Andy Kim gains momentum in New Jersey Senate race against Tammy Murphy

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Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) defeated New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy (D) in her home county in a blowout, a stinging defeat for Murphy in the state’s first Democratic convention in the Senate primary to replace Sen. Bob Menendez.

Kim won around 56.8 percent of the vote in Monmouth County, seemingly giving Kim momentum in a race that many have suspected Murphy would win because of her high profile as first lady to Gov. Phil Murphy, her ability to fundraise and early support from county party leaders in Democratic heavy areas of the Garden State.

Murphy only garnered 38.8 percent, while progressive labor activist Patricia Campos-Medina won 4.2 percent in a contest that saw 466 votes cast.

Gov. Murphy’s approval ratings have held steady among Democrats for long periods of time, at 46 percent according to the latest polling from Fairleigh Dickinson University. But when survey respondents were asked first about his wife’s Senate race before his job as governor, it didn’t impact his approval rating, but it did bump his disapproval from 37 percent to 43 percent while increasing disapproval among independents by 21 percent from 40 percent to 61 percent and by 12 points among Republicans.

Kim launched his formal challenge for Menendez’s seat in November. He was one of the first Democrats in Congress to call on Menendez to resign in the wake of a corruption indictment.

Murphy also entered the race in November.

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