Tea Party Candidates Gain Ground in NJ

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    In the New York City suburbs of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey, Tea Party-approved Republican Anna Little is making a run at 11-term Congressman Frank Pallone.

    The latest Monmouth University poll shows Pallone with just a 7 point lead in its poll of the 6th Congressional District.

    And in the 3rd Congressional District, which starts in nearby Toms River and stretches to the Camden area, Republican Jon Runyon, also endorsed by the Tea Party, has taken a small lead(essentially a tie in polling terms) over the incumbent and Democrat, Rep. John Adler.

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    Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray says it is a "national wave" that is now sweeping New Jersey.

    And he added "the Obamba voters are not showing up."

    NBCNewYork found that to have truth during a stop at a hot dog stand in downtown Sea Bright, halfway between Little's political home of Highlands, and Pallone's base in Long Branch.

    "I don't follow it (the elections) that closely," said Matthew Koluch in a sentiment echoed by several voters.

    Perhaps even more than in other districts, this election will be a referendum on the health care reform law passed earlier this summer.

    Pallone was a major author of the legislation and stands by its promise.

    "Most people are supportive of it," Pallone said of people he meets on the campaign trail.

    He said what feels are its three strongest points, "Getting rid of all those discriminatory practices(by insurance companies), providing affordable health insurance, and the third thing is covering everyone."

    But Little questions both insurance company and government involvement over "what doctor we should choose."

    Asked if there is a role for government in health care, she responded "When someone's down and out and they need public assistance as far as taking care of themselves, it might be appropriate for government to be there for a temporary period of time."

    Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY