Could Diversity Be Leading Issue in NJ Congressional District 2 Race?

AC JosepH Media

GALLOWAY – Are diversity issues coming back to haunt Republican Seth Grossman in his attempt to hold on to the U.S. Congressional District 2 seat for Republicans against Democratic challenger Jeff Van Drews.

In a poll released by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University suggested that Van Drew held a whopping 23 point lead over Grossman in a district that President Donald Trump carried in the 2016 election.

He is trying to hold on to the seat which has been held by Republican Frank Lo Biondo for more than 20 years.

Tucked away in the poll was a question about the importance of diversity, where 61 percent of the respondents said that they believed racial and ethnic diversity has a positive effect on society while 19 percent said it has a negative impact.

In June, Grossman was reported as saying that he believed diversity efforts was “un-American” and in a later radio interview said he believed discrimination claimed by African-Americans were overblown.

READ: Seth Grossman’s ‘Diversity’ Comments Still Sting many South Jersey African-Americans

The Stockton poll showed that Van Drews, 55-32 percent lead over Grossman in the head-to-matchup with less than two months to go in the mid-term elections. Grossman has hung his hat on being an ally of Trump, who won the 2nd District by five percentage points over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The poll also revealed that Grossman is still largely unknown throughout the district outside of Atlantic County, with 60 percent saying they were not familiar with him.

The diversity issue could very well come up during a televised debate between Van Drews and Grossman at Stockton University’s Campus Center Theatre in Galloway, sponsored by SNJ Today, the Millville-based media company, the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University and The Press of Atlantic City from 6-7 p.m. on Oct. 10.

The Stockton poll stated that Van Drews was criticized by Democrats for voting against gun control measures in 2013, but 78 percent of district likely voters said that gun policy to be a major factor in their vote, with 66 percent favoring making gun laws stricter.

The poll was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy. Live interviewers on the Stockton University 535 adult residents of the 2nd Congressional District who were screened as likely voters. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 4.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets. Data are weighted based on United States Census Bureau demographics for the 2nd District population.

The Hughes Center can be found at https://www.facebook.com/StocktonHughesCenter and can be followed on Twitter @hughescenter.

Note: Clyde Hughes, editor-in-chief of Front Runner New Jersey.com is not related to the William J. Hughes Center.