New Jersey voters head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the presidential GOP primary and the state primary elections, but there is little excitement for the results.
According to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, turnout will be dismal today, where there are only a few House races of interest. "Expect a little over 400,000 voters to show up. That's less than 10% of eligible voters. Or about 15% if you just count registered Democrats and Republicans. This turnout level has been typical for the past decade or so."
But while the Democratic contest between Reps. Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell may not generate much buzz, Ron Paul supporters are still hoping that their candidate can make a push and take votes away from GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Northeast state.
After Romney's win in Texas last week, he no longer requires anymore delegates to win the GOP nomination. However, Paul's supporters have put together a check-list for voters to make a push for the libertarian candidate. Their strategy banks on Paul's delegate strategy, in which his supporters hope to elect Paul-friendly delegates in small states, which, when aggregated, can make a real impact at the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida.
PolicyMic will be following the results of the New Jersey election LIVE. Refresh this page for up to the minute analysis.
UPDATE: 9:38PM 38% reporting: Romney 82% (83,698 votes), Paul 10% (10,556 votes), Santorum 5% (5,055 votes), Gingrich 3% (3,302 votes).
9:08 PM The Washington Post reports that Romney won all 50 convention delegates at stake in the New Jersey race. A total of 264 delegates are at stake across the country in tonight's contests and Romney has the potential opportunity to collect them all.
8:52 PM Romney is the Projected Winner: 7.2% reporting: Romney 82.3% (17,440 votes), Paul 9.9% (2,108 votes)
8:35 PM Election returns have begun to come in: 0.8% reporting. Romney 81.6% (4,560 votes), Paul 9.1% (506 votes).
8:34 PM The front-page headline from today's Trenton Times: "N.J. primary an exercise in irrelevance." Sub-heading was: "Electorate faces a bitter truth: Pulling voting-machine level activates only a rubber stamp."
8:32 PM On the ground report from New Jersey voter Dave Arthur: "we got the sample ballots a week or so ago, saw that most contests were uncontested, observed that the presidential choices have for all practical purposes been made, and tossed them. I'm not even going to bother this year. There are no real races, so I won't be watching. The most interesting thing about today's primary may be just how low turnout will be."
BACKGROUND: Aside from the presidential primary, voters will weigh in on a number of state positions. One race in particular has attracted the attention of President Obama and former President Clinton. Two long-serving Democratic congressman will clash: Rep. Steven Rothman (backed by President Obama) will face off aginst Rep. Bill Pascrell (backed by President Clinton).
For live results of the Democratic race between Rothman and Pascrell, see here.