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Democrat-turned-Republican Van Drew trails Amy Kennedy in New Jersey House race: poll

Democrat-turned-Republican Van Drew trails Amy Kennedy in New Jersey House race: poll
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Democratic-turned-GOP Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? The Hill's Campaign Newsletter: Election Day – Part 4 Van Drew fends off challenge from Kennedy after party switch MORE (N.J.) is trailing Democrat Amy Kennedy in the race for New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday. 

Forty-nine percent of registered voters polled said they supported Kennedy, while 44 percent said they backed Van Drew in the South Jersey district. 

The same poll showed Kennedy leading in high voter turnout and low voter turnout scenarios as well. Kennedy beat Van Drew 50 percent to 44 percent in a high voter turnout scenario and 51 percent to 44 percent in a low turnout scenario. 

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Additionally, Kennedy holds a bigger lead among Democrats than Van Drew does with Republicans. Ninety-four percent of Democrats said they supported Kennedy while 89 percent of Republicans said the same about Van Drew.

Kennedy is a former teacher and mental health advocate. She announced her candidacy in January, calling Trump and Van Drew “symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics." 

Van Drew became a prime target for Democrats earlier this year when he announced that he would oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE's impeachment and that he was leaving the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. He won his seat as a Democrat in 2018. 

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The congressman explained his party-switch at the Republican National Convention in August. 

“I was elected to Council as a Democrat, but as I won seats for county office, state legislature and then Congress, I noticed things were changing — the Democrat Party had become less accepting of American tradition, less believing in American exceptionalism, less supportive of traditional faith and family,” he said. "This was not the party that I knew.” 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a "toss-up."

The Monmouth University poll was conducted on from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 among 588 voters in New Jersey's second congressional district. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.