Fresh NJ-02 polling conducted on behalf of the DCCC shows the race in a statistical tie. Amy Kennedy is within 3-points of vulnerable Republican Jefferson Van Drew (44-47), with Vice President Biden within 1 point of President Trump (45-46). The poll was conducted from 6/30-7/3, with a sample size of 404 and a margin of error of 4.9%.
“Jeff Van Drew betrayed South Jersey voters in a flailing attempt to advance his own political career and hurt the community that trusted him in the process. The people of South Jersey deserve better from their Representative and will send Van Drew packing come November.”—DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos
To: Interested Parties
From: Christine Bennett, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: July 7, 2020
Subject: The Case Against Jefferson Van Drew
Jefferson Van Drew is a turncoat, a con artist, and political opportunist who cannot be trusted by, well, anyone. After his own internal poll numbers showed Van Drew losing in both the Democratic primary and the general election, the spineless fraud took the easy way out, switching parties and pledging his “undying support” to President Trump, a man he privately called “stupid.”
Van Drew’s reputation as an independent voice for South Jersey was built on the mirage he held any core beliefs, but he has undermined that image by earning wall-to-wall coverage of his politically motivated party switch.
While Van Drew may have convinced the president that he had his “undying support,” his voting record says otherwise. Before switching parties, Jefferson Van Drew voted against President Trump 90 percent of the time; including votes against border wall funding, a vote condemning Trump’s remarks about four congresswomen as racist, and a vote limiting federal spending at properties owned by President Trump.
Van Drew also voted against some of Trump’s signature policies, including against the Administration’s ban on transgender members of the military, against the Administration’s rule to block abortion providers from Title X funding, and against the Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Jefferson even spoke at a protest against the Trump Administration’s pursuit of seismic testing, expressing his disappointment that Trump would support the testing.
Not even a nationally televised rally, deleted tweets and press releases, and cross-state candidate district switcheroos could not save the Congressman from a primary challenge.
Born in Atlantic City and raised in Pleasantville and Absecon, New Jersey, Amy Kennedy is an educator by training, Amy has more than a decade of experience working in public schools in New Jersey. Her experiences as a teacher and as a mother of five propel her efforts and advocacy around social-emotional learning and mental wellness for children and adolescents.
what they’re saying
HEADLINE: Debate Over Hydroxychloroquine Spills Over From The White House To Congressional Campaigns [Stat News, 6/2/2020]
HEADLINE: Rep. Jeff Van Drew Was ‘Almost Obsessively Anti-Trump’ Before He Considered Joining His Party [The Daily Beast, 12/17/2019]
HEADLINE: ‘I will not vote’ for Trump, Jeff Van Drew vowed in a voicemail. Then he pledged ‘undying support’ for the president. [The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/24/2020]
HEADLINE: Patterson TV ad calls Van Drew ‘too liberal’ [The New Jersey Globe, 5/19/2020]
HEADLINE: Donald Trump’s Van Drew Folly (Opinion) [NJ 101.5, 1/7/2020]
“The swamp is a collection of insider elites – some posing actual dangers to our republic, and some who just serve as obstructionists to real progress. In New Jersey, where the Republican Party has struggled for relevance for decades, it’s desperation leading the way. Since the party sold out to the fraud-reformer Chris Christie, who vilified state and union workers – including cops and firefighters – it has failed to present a coherent and strong message to voters about actually fixing what’s broken in Trenton.
Now some are grabbing the scraps off the table, as turncoat Jeff Van Drew switched parties for the sole reason of saving his job. I was a supporter of Van Drew’s common-sense position against impeachment, when he had the courage to speak out as a Democrat. His becoming a Republican has nothing to do with issues. This was a simple opportunistic move designed to save his seat.”
EDITORIAL: For Party Switch, N.J. Rep. Jeff Van Drew Owes Voters An Apology — And Individual Donors Their Money Back | Editorial [The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/16/2019]
HEADLINE: Van Drew’s Party Switch Upends GOP Primary Race [Politico, 12/30/2020]
“I understand the decision of the president“ to openly support Van Drew, Richter said. “It benefited the president during impeachment week when he needed a positive story, and a Democrat flipping to the Republican Party over impeachment is a good story. The problem is the narrative isn’t accurate. Van Drew switched parties because he was going to lose, and this is an attempt to save his own job.”
Jefferson Van Drew: A Turncoat and Opportunist That Can’t Be Trusted By… ANYONE
FLIP-FLOPPER WHO STANDS FOR NOTHING EXCEPT HIS OWN PERSONAL POLITICAL GAIN
After “re-evaluting” his “life and thoughts,” also known as getting back horrendous poll numbers and realizing your days in Congress are numbered, Jefferson Van Drew, who was described by colleagues as “obsessively anti-Trump,” pledged his “undying support” to the president.
This pledge came mere days after the stressed-out Congressman told a constituent he would never support the president and expressed a desire to beat Donald Trump in an election.
All that went out the window, when negotiations between Van Drew, New Jersey’s embattled former Governor Chris Christie, and Washington Republicans began. In exchange for his party switch Van Drew was promised “better committee” assignments, a White House photo-op, and a rally — one that left South Jersey voters with a $34,000 bill.
This makes us wonder, what else is he willing to do to appease this president?
PRIORITY ISSUES: GROVELING TO NEW LEADER AND PARTY AT THE EXPENSE OF VOTERS
Van Drew’s coronation rally in Wildwood came at the cost of South Jersey taxpayers. After asking for Jefferson Van Drew’s new party to reimburse the small town, the mayor of Wildwood was snubbed and barred from attending the costly event.
One month later, during the coronavirus pandemic, Trump put Jefferson Van Drew to work — not on addressing the pandemic but on fundraising for his presidential campaign. The vulnerable Congressman, who is known to be a lackluster fundraiser, devoted his energies to his role as a fundraising co-captain of Trump’s election presumably as part of his initiation into the Republican party.
And when he wasn’t raising money for another candidate’s re-election bid, Van Drew promoted hydroxychloroquine for use even on patients who hadn’t tested positive for coronavirus, following the medical advice of Trump and a Van Drew donor – named Joe Pizza. We couldn’t make this up.
In a radio interview Van Drew stated “if you’re not tested, if you don’t feel good, you take the chance and you apply [hydroxychloroquine] early,” one day after Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infection disease doctor on the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, reiterated that there was no evidence supporting use of the drug to treat COVID-19, especially not on patients who had not tested positive for the virus, as Van Drew suggested. The World Health Organization then announced it would be halting its global trial of hydroxychloroquine after a new study found that the drug is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients.
DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
We seldom agree with the NRCC, but…
PATH TO VICTORY
New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District is a swing district with a history of supporting Democrats. Senator Robert Menendez easily carried the district in 2012, and President Obama won the district in both of his presidential runs. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy carried the district in 2017. Democrats enjoy a registration advantage here.
Jefferson Van Drew revealed himself to be a flip-flopper and a fraud, someone who ultimately cannot be trusted by anyone including his new party.
Kennedy has built a strong grassroots, people powered campaign. A South Jerseyan fiercely loyal to her community, Kennedy will serve this district well and she is increasingly well-positioned to flip this district back come November.