by Thomas Catenacci
The New York Times unaccepted The Associated Press’ call in a New Jersey congressional race Thursday in which the incumbent Democrat has seen his lead steadily decline over the course of the past 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. While The New York Times automatically accepts most of the election projections made by The Associated Press, it sometimes differs if it disagrees, a spokesperson said.
“For most House races, we automatically accept the race calls made by The Associated Press,” Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email. “However, we sometimes take a more cautious approach, particularly given the complexity of the voting in this pandemic year.”
“We believe the A.P.’s call in this race may have been premature, so we have unaccepted it for now and will continue to monitor results,” she continued.
The Morris County Clerk added one extra vote to Tom Malinowski and Tom Kean Jr. today, different from what the Board of Elections reported last night. Adding the new votes until I can determine where the two came from. https://t.co/VLNGjlfHME pic.twitter.com/9HTtMNZwst
— David Wildstein (@wildstein) November 13, 2020
The AP, 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.”
About 400,000 votes have been tallied and 38,000 remain uncounted, The New Jersey Globe reported.
“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.
The New York Times has now pulled back their call for Malinowski in NJ-7. https://t.co/h0L8ZOol9C
— David Wildstein (@wildstein) November 12, 2020
Kean, who has been the New Jersey State Senate Republican leader since 2008, hasn’t commented on the tightening race.
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 AP didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Tom Kean” by Tom Kean.