There's a tight race down in New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District I've been keeping a close eye on.
NJ's 2nd District covers a solid chunk of the Pine Barrens, back country, and podunk small towns between Atlantic City in the east and the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area in the west. (i.e. South Jersey's more Urbanized, liberal populations)
Lots of trailer parks. Lots of biker bars. Lots of farmers and hunters and gun owners.
Even in a state as liberal as New Jersey, its always been one of our most conservative districts and a tough nut for Democrats to crack. Democrats haven't won a Congressional race in the district since like 1992 or something.
...right now though, in the Trump climate, the district is looking mighty competitive...
Its one of those districts that will never vote for a truly progressive Democrat, but that's winnable if you put up someone sufficiently moderate on certain issues, like gun rights. (dealbreaker issue in the 2nd district is that it will never vote for a Democrat who supports stricter gun control laws)
There were a few Dems running in the 2nd district primary. The winner and the guy who's going to represent the Democratic ticket in November is Jeff Van Drew--a moderate state senator who was the least leftward-leaning Democrat in the field and was attacked by his rivals for not being sufficiently liberal in his platform and voting record (i.e. has an A-rating from the NRA. Voted against raising the minimum wage. Voted against gay marriage. Against legalizing marijuana. In favor of increasing funds for police and prison.)
...but thats the kind of Democrat you need to win in a district like the 2nd. And there's issues where he's still unmistakably a democrat + better on policy than the Republicans that the district has been sending to Congress to caucus with Paul Ryan and support the Trump Agenda and bolster the national GOP.
-Supports environmental protection; actively works against the agenda of oil lobbyists
-Supports increased access to and funding for public healthcare
-Supports Planned Parenthood and Comprehensive Sex Education in the public schools
Most importantly--he's not a lapdog for Trump.
Van Drew's Republican opponent, Seth Grossman, issued this statement after #TreasonSummit Trump's appearance with Putin in Helsinki: https://twitter.com/Grossman4NJ
"Our President wrote the Art of the Deal. His mastery of diplomatic negotiation is second to none on the global stage. With North Korean aggression on the decline and a peace deal within reach, America has no reason not to trust his judgement in Helsinki. I stand with Trump!"
...which is all the reason I need atm to support his opponent...
Not the ideal progressive candidate on the Democratic side--but hey, we gotta be realistic here--the ideal progressive candidate isn't going fly with the pineys.
If Van Drew can get the 2nd District to flip for the Democrats, that's huge.