An abundance of enthusiastic voters doesn’t necessarily translate into overflowing financial coffers for political parties.
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s summary of political fundraising activities for 2012 bears out this seemingly paradoxical phenomenon.
For instance, the Democratic county committees in staunchly Republican Hunterdon and Sussex counties ended the year in better financial shape than their GOP counterparts.
Similarly, the Republicans had greater net worth – cash on hand minus debts -- in heavily Democratic Middlesex and Hudson counties, although in the case of Hudson it’s only because while the GOP had almost no money, the Democrats were more than $240,000 in debt. That negative net worth was the largest for either party in any county.
The richest party was the Burlington County Republicans, with a net worth of more than $560,000, which could have implications for this fall’s legislative elections. The 7th District, where most of the county lies, is one of only two in the state with split representation and the contests for the Assembly seats, now filled by two Democrats, have been close: Fewer than 1,300 votes kept the Republican, who came in third in the race, out of the lower house. Burlington Republicans have not only a large monetary lead coming into this year’s race – the Burlington Democrats ended the year more than $90,000 in debt – but will also have the popular Republican Gov. Chris Christie atop the ballot this year, which could give them an extra boost.
Of the county Democratic parties, Passaic’s ended the year with the greatest net worth – nearly $310,000.