There were 12 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day.
- D.C. Political Report: Slight Democrat
- Associated Press: Solid Kerry
- CNN: Kerry
- Cook Political Report: Likely Democrat
- Newsweek: Leans Kerry
- The New York Times: Leans Kerry
- Rasmussen Reports: Kerry
- Research 2000: Solid Kerry
- The Washington Post: Kerry
- Washington Times: Solid Kerry
- Zogby International: Kerry
- Washington Dispatch: Kerry
Kerry won most of the pre-election polls taken in this state, but mostly by small margins. The final 3 polling average showed the Democratic leading 49% to 42%.
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Generally, Kerry was very dominant in the urban centers of the state, particularly in Essex, Hudson, and Camden Counties. However, Bush made inroads in Bergen County, where many wealthy residents reside, and in other South Jersey counties. Bush controlled largely rural parts of the state, such as the Northwest (Hunterdon, Somerset, and Morris are also among the 10 wealthiest counties in America) and Salem County. Monmouth County's wealthy population and Ocean and Cape May Counties' older population also contributed to Bush's relative success in this largely Democratic state. This would also be the first election since fellow Democrat John F. Kennedy from Massachusetts did so in 1960, when a Northern Democrat won the state of New Jersey. The previous three Democratic presidential candidates to carry the state were all from the South (Lyndon B. Johnson was from Texas, Bill Clinton from Arkansas, and Al Gore from Tennessee), even though New Jersey is a northern state.
|2004 United States presidential election in New Jersey|
|Republican||George W. Bush (Inc.)||1,670,003||46.24%||0|
|Socialist Equality||Bill Van Auken||575||0.02%||0|
|Socialist Workers||Roger Calero||530||0.01%||0|
|Voter Turnout (Voting age/Registered)||56%/72%|
|County||Kerry %||Kerry #||Bush %||Bush #||Others %||Others #|
By congressional district
Kerry won 7 of 13 congressional districts.
|3rd||51%||49%||H. James Saxton|
|6th||43%||57%||Frank Pallone, Jr.|
|12th||46%||54%||Rush D. Holt, Jr.|
Technically the voters of NJ cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. NJ is allocated 15 electors because it has 13 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 15 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 15 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for president and vice president. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them. An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.
The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 13, 2004, to cast their votes for president and vice president. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.
The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All 15 were pledged for Kerry/Edwards.
- Warren Wallace
- Wilfredo Caraballo
- Tom Canzanella
- Carolyn Walch
- Peggy Anastos
- Bernard Kenny
- Ronald Rice
- Abed Awad
- Jack McGreevey - (Father of former Gov. James McGreevey)
- Wendy Benchle
- Loni Kaplan
- Carolyn Wade
- Riletta L. Cream
- Bernadette McPherson
- Upendra Chivukula
- http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/members/2004/Pred2.htm#NW[permanent dead link]
- "Election poll data". uselectionatlas.org. 2004.
- "George W Bush - $374,659,453 raised, '04 election cycle, Republican Party, President". www.campaignmoney.com.
- "John F Kerry - $345,826,176 raised, '04 election cycle, Democrat Party, President". www.campaignmoney.com.
- "CNN.com Specials". www.cnn.com.
- "CNN.com Specials". www.cnn.com.
- "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections - New Jersey 2004".
- "Official General Election Candidates List" (PDF).
- "Presidential Results by Congressional District, 2000-2008 – Swing State Project".
- "U. S. Electoral College 2004 Certificate". www.archives.gov.