It took Tammy Murphy just weeks to win the backing of key New Jersey Democratic leaders in her bid for Senate. In a state where party bosses still carry strong influence in elections, that could ordinarily be enough to ensure her nomination — giving the New Jersey first lady preferential ballot positioning right below President Joe Biden in many critical counties.
But Murphy is leaving nothing to chance in her battle against Rep. Andy Kim and is now looking to possibly take even greater advantage of New Jersey’s unusual primary ballot system to give her an edge.
To do so, Murphy is considering appearing with Biden on the primary ballot across the state even in counties where she doesn’t gain party endorsements, according to three people familiar with the private discussions among Democrats. It is a seemingly small visual distinction but one that could lead many voters to ignore Kim, who would be forced into a separate column without the president.
This research is based on Julia Sass Rubin‘s study “The Impact of New Jersey’s County Line Primary Ballots on Election Outcomes, Politics, and Policy“