New York Times Retracts Call For Democrat In New Jersey House Race, Republican Has Gained 20,000 Votes

The New York Times retracted its call Thursday in a New Jersey congressional race in which the incumbent Democrat has seen his lead steadily decline over the course of a week.

The race between incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski and Republican Thomas Kean Jr. for New Jersey’s 7th congressional district has tightened by more than 20,000 votes since Nov. 3, according to New Jersey Globe editor David Wildstein. The New York Times retracted its projection that Malinowski would hang onto his seat on Wednesday afternoon after his lead, which had been 28,412 last week, shrank to 6,275.

“Thank you to the voters of the 7th district for demanding that your candidates run on substance, civility, and moral clarity about the issues facing America,” Malinowksi tweeted on Nov. 4, declaring victory.

As of Friday afternoon, Malinowksi’s lead had been reduced to 5,496, according to the Times. About 400,000 votes have been tallied and 38,000 remain uncounted, The New Jersey Globe reported.

Kean, who has been the New Jersey State Senate Republican leader since 2008, hasn’t commented on the tightening race. The Associated Press, which called the race early on Nov. 4 and hasn’t retracted its call, told Wildstein that it is currently monitoring the situation.

“The Associated Press continues to watch and analyze vote count results from New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District as they come in,” an AP spokesman told Wildstein. “We will follow the facts in all cases.”

Cook Political Report had rated the race “Lean Democratic” and FiveThirtyEight gave Malinowksi a 76% chance to win re-election. Both the National Republican Congressional Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee targeted the seat prior to the election.

Malinowski defeated former Republican Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018 by more than 16,000 votes, according to Ballotpedia. Lance had held the seat since 2009.

The Times endorsed Malinowski in October.

“It’s hard to find a member of Congress better suited to serve the country than Representative Tom Malinowski,” the Times editorial board wrote.

The Times and the AP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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