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Julia Sass Rubin

Democratic primary marks new ground for party power

“I think the most immediate impact will be more people will run for office,” Rubin said. “Not this election cycle, because the deadline has already passed. But I think we will see more people running going forward, and I think we will see a much more diverse slate of candidates. You have an overwhelmingly male and white legislature, and I think the county line has a big role in that.”

NJ Rep. Pascrell sees primary challenge from Khairullah, spotlighting their stances on Gaza war

The system groups candidates running on tickets into single lines or columns, meaning that the many candidates endorsed by county political organizations appear together with ticket-leaders like President Joe Biden. Candidates running alone or on smaller slates usually appear further off to the right or down the ballot, outside of the large groupings that signal to voters that they’re the legitimate party candidates. Research by Rutgers University professor Julia Sass Rubin shows the preferential ballot placement gives candidates an advantage that is difficult to beat.

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